Three Practical Ways Communications Service Providers Can Reduce Customer Churn

Last week I sat in with a group of call center representatives and managers in the “save group” at a top-tier Communications Service Provider based in the U.S. Seeing these representatives in action reinforced the importance of an excellent customer experience throughout the customer lifecycle, but it also emphasized the importance in making retention investments “at the exits”.

In most organizations, the exits are guarded by save teams comprising the most experienced and qualified representatives. They have good listening skills, excellent product knowledge, and know how to get things done internally. Some of this ability comes naturally, and the rest comes from a significant investment that Service Providers make in training them.

But Service Providers don’t in general get the most of their investment, because these special teams aren’t given special tools with which to do their jobs. Rather, they’re given minimal context regarding the customer, a cursory set of retention offers, and virtually no automated case-management tools to “right a wrong”. It’s like training your special forces for an important invasion, and then arming them only with butter knives.

Our experience indicates that arming your reps properly, and investing in the following three areas, will have immediate results:

1st – ANALYSIS – Provide the appropriate information that frames the situation and guides them to the right offer/course of action. What offers will this customer be interested in? How much are we willing to spend to save this customer? All of this must be done in real-time, so that the information provided to the representative is based on the latest activity.

2nd – ENGAGEMENT – Improve their user experience. If the rep must spend 50% of their time navigating between different screens to piece together information, they cannot focus on their conversation. The right user experience will allow an “intelligent conversation,” helping the representative decide on the next action to take as the conversation unfolds in real-time.

3rd – EXECUTION – In my meeting, one of the save group managers said, “The best save tool is solving the problem”. Indeed, in a recent Pegasystems survey 63% of respondents cited “tools to help reps resolve problems quickly and efficiently” as the most important area for customer experience investment. In the case of save calls resolving big, complex, care issues will often be a critical part of the save. These tools must cross operational and business silos, reinforcing the reps existing instincts for solving problems.

In summary, most organizations are serious about improving customer experience, but they want immediate and quantifiable results. Want immediate results? Focus FIRST on your save teams. You’ll empower your best reps with the best tools, and get an immediate and substantial benefit by unlocking the power of these talented teams.