Last year when the pandemic hit, telecom services became indispensable for everything from work-from-home to online grocery shopping to distance learning. In fact, purchases of new internet, phone, and TV services set records in the U.S.
- $118 billion: What U.S. consumers spent to switch or buy new internet, phone, and TV services in 2020
- 46%: The year-over-year increase in the number of households that purchased new internet service in 2020
Unfortunately, call volumes and wait times for customer service in the telecom industry also set records — exacerbating long-standing customer experience issues. Most of the industry (with the exception of wireless carriers) continues to struggle with poor customer satisfaction and loyalty.
That begs the question: how can telecom providers convert record demand into a sustainable advantage going forward given their not-so-inspiring track record of customer dissatisfaction and churn?
A playbook for connecting with customers
Taking small, incremental steps won’t create the change that telecoms need. Instead, overcoming years of customer experience challenges requires big, bold steps to finally connect with customers in a way that meets their expectations.
That’s why we created a playbook specifically for the telecom industry that shows how telecoms can use advanced conversational artificial intelligence (AI) to fix the problems that impact the customer and agent experience. In it, we describe four plays along with questions to ask, actions to take, and outcomes for each play.
The following are highlights from the playbook that spotlight how telecom companies can optimize and personalize the customer experience using conversational AI, automation, and other advanced technologies.
#1: Make customers happy with intelligent self-service
Improving the customer experience starts by understanding and optimizing every conversation before, during, and after an agent/customer interaction. Often the conversation starts in a self-service channel, but existing self-service options are frequently more frustrating than helpful for many telecom customers.
With a conversation-centric, domain-specific AI platform that understands your customers’ intent and sentiment, your company can increase self-service and automation rates and deflect transactional interactions from contact center agents — all while delivering an optimized customer experience.
#2: Reduce friction in the customer and agent experience
Enable agents to be more productive and empathetic while personalizing the experience for customers. By using conversational AI to understand your customers’ real intent and sentiment, you can help your agents deliver a more conversational experience while resolving their issues faster.
With conversational AI and analytics that understand human-to-human conversations, now every interaction can be analyzed to give your contact center insight into trends and opportunities for improving customer satisfaction as well as sales effectiveness.
#3: Automate after-call work to improve productivity and satisfaction
In the telecom industry, what happens after the call ends is just as important to your contact center’s business outcomes as what happens during the conversation. The time spent in after-call work (ACW) — including categorizing and summarizing the call, updating systems, and taking follow-up actions on promises made during the interaction — impacts average handle time, call waiting times, customer satisfaction, costs, agent productivity, and agent satisfaction.
A better customer experience starts with a better agent experience. Your company can use a conversation-centric AI platform to automatically handle ACW, improving both the customer’s and the agent’s experience, while improving productivity and accuracy.
#4: Capture and manage promises automatically
A promise made that is not kept or tasks that are not performed correctly can quickly negate the positive effects of a good conversational experience. Promises management, or a lack thereof, directly impacts your call handling times, wait times, and customer satisfaction and loyalty as measured by Net Promoter Score (NPS). In fact, a major communications provider in the U.S. has found that the top negative impact on its NPS is missed promises.
A conversation-centric AI platform can automatically recognize, log, and enrich promises. After the call, it sends the customer a summary of the promises made to align expectations and then automatically manages the fulfillment of the promises, which improves NPS, reduces repeat calls, and improves processing time.
Get the playbook
Although the pandemic clearly demonstrated the importance of connectivity and drove unprecedented levels of demand, telecom companies must do more to retain those customers going forward and grow ARPU. This requires a bold strategy that harnesses the power of today’s conversational AI technology to improve the customer and agent experience.
Find out how your company can use a conversation-centric AI platform to address your customer service challenges. Download our playbook “Four Strategies for Using Conversational AI to Optimize Customer Experience and Outcomes.”