Four ways CSP’s can improve customer service

Poor customer service has real consequences – though they might surprise you.

Temkin Group researchWhat Customers Do After a Good or Bad Experience reveals that across 20 industries, 10% of customers have had a very bad experience during the six months prior to being surveyed. While 37% of those customers decreased spending afterwards (no surprise), 13% actually increased spending.

Wait, what?

Sometimes we’re left with no better option but to spend more money to correct the lingering effects of a poor customer experience. Just last week I forked over extra $$$ on a rush fee for some official paperwork I needed on deadline, something that wouldn’t even be an issue if the agency in question made a few simple adjustments to their inflexible policies.

Other times, the value of what we’re buying still outweighs the inconvenience of bad service – so we choose to keep doing business with that brand. This phenomenon is familiar among customers in the cable and pay TV industry. Broken down by industry, Temkin Group research revealed 20% of TV service customers had a bad experience; 33% of those surveyed decreased spending afterward and 8% increased spending. The only industries where spending decreased less after a very bad experience were health care, wireless and utilities. Not a lot of choice.

But “limited options” is losing strength as a competitive strategy. With OTT providers and other emerging niche players, choices for video entertainment are expanding rapidly. The safety net protecting against cord cutting is getting weaker.

Nearly nine thousand attendees at the SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo® 2017 converged on Denver to hear the the industry’s leading executives speak about the mindset and tools required to compete in this new landscape. And while programming, technology and leadership were all hot topics, the theme of customer experience seeped into everything.

Owning customer experience (CX) in cable is about more than a fast, friendly call center. It’s about looking across the business, reorienting with CX the value driver behind key initiatives. Here are four different strategies we heard from the industry’s most respected leaders.

1. “Own” the end-to-end offering – beginning with the network. Delivering a superior product counts, especially among discerning tech-savvy customers. Whether it’s investment for a stronger or more diversified network, looking to adjacent industries for inspiration or bundling new services (like wireless or OTT services) with existing TV and Internet offerings, a robust high-performance product (e.g. fast, reliable and service all my communications and entertainment needs) is one way to win. It’s easier to win when you control the cost and care that go into producing those offerings. In other words, delivering excellent customer experience is often about preventing the need for troubleshooting or service in the first place.

2. Innovation. Others advocated that focusing on innovation that morphs the typical notion of a customer experience is the way forward. For example, we heard about the predicted role of cutting edge AI and machine learning technology to help transform the identity of CSPs.

3. Expansion. With some providers venturing into non-traditional services like smart home connectivity, there’s a renewed opportunity to rethink customer care. New business models offer a testing ground for improvement, and chance to build a business case that can help the rest of the organization change course.

4. New service outcomes. More broadly than discussions at SCTE, self-service has been a growing trend among all brands in the customer service business. That’s because customers are looking for ways to reduce friction. Just days ago, the New York Times explained What To Do When the Cable Goes Out in their Personal Tech section. CSPs are looking at their customers’ complete journey, start to finish, with the goal of reducing friction and wasted time however they can. Just this small shift in perspective can drive big results in the traditional KPIs everyone’s aiming for – NPS, CSAT, etc.

Want to learn how to reduced friction and improve satisfaction during field service specifically? Get the latest operational best practices paper from Glympse, written for publication by SCTE•ISBE and the NCTA.*

*Reprinted with permission of SCTE•ISBE and the NCTA, from Cable-Tec Expo ® 2017.