Let context drive your customer approach

Mark Sten

Delivering a great customer experience defines some of the world's most profitable companies. Yet while the majority of operators place "customer experience" high on their priority list, many associate the goal with how customers feel about their company, not about the actions it drives.

The reality is that profits are generated by customer actions, not customer intentions. So how can operators determine what influences customers' behaviors and then better engage customers to drive those actions?

For most operators the customer base represents something similar to a bell curve. A certain percentage of customers are "strategic" - those with whom the organization has strong, loyal relationships and high confidence that those relationships will continue to drive profits over the long term. 

At the opposite end another percentage is simply "disengaged." Although these customers may not be entirely satisfied with the company's services, operators don't care strongly enough to do anything about it.

For most telcos the majority of customers fall into the "transactional" category. Customers will initiate an interaction when they need something but beyond that they don't spend time evaluating the relationship or how they could get more value from it. They tend to be less loyal than strategic customers, but the profit potential associated with them is significant - making them the highest risk for moving to a competitor. 

It's not as easy as simply communicating with these types of customers. It's about communicating the right message in the right context. That is, at the moment it really matters.

Let's consider a tenured customer who has experienced nine dropped calls in the past 24 hours and they receive an offer for a new data plan. There's a good chance the customer will not only decline the offer but also wonder why you would up-sell them when it's your quality of service and a specific cell tower that needs addressing. Do that one too many times and you may lose the opportunity to up-sell them at all.



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