While operational efficiency is critical when it comes to running a lean and profitable business, it is closely intertwined with the customer experience.
For example, better processes along with front- and back-end systems can lead to faster and more effective customer service. It can also lead to better and faster delivery of products and services. In turn, products and services that offer incredible customer experiences, along with wonderful customer service to support them, can create and spur growth.
Remember, the proliferation of mobile and digital has created very high customer expectations, forcing communications companies to rethink their game plans entirely. It’s the main reason why companies are so driven to innovate and focus on the customer. Industry leaders must constantly change, adapt, and create exciting new offerings to cater to and satisfy today’s consumers.
In Comcast’s Q3 2017 earnings call, Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO, said the company’s “ongoing effort to improve the customer experience accelerated this year and will continue to be an important driver in the future.” Its investment in software and other technology is paying off. “We are now seeing results from the investments we have made in data analytics and other technology to better anticipate and diagnose service issues and to give our customers more control with digital tools like the My Account App,” he said.
Mr. Roberts provides a textbook example of how product innovation has helped improve the customer experience, not to mention customer service. He said, “We [Comcast] reduced customer calls handled by our agents by four million. We also increased the percentage of customer interactions completed digitally by double digits. So, better service is not just critical for our customers, but is helping our financial performance and we believe there is a long runway for further progress.”
Specifically, he mentioned that the number of phone calls new customers made in the first 90 days was down by a “double-digit percentage.” He continued, “The investments in the customer experience are clearly working, and we believe we have the foundation in place to drive further improvement from here.” Not surprisingly, he said that as customer relationships are growing, customer service costs are down.
The communications industry continues to evolve. As technology advances, companies evaluate how they can take away market share from their competitors. Companies must differentiate themselves, and typically not just in one way. Today’s consumers have so many providers from which to choose, and there is often little that distinguishes one from another. The better and more positive the differentiators, the more loyal customers will be. The lower the churn, the higher the profits.
A well-known example of a company that has done what many would have said was unthinkable is T-Mobile. There is nothing typical about the company. Not the CEO. Not the customer experience. Not the customer service.
Let’s start with John Legeras, the CEO of T-Mobile. His brashness and nontraditional executive style have caught the attention of customers, competitors, and investors. Mr. Legeras has no problem taking shots at his competitors (or as he calls them, “the duopoly”), and boasting of the company’s success. To be fair, his comments are generally not unfounded. T-Mobile’s “Un-carrier” moves have resonated with customers and have forced the company’s competitors to rethink their strategies and implement change.
As an example, in an October 2017 press release, the company said “Customers are continuing to choose T-Mobile over the competition because they get more value for their hard-earned dollar. Q3 was no different as we unveiled our latest industry-changing move: Netflix on Us. The other carriers focus on pushing bigger, fatter, pricier packages of content and services on their customers, while T-Mobile partnered with Netflix to give customers what they want – at no extra cost.”
T-Mobile is a wonderful case study of a company that is shattering stereotypes and breaking barriers. It’s a company whose employees are proud to wear its magenta shirts, and its customers don’t dread calling customer service. It’s a company that is making communications companies “cool,” a term no one would have thought to pair with the industry.
Using the insights we’ve gleaned from conversations with clients, perspectives from industry executives, and statistics from market research reports, we have prepared a guide that describes the current state of the communications sector.
Use it as a barometer to measure the impact of your own activities and initiatives. How do you compare to your peers? Are you doing the right things? Should you adjust your strategy to remain or become an industry leader?
You can download it here or fill out the form below.