Customer Retention: The Key to Long-Term Success in Telecom

Nyshitha Thota, Manager – BU Content

Customer Retention through CX in Telecom:

If the telecom industry were a rom-com, it would be one heck of a triangle love story. In one corner, the existing customers are rooting for their provider, hoping for a sign of appreciation and consistency in service. But in the opposite corner, the provider is leaving no stone unturned to attract a new elusive customer.

While there’s undeniable value in expansion, there’s a paradigm shift that needs attention – the importance of nurturing existing customers.

The Economics of Retention vs. Acquisition

According to Harvard Business Review, it costs a business 5X times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.

Let’s contextualize this with a few real-world examples. Many Communication Service Providers (CSPs), such as T-Mobile and Telstra, benefitted largely through Loyalty leadership. In the last few years, T-Mobile fought back the churn rate by slightly pivoting its focus and budgets from advertising to existing customer experience. On the other hand, Australian telecom leader Telstra has an even more powerful story to tell. During 2010-14, under the leadership of David Thodey, the company’s then-CEO, Telstra led its industry in customer advocacy as gauged by Net Promoter Scores. Many aspects, including policies and pricing, were adjusted to declare CX to be their top priority, which resulted in not just stronger customer relations but also an increase in market share and a 70% higher stock price. All that shine started dulling down soon after Mr. Thodey’s departure from the firm. So, if you are a Telecom leader, remember – ‘Loyalty Leadership is a continuous effort and not a one-time task’.

With the evolving B2C business model in telecom, particularly in the USA, where the shift is from contractual services to monthly or subscription-based models, there’s an increasing emphasis on maintaining consistent, high-quality customer experience. If Communication Service Providers (CSPs) don’t actively listen to their customers, they’re essentially directing them into the arms of competitors.

If you aren’t still convinced why focus on Customer Retention strategy as strong as Acquisition, here are some more facts for you.

Okay! Now we are all on the same page. Old is as important as new. But how to keep them happy?

Here’s what’s been working for our clients, who are some of the global leaders in Telecom.

​​Listening: The Underestimated Power Tool

Feedback is gold. Especially in the telecom sector where service is paramount. We can learn a thing or two from AT&T. A few years ago, they rolled out a dedicated feedback initiative for existing customers, aiming to identify pain points and address them proactively. Another telecommunications giant, Comcast, uses Pointillist, a customer-journey analytics service, to log customer footsteps across their ecosystem. Whether you are using AI or traditional feedback tools, gathering data and determining loose ends can quickly tackle telecommunications experience issues. These initiatives resulted in a significant drop in complaints and an increase in customer satisfaction scores.

​​Engaging: Heard about Customer Loyalty Programs?

Despite the technological advancements and the plethora of tools at companies’ disposal, the power of a good old loyalty program remains undisputed. Take Verizon, for instance. Their Verizon Up loyalty program, offering rewards and exclusive experiences, has been a game-changer in keeping their existing users engaged and loyal, reducing the likelihood of them seeking alternatives. Offering incentives, discounts, or exclusive deals to long-term subscribers is a way of acknowledging their loyalty and encouraging continued patronage.

​​ Continuous Learning: Leverage Data Analytics

Understand customer usage patterns, preferences, and feedback. Using this data, CSPs can offer tailored packages or services, enhancing overall customer satisfaction. AI and Data Analytics have the potential to revolutionize the way Communication Service Providers (CSPs) approach Customer Experience (CX) . Personalizing customer experience, performing predictive maintenance, and automating customer support can help you dip your toes in AI and big data. With the advancements in AI, you can even automate marketing campaigns, troubleshooting, and enable fraud detection and data security.

​​Tech Partnerships: Multiply your forces

In today’s dynamic environment, staying ahead often means partnering with experts. Incorporating digital technologies, harnessing data analytics, and utilizing geospatial services can redefine telecom customer experience. Collaborating with a tech giant to revamp your CRM system can lead to more personalized customer interactions and improved service delivery.

Enhance your digital platforms and ensure your mobile apps, websites, and online support platforms are user-friendly, efficient, and up-to-date. A seamless digital experience can significantly elevate the overall customer experience.

While the attraction of acquiring new customers is compelling, the undeniable economics and strategic advantage of nurturing the existing ones cannot be sidelined. By blending insights with action, telecom providers can tap into the vast potential right under their noses, ensuring sustainable growth and robust bottom lines.

In conclusion, it’s high time for CSPs and, especially, telecom businesses to shift their focus, and with the right technology partner, they can achieve an unparalleled competitive edge. Want to discuss a specific challenge your telecom business is struggling with? Drop us an email and start the discussion.

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Nyshitha Thota
Manager – BU Content at Techwave, boasts an impressive 14-year career with a specialized focus of over 9 years in Marketing. She has honed her skills in content conceptualization, branding, campaign creation, while balancing creative and commercial demands. Working in diverse fields like BPO, Retail, Fashion, Media, and IT, Nyshitha brings a unique approach in story telling and content strategy.
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Jerome MacGillivray
Director of CX and Techwave’s Digital Commerce practice focused on enterprise e-commerce platforms including SAP Hybris and Magento. He has a background in e-commerce architecture and design having led global solution delivery teams over the last 15 years, and expertise in customer experience, cybersecurity, AI & robotics, and AR in digital retail environments.