Recent research from TechSee with more than 2,500 consumers in the United States found that the highest churn rates were in telecommunications, with 52% of respondents saying they cancelled a phone, internet, TV or cable contract with a company due to the quality of customer service they received. Moreover, 79% of respondents admitted sharing their disappointment about the telco’s level of service with other people.
A telecom operators’ anti-churn strategy begins with understanding the company’s churn rate and digging deep into why customers are leaving. The churn rate should be considered an indicator of how well the company is retaining customers and should be used to understand what needs to be improved in the business.
Telecom operators anti-churn strategy: how to reduce the churn rate
The first step to address the churn rate is to have a comprehensive view of the customer journey, gathering data from customers’ profiles, product and service usage, web logs, information from call centres, promotions, among others. All of this data should be integrated into an analytics tool to connect the pieces of information, identify trends and patterns, and find elements that may have been overlooked. This will lead to conclusions on why each customer left and provide insights on how to solve the pain points.
Since the cost of acquiring new customers is higher than retaining the current ones, telecom operators can also take advantage of advanced analytics to predict future issues. The data can be examined to understand which customers are at risk of leaving and which ones should be prioritised. With details on customers’ demographics, geographies, how much they spend on a service and how often they use it, providers can have a better perception of their customers’ behaviour and create more targeted and personalised offers. This leads to proactive business decisions, improved customer satisfaction, and a reduced churn rate.
Customer experience is everything
The main reasons for high churn rates in the telecom industry are related to poor customer experiences. Customers having to contact the company many times for a response, being transferred between different departments, dealing with impatient service agents, getting complicated billing, and having a lack of proper self-service options are some of the usual complaints.
What telecom operators sometimes fail to interpret is that customer complaints are a valuable source of insight. When the company has an effective program to manage customer complaints, the feedback can be categorised and taken into account to find a resolution that goes beyond one customer, but that can help in improving services and impact the entire business.
Besides the complaints’ management, part of the anti-churn strategy is to take a good look at the overall customer experience the company is providing. If customers are putting in unnecessary efforts to get their problems solved, the organisation should act immediately to fix this. Any other concern that affects customer loyalty should also be taken care of – the key is being proactive.
When telecom operators lose a customer, they lose the future revenue of that client and need to invest money in acquiring a new one. Therefore, customer retention tactics are helpful to control the churn rate. Some tactics include:
- offering value-added services with other service partners;
- building personalised plans for different customer profiles;
- promoting special deals with reduced rates;
- making upgrades on existing accounts.