Churn and customer acquisition rates are maybe the most important metrics in the carrier business. Each carrier invests significant effort into both. They implement databases, IT systems and analytics to identify potential churners or potential new customers. They develop loyalty schemes to keep subscribers, sell long-term contracts, and make expensive customer acquisition campaigns. But still it looks like they often don’t put enough effort into the most important solutions.
I collected real life experiences from people I know well and myself.
A customer walks into a carrier’s store.
Customer: I would like to upgrade my data plan, but your online system didn’t allow me to do it.
Sales person: Of course, we can do it for you.
After the sales person has all the customer’s details, she tells him that it is not possible to update the data package for the existing plan, but the customer must change the package and then take a new data plan. The customer is ready to do it, although he feels it is crazy to pay more for his voice and text plan, when he hardly uses them. He would rather have a clear transparent price for data he wants to use.
S: Now we have changed your plan and upgraded data, so all done now.
The customer looks at his phone. His data connection doesn’t work.
C: No data connection at all, it worked when I walked in here.
S: It must be something with your phone settings, can I check them.
C: It cannot be the settings, it worked in your network 5 minutes ago and I have used your data for long time, it is something in your system when you changed the plan.
S: Sir, I must see the settings of your phone, otherwise I cannot do anything.
So, she then goes through all settings, but no data connection. She walks away and leaves the customer to wait 10 minutes and comes back with another person, who is the store manager.
Manager: So, you have some problems.
C: My phone worked when I came here, and when she updated the plan it stopped working. There must be something wrong in your system.
M: We just did what you asked us to do, that is to update your plan. It is not our fault if your phone doesn’t work. There may be some delays with activation. If you just let it be it will probably start to work during the next 24 hours.
C: No, I won’t leave this place until it works. It worked when I walked in!
M: There is really nothing we can do.