Customer engagement technology is changing the way that mobile operators connect with their users in a wide range of different ways. In fact, the top three trends in this space not only help provide valuable context regarding how far we've come in a short amount of time, but they also shed an incredible amount of light about where we're going in terms of this ever-important relationship with consumers.
Source: Salesforce Research - State of the Connected Customer Report
The Importance of Good Customer Service
According to one recent study conducted by Salesforce, customer expectations for mobile operators have never been higher. “A full 80% of people say that the experience a company provides is just as important to them as the products and services they purchase. 95% of people say that they're likely to be loyal to a company they trust, and another 67% say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever.
If the experience you offer to consumers as a mobile operator is of paramount importance, those same consumers are telling you they consider customer service to be a critical part of that experience. Therefore, anything that empowers and improves that experience is an opportunity worth capitalizing on - which is why digitization is equally essential.
The Digitization of Customer Service
All types of messaging - both personal and professional - have become increasingly digital as time goes on. In 2018, the four largest mobile messaging apps combined had more users than the four largest social networks. 68% of consumers already say that these types of messaging solutions are their ideal way to stay in touch with brands and businesses too, so it makes sense that this should all extend to the customer service efforts of mobile operators.
Customer engagement technologies, for example, enable mobile operators to create personalized, real-time interactions with their customers. This has the potential to not only direct users to the most suitable customer service channel or making product recommendations (to up-sell or cross sell as needed), but it's also an ideal way to streamline customer relationship management.
“Salesforce reports that the average consumer uses 10 channels to communicate with companies.”
These include mobile apps, online knowledge bases, online communities and portals, text/SMS messaging, social media and even voice activated personal assistants in addition to online chat.
From that perspective, digitization cannot be an afterthought when it comes to customer service. It must become a core part of the foundation upon which those efforts are built.
The Benefits of Customer Service Digitization
The most immediate benefit of these ideas for mobile operators is one of cost reduction. Costs associated with digital approaches are estimated by McKinsey to be far lower than "traditional" methods like click-to-call and even email. McKinsey reported that one mobile operator was able to unlock EUR 5.75 million in savings through customer service digitization.
Likewise, customer service digitization also generates higher levels of customer satisfaction. The same McKinsey study revealed that the people who began and ended their customer service journeys through digital channels saw satisfaction levels that were 19% higher than those who were still seeking to resolve commercial or technical issues through more traditional means.
This in turn creates another major benefit: higher brand advocacy.
“Customer-driven online question and answer forums can be used to both recognize and reward a company's strongest advocates.”
Verizon is one example of a company putting this idea to good use, as they acknowledge top online contributors via special digital badges and prominent placement on the company's "Top Guru" lists.
This doesn't just create higher levels of satisfaction among average consumers. It turns them into a legion of people who are willing to promote and evangelize the mobile operators in question, thus driving higher levels of referrals across the board.
At this point, the benefits of digitization are clear. The critical thing to understand is that customer engagement technology can help you check all of these boxes in one fell swoop. It allows you to not only automate chunks of customer service flows, but it also allows your human employees to focus their time and attention on the customer service issues that really need them.
Utilizing customer engagement technology doesn't just benefit mobile operators - it also benefits their customers by identifying and recommending the most economically appropriate bundles based on usage patterns. The reason why engagements like these turn customers into loyal brand advocates isn't an accident - it's because they're tangible steps on a road towards a better and longer-lasting relationship between the brand and its audience. You can't get to that point without digitization, and that in and of itself won't be possible without the right customer engagement technology by your side.