Is the Service Sweet or Fail ?

Do telcos still believe that irrespective of service quality, they will be able to get new customers and existing ones will not churn out?
Recently, a telco launched a “blazing fast” data card service. However the launch was truly noticed on twitter. It started with a seemingly innocuous but sarcastic message and turned into a torrent of comments from users of the service. The conversation stream is available here.
There are 3 points – Advertising, Service and Listening to Customers to consider:
1. Advertising – Think of these words from a popular song, “Words are all that I have, To take your heart away”. These words could well be true for smart copy and advertising and their role in the success of large brands. But it is not true any more. Smart words have to be backed with tangible service and a great experience.
2. Service – Why make a promise when it cannot be kept. A quick scan through the comments in the stream pointed to customers facing these problems:

  • Speed Issues – One cannot promise blazing fast speeds and then the top problem is also speed.
  • Billing Problems
  • Incomplete Documentation
  • Incomplete Information at the time of purchase

Service design and an emphasis on the complete experience have not been adequately factored in.
3. Listening to Customers – On the real time internet, there are two words that have come to define service, sweet and fail. There is no word called satisfied or some such measure. These two words can start an avalanche of conversations which must necessarily be addressed. There is no hiding from this and proactive and near realtime action is required from credible sources within the company.
Have you taken steps to listen to these conversations ?
Telcos, have placed bets on a certain point, that the demand from new customers will outweigh by a factor of 10 or more the customers who will churn out. In this scenario, less than adequate emphasis is paid on service and experience. With number portability soon to be launched and new providers innovating with their models, can incumbents continue to ignore service and experience aspects.
Finally, the song does have a line, Lets start a brand new story…

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