Customer Journey

3 Post-COVID Challenges Facing MNOs (and How to Overcome Them)

By Mark Sawyer 23 October 2020

The past 7 months have shown just how well teams can adapt to challenging circumstances and respond flexibly to changing customer needs. But, as we enter the next phase of COVID-19, it’s time to step out of crisis mode and look strategically at systems and processes – to ensure they’re supporting staff and working hard for your customers.

Here, we look at 3 challenges facing Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) right now – and how you can use technology to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Building customer loyalty in a competitive market

There’s so much competition out there, and it’s getting fiercer. Before coronavirus, 7% of the adult phone-owning population changed their network provider annually – that’s around 3.6 million customers. And with websites like Which? ranking providers across a range of categories, it’s easier than ever for customers to compare tariff options and find deals.

The coronavirus-induced recession means even more customers are likely to be reviewing mobile contracts with a view to saving. So it’s important to ensure customers feel strongly enough about your service to want to stay.

But how can you do that when agents are stretched to capacity and dealing with the inefficiencies of remote working?

Automation is a key part of the solution. Automating relevant communications – on the right channel, at the right moment – leads to a better customer experience. Look at how you can anticipate customer needs at crucial points in the journey, and then automate a relevant message. For example, certain data usage thresholds can trigger an SMS, WhatsApp, push notification or email like: “We see you’re using all your data regularly. Would you be interested in our current deal on 100GB?”.

These capabilities help pre-empt inbound queries (by allowing you to communicate proactively at scale) and help you manage remaining issues more efficiently (by freeing up staff from dealing with simple and common questions).

Challenge 2: Serving high enquiry volumes efficiently

Our latest whitepaper shows consumer demand for accurate, real-time information is at an all-time high. In the last few months, contact centres have been inundated as customers stay at home and turn to voice and digital channels for service.

With pressure on contact centre staff mounting, self-service has emerged as a key opportunity for MNOs looking to tackle high enquiry volumes. Consumers are getting used to it, too. Now that IVR and chatbot technology have evolved with artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing (NLP), self-service options are human-like, effective, support your brand and can be easily rolled out across channels.

Start by looking at your FAQ trends, such as “What should I do if I’ve got a network problem?” or “Where can I find details of your traffic management policy?” These are great candidates for chatbots, thereby speeding up resolution time for customers and freeing up agents to focus on solving more complex queries.

Challenge 3: Ensuring a seamless customer journey across channels

Customers need to feel they’re being cared for and listened to at every step of their journey – they don’t want to waste time explaining their background or the queries they’ve already raised on a different channel.

To deliver that seamless experience, you need to map, orchestrate and visualise customer journeys.

For example, did a new website FAQ section resolve an issue, or did a customer have to use a chatbot or speak to an agent? Was the new sign-up due to an email or an SMS?

Solutions like Engage Hub’s Customer Journey Tracker give you real-time insight into these processes, bringing together data from all offline and online channels. You can therefore see how customers are really interacting with your business, home in on bottlenecks and keep people on the most efficient path to achieving their goal.

Journey analytics also help you choose the appropriate message for each campaign, resulting in highly targeted and personalised communications that deliver unprecedented results.

Digital transformation is no longer a ‘nice to have’

When it comes to digital transformation, what was once a medium-term ambition has become urgent. MNOs are no exception, especially as consumer expectations for mobile experiences rise in the wake of COVID-19.

The good news is that streamlining processes and improving customer experience doesn’t have to be a complicated, lengthy or expensive process. Applying the right solutions in the right way can boost operational efficiency and revenue – delivering ROI, fast.

Learn more by reading our latest whitepaper: The ‘New Normal’ for Customer Experience: What Digital Transformation Looks like in a Post-Pandemic World.

Get your free copy here.

See other posts by Mark Sawyer

VP Sales

As VP of Strategic Solution Sales for Engage Hub, Mark Sawyer has over 12 years’ experience in delivering innovative customer engagement solutions for Mobile Network Operators and large enterprises. As a result, Engage Hub's platform has been used to engage with nearly 1 billion consumers, across 30 countries around the world.

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