Turning Cell Coverage Pain into Market Share Gains

The number of consumers who read blogs at least once a month has grown tremendously in the past few years, and what they read strongly influences their purchase decisions. Despite overwhelming agreement on the importance of customer experience, senior marketing managers admit their wireless carriers are failing to take decisive, company-wide action to integrate their customer voice and experience into key business and marketing processes. Most carriers today do not compensate any employees, managers or executives based on customer loyalty, satisfaction improvements or analytics. While, few companies rate highly in their ability handle and resolve customer problems or complaints.

Here are some pain points that underscores critical deficiencies in the way carriers measure, optimize and leverage customer experience to drive loyalty, improve brand value and increase business performance and growth:

* Too few management compensation programs tied to customer experience, loyalty and satisfaction gains
* Insufficient availability and aggregation of real-time customer experience data across email, phone and web that should be shared across the organization.
* Poor use of customer interactions to collect insights and intelligence or maximize up-sell and advocacy opportunities (ie. femtocells or repeaters).
* Lack of Internet processes and systems to track online word of mouth and drive customer advocacy.
* Slow processes for monitoring of wireless coverage experience that fails to provide true and timely insights into problems and opportunities.

Customer experience is one of the most critical determinants of wireless brand strength. Yet, most carriers and senior marketers suffer from blind spots and gaps in the way they interact, handle and respond to customer issues or problems. Marketing and network operations divisions must assume ownership for the customer experience and establish enterprise-wide measures and disciplines to ensure continuous improvement. Each carrier is missing is a major opportunity to turn customer pain into competitive gain at every touch point through better use of web survey and contact center technologies and processes. Customer listening, learning and leveling are critical qualities that need to be part of an institutionalized in the telecommunications corporate culture. Yet, survey data demonstrates that most carriers are not taking advantage of these opportunities to drive company-wide performance improvement and business growth. Instead, most carriers treat customer interactions around call center service situations and incidents only as a problem that needs quick resolution.

Very few companies today have embraced intelligent Internet analytics while capturing real-time information at the "point of pain". No carriers I know have deployed real-time systems to collect, analyze and distribute customer feedback. This might change if a company like Comcast enters the mobile space with a femtocell technology and their customer service expertise. Carriers must become more sophisticated and committed to both leveraging customer experience as a key business metric and instituting company-wide processes that drive improvement. Companies need to commit themselves to understanding the key determinants of their service and continuously strive to improve their customer experience competitiveness. While the majority of carriers receive customer feedback via email very few track and measure the nature and volume of these messages.

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