According to the 2015 Temkins Experience Ratings, the average experience rating for digital service providers (DSPs) has dropped by 1.4% from the previous year. Though DSPs have started implementing various initiatives to enhance customer centricity, the telecom industry remains one of the low-ranking players in the area of customer experience. In order to address this issue, DSPs need to shift their focus to ensure consistent omni-channel interactions. Therefore, customer experience management cannot be only a channel-specific, one-time exercise, but it should be a cyclical process that helps evaluate, enhance, and deliver excellent experiences every time a customer chooses to interact with a DSP.
Since customer experience is an amalgamation of interactions across multiple touch-points throughout a journey, a ‘one-time, one-channel’ fix is not enough to meet the expectations. For example, when I recently subscribed to DTH services, I was quite satisfied with the contact center experience: my call hold time was minimal; the agent was helpful; and I got all the information I wanted. However, the order delivery and installation processes were not as smooth. If the DSP’s efforts were not focused on fixing a single problem, but rather adopting a comprehensive framework to drive customer-centricity, my experience would have been more delightful.
Implementing an ‘always online’ systematic framework will help DSPs identify experience factors that are most critical to customers, track customer feedback regarding those critical factors, and rapidly devise corrective measures at both business and process levels. Further, such a framework will help DSPs get answers to questions like “Are our current efforts enough?” and “Do we need a process change or KPI change?” The core of this framework is the 3E mantra: Evaluate, Enhance, and Excel. To efficiently establish this framework (see figure), DSPs will need to review their current CX strategies followed by a revamp of digital capabilities. Once the foundation is set, a cyclical CX framework will strengthen a DSPs’ business by:
Evaluating the effectiveness of current CX initiatives: Continuously evaluate customer feedback, their experiences, and affected business processes to bridge the gap between as-is and to-be states.
Enhancing the processes for superior experience delivery: Leverage an agile model to identify process bottlenecks, and devise viable quick-fixes. This framework also allows the incorporation of the ‘voice of employees’ for effective redesigning of processes.
Exceling at ensuring consistent experience throughout the customer journey: Armed with better understanding of customer behavior, critical experience factors, and personas, DSPs can create targeted experience enhancement strategies. Context-based marketing, superior customer engagement on social media channels, intelligent customer support, and customer empowerment through self-help menus will create the much needed ‘wow’ moments that DSPs can leverage as differentiators.
This cycle will continue with the evaluation of new processes implemented to understand the impact on customer experience, and the overall impact on the net promoter score (NPS) and ROI. This continuous evaluation and enhancement will help DSPs re-look into their current efforts to better channelize their CX strategies toward realizing excellence in omni-channel customer service delivery. This framework will help dissolve information silos, and get access to a single-view of customer perception toward the brand, enabling DSPs to devise effective omni-channel experience enhancement strategies.
Using the 3E mantra, DSPs can provide seamless customer experiences, as well as ensure that customers get something more than they expect, every time. Armed with a 360-degree view of customer perceptions, process efficiencies, and employee feedback, DSPs can create effective customer experience enhancement strategies. To ensure that the framework is implemented effectively, DSPs will have to invest effort in upgrading their big data, knowledge management, and analytics infrastructure. So, maybe next time when I place a service request with my DTH service provider, they will send me an app notification to track it, equipped with the feature to contact the field agent to decide on the preferred time of resolution. And maybe, I will be able to customize my ongoing DTH service package only through a Twitter direct message. Does this look exciting to you? What else would you want your DSP to do? Please share your thoughts with us.