Friday, November 18th, 2011
Telecoms companies will increasingly rely on online platforms to deliver customer service, in an attempt to fight back against spiraling costs and a more competitive market, according to Ovum.

In a new report*, the independent telecoms unveils the findings of a research into the priorities of telco customer service directors, which reveals that online portals will see some of the greatest growth in investment, as they seek to improve customer service and satisfaction levels, whilst managing rising costs.

Clare McCarthy, Ovum practice leader and co-author of the report, commented: “To secure customer loyalty in the face of disruptive competitors, such as Apple and Amazon, telcos need to be accessible, responsive, consistent and effective.

“Web-based customer service delivers on accessibility and consistency and has the added benefit of diverting costs away from more expensive alternatives such as contact centres. In addition, it has the ability to scale without adding massively to costs, so it’s easy to see why telcos are increasingly viewing it as a high investment priority.”

One of the key drivers of the online customer service push is the huge growth in the smartphone market, and the subsequent rise in mobile broadband traffic, which is placing an unsustainable burden on existing telco customer service infrastructure. Queries regarding smartphones can take 10 times longer to resolve than those for high-end mobile devices that were available five years ago. This is driving investment in online portals that enable customers to self serve their smartphone problems.

McCarthy commented: “Allowing the customer to solve their own problems such as resetting passwords, and checking account balances online is a lesson the telcos can take from other verticals.

“If portals are easy to navigate, and customers can see that their issue has been resolved satisfactorily, they are more likely to be happier with their telco supplier. However, this is not the whole story, as not all customers want to use online customer service.

“Telcos know they must follow the customer journey on the customer’s terms. It is for this reason that even telcos continue to improve their service offers in retail stores and via the contact centres.”



*Customer Service: Where are Telcos Investing?

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Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support. Ovum is part of the Informa group.
Delphine Jersier, PR/Marketing Executive, Asia-Pacific
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Telecoms companies will increasingly rely on online platforms to deliver customer service...



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