Telecom and cable TV service providers live in an ultra-competitive world where they’re continually bombarded with on-the-spot, customer requests and high subscriber expectations. Subscribers are always looking for the best deal with superior service from their voice, video and data providers. It’s gotten to the point where it is not an uncommon strategy for subscribers to “jump ship” every year or two and simply go with the best price in town. Simply put, telecoms are all trying to avoid that dreaded five-letter, word…churn.
Telecom providers have to make certain they offer unique products and services that differentiate themselves from everyone else in their service footprint. This isn’t easy when they are faced with operational tasks such as:
- Managing their daily workforce’s installs and trouble-tickets
- Troubleshooting their fiber network when outages occur
- Designing and planning network expansion for revenue growth
Not to mention the subscriber must experience zero interruptions in their service and, of course, receive incentives to remain a customer long term. A happy customer is a loyal customer, agreed?
Telecom providers understand what it costs them to bring a new subscriber on board. So before Steve Subscriber even starts getting billed for service, the telecom has already paid for:
- The cost of marketing to Steve
- The cost of sending a truck and service tech to his home for an install
- The equipment cost for his home (ONT, DVR, cable modem, DSL, etc)
Even after Steve becomes a customer, the margin telecoms make on his monthly bill is only a portion of what is left after they pay the content providers for all the programming he has been watching all month long. In the end, once Steve becomes a customer, one could estimate that telecoms know they have to keep him for at least a year before they can start to really profit from him.
So how does a telecom provider stay competitive while keeping customers happy and, at the same time, grow revenues? When telecoms can accomplish bullet-proof, heightened service assurance, they can then accomplish their revenue assurance goals. In turn, every churn-reducing strategy for a telecom service provider must always focus on uninterrupted service and building a connection and trust with the customer.
These are ETI’s Top 5 Ways for Telcos to Reduce Churn:
1. Be Aware: one of the top challenges of a telecom is being aware of what is going on in their organization, in real time, every day. Use software tools that provide your team with all the data they need to monitor their work to stay on schedule daily. For example, track your fiber network alarms via your OSS/BSS and GIS software. When there are network outages your NOC should know immediately so they can contact the nearest field crew and affected subscribers.
2. Be Proactive: Develop strategies that allow you to stay a step ahead of your customer needs. For example, monitor repeat trouble calls, repeat truck rolls and historical network alarm data. Repeat calls could reveal training deficiencies in your ranks that need addressing. Do customer care follow-ups to insure customer trouble tickets have been addressed with a positive result.
3. Don’t Drop the Ball: Missed appointments and schedule mishaps on the ground lead to dissatisfied customers. Track your workforce, field crews and work order loads throughout your entire footprint, and through each day. Know when service tickets and installs are complete or if your crews are running ahead of schedule or running into overtime.
4. Contact Your Customers Regularly: As a telecom provider, you own all the contact info of every customer in your footprint, so let them know that you care about that relationship. Use your data to develop campaigns around loyal customers, incentivize them to become your advocate with promotions and be sure to thank them by phone, email or direct mail.
5. Continually Improve Your Services and Processes: Customer demands evolve as technology progresses, so you should develop tighter, more efficient processes that save dollars. For example, better processes will reduce CAPEX on installations, thereby freeing up revenues to improve service offerings. Leverage your GIS systems to manage your deployed equipment, and have an aggressive “device reclamation” policy to reuse ONTs, STBs, DSL and other field equipment.