Call Recording Featured Article
Efficiency of Customer Care Differentiates Telecommunications Providers: J.D. Power and Associates
Gaps in network performance issues are reducing among major telecom service providers. In the wake the narrowing gap, the efficiency of account teams and customer service representatives has emerged as a key differentiator in customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
The industry average for short- and long-duration outages has declined significantly. The average number of short-duration outages experienced by customers during the past six months has decreased by more than 22 percent, to 4.6 incidents in 2011 from 5.9 in 2010.
The average number of extended outages (greater than five minutes) has decreased more than 24 percent in the same period to 1.9 incidents in 2011, from 2.5 in 2010, according to J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Major Provider Business Telecommunications Study – Data Services.
As a result, performance-related issues are not among the top reasons customers would consider switching providers in 2011.
Efficiency of customer care makes the difference to customers. Greatest differences in satisfaction between customers who intend to switch and those who intend to stay with their current telecom service provider revolve around the responsiveness of account executives and customer service representatives.
“As annual improvements in network performance continue, empathy-related attributes, such as concern for customers' needs, have materialized as elements that can make or break a service provider,” said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.
Service providers pushed a percentage of their customer support to Web-based applications, and rightly so, as their customers have largely embraced this channel. However, when a customer's business is in peril due to a telecommunications problem, they want to connect with a service representative who understands the critical nature of their situation.
According to the J. D. Power study, electronic billing has a strong effect on overall carrier satisfaction. Among customers who rate their provider a 10 on a 10-point scale, 63 percent indicate they use online billing systems, while those who rate their provider a 4 or lower are 10 percent less likely to use electronic billing.
A recent TMC (News - Alert) report said emerging markets tend to be very attractive to service providers, because they have the potential for significant future growth. There’s also a lot of inherent risk, however, in launching services in unproven markets. This is one instance where a strategic partnership can alleviate some of the risk. That’s the approach Bharti Airtel took when deploying a new, first-of-its-kind business in India, offering managed broadband services.
Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco