Closing the customer service loop

Melissa Chua
21 Nov 2011

Closely integrated customer service channels involving the internet could be key for customer retention in saturated markets, particularly since acquisition costs often outbalance retention costs.

According to Ovum, telcos in high broadband penetration markets particularly should include the web as a major part of an integrated customer facing strategy. Practice leader of Ovum’s telco operations Clare McCarthy says the online push is a stark necessity due to growing smartphone proliferation in mature markets, which places a heavy load on customer service infrastructure.

A February survey by Amdocs found APAC service providers to be facing greater challenges than their worldwide counterparts when solving smartphone queries; a report from managed services firm WDS has further stated that returns and repairs for Android-based handsets could cost carriers up to $2 billion per year.

While the majority of carriers already implement degrees of web-based customer service such as online bill viewing and account management, more advanced functions could be offered online to help divert costs from contact centers.

Examples include the U-verse video bill service offered by AT&T, which attempts to divert billing enquiries from the contact center via a personalized online video billing walkthrough, where a narrator explains various components of a customers’ bill and addresses common billing-related queries.

Allowing users to reset usernames and passwords online could also help divert call center traffic. According to the Ovum research, Telstra observed a 70% dip in queries of this nature after the service was offered online. Ensuring customers use a single login across multiple services subscribed could also ease contact center burdens.

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