MICHAEL TAYLOR, LEAD AVOIDABLE TRUCK ROLL MANAGER
April 13, 2019
During my 35 years in the telecommunications industry, I have witnessed thousands of interactions between various organizations and their customers. What stands out is that most telecommunications companies resolve a customer’s problem about 75% of the time–often by complete accident. Often the underlying issue remains unresolved driving another interaction down the line. Recent customer experience research proves there is a strong correlation between the amount of effort a customer must undertake to solve their problem and their perception of the experience.[i] Each interaction increases the risk of a negative experience, and often customer churn is the ultimate price for a poor experience. The challenge many companies face is deciding whether they should make additional investments to call the customer proactively and resolve the remaining customer problems. Here’s my take:
Long-Term Strategy vs. Short-Term Wins: Both Matter
Although this should be a simple decision, most businesses prefer to invest their capital in software and technology, hoping this will decrease the overall volume of customer problems.
In many cases this is true. However, this long-term strategy ignores several quick, tactical wins that could improve the business metrics and customer satisfaction more immediately. One example of a proven service investment is increasing the level of troubleshooting when a customer experiences an outage. Let’s face it; Truck Rolls are expensive ($85-$100 per dispatch based on eClerx data) and frustrating for customers. It is especially so when they realize their problem could have been solved by a knowledgeable associate over the phone. Advanced troubleshooting with the customer before dispatching a technician is an easy cost savings solution. It is also a win-win for improving customer satisfaction and reducing truck roll costs.
Is today’s technology really that simple?
Another smart investment is to target Customer Education. Today’s technology can be confusing to the average customer. eClerx internal data reveals that over 13% of resolved cases are customer education related and require no additional action to address the concern. Over the past ten years, I have observed many positive changes that arose from collaboration and targeted investments and ultimately reduced customer service challenges. However, the industry still faces multiple legacy technology issues. The growth of available technology has outpaced organizations ability to invest in it, but customers’ expectations have also continued to rise. Ongoing customer frustration decreases the value they perceive in their service provider, on whom they depend to stay connected to the digital world. Customers who need help are willing to spend the time to resolve their service issue during the initial inbound contact, or with a proactive outbound contact program.
What Does this Mean?
In today’s intensely competitive market, companies are continually trying to one-up their competitors. Lack of investment in customer-centric practices leads to a host of negative service experiences and business outcomes. There are several steps companies can take to resolve issues immediately and effectively while keeping costs contained in the long and short-term.
Michael Taylor leads the eClerx Customer Operations, Avoidable Truck Roll and Internet of Things initiatives. Mike has more than 30 years of Telecom experience and joined eClerx in 2013. Before joining eClerx, Mike Held various strategic leadership roles at industry leading organizations.
As Vice President of Operations at Comcast, Mike managed several large organizations in the Mid-Atlantic States, with a proven ability to translate and achieve the corporate strategies and field operational priorities, driving profit improvements, and customer satisfaction. As the Director of Operations at Suburban Cable and the companies that proceeded Suburban, Mike achieved success driving organizational improvements, company brand awareness, customer and employee satisfaction, and consistently exceeding the organizations short, mid and long -term business objectives.
[i] The Net Promoter Score (NPS) vs Customer Effort Score (CES) By Mobius. February 24, 2017.