The cost of keeping the customer waiting

Richard Alden, TOA Technologies, Europe
Competition in the telecom industry is fierce, and so is the fight for customers. Churn rates remain high, particularly in difficult economic times as customers know they don’t have to put up with bad customer service because there are plenty of companies that are desperate for business.
 
Telecom operators and broadband providers have traditionally focused heavily on prices and packages and content and services for differentiation and to retain and attract their customer base. However, as research continues to highlight the value of customer satisfaction, one area that has received little attention from most operators is that of the customer experience and satisfaction around home installations and repairs.
 
The flexibility and level of communication maintained between customer and telecom companies is still typically very poor. This lack of communication does little to enhance the operators reputation or bottom-line, and tends to increase pre-installation cancellation (PIC) rates.
 
All too often operators expect customers to wait for four to eight hours for an engineer to arrive. There is little flexibility for off-hours appointments, and as a result customers are forced to take time off from work, and operators frequently experience wasted truck-rolls, when the customer is not home when the engineer arrives.
 
In addition, many operators fail to appreciate that home visits by engineers are often an operator’s only opportunity for face-to-face interaction with their customers, and thus an important point of contact.  All too frequently the experience around this visit is poor and does little to enhance the brand.
 

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