The telecommunication industry is a highly competitive sector and since the year 2020 customer expectations have considerably increased when it comes to service, efficiency and overall customer experience. It has become imperative to upscale services and provides more than just the bare minimum to improve customer retention in the telecom industry. Loyalty programs are a great way to close the customer expectation and reality gap and improving customer experience and subsequently retention rate.
In this article, we’ll explore the common challenges the telecom industry faces and how loyalty programs can help address these challenges and more.
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Challenges The Telecom Industry Faces
- The Communication Gap Challenge – One of the major challenges of the telecom industry is the communication gap between the company/carrier and its customers. Unlike the retail industry, the telecom sector doesn’t have a routine dialog with its customers and neither do the customers expect it. However, conversing and engaging with customers can prove to be highly beneficial to the company. It can humanize the brand and help to build a real relationship between the brand and its customers.
- The Customer Satisfaction Challenge – The UK Satisfaction Index states that the telecom sector is ranked second in the worst-rated sector for customer service, which says a lot about the overall customer satisfaction level of the customers. The telecom industry must address this issue since this has a massive impact on purchase decisions. Imagine, if a new telecom company emerges overnight and provides great customer service and makes customer satisfaction a priority, it is very likely that the particular company will win over customers from other reputed brands that have been around for decades. This is the power of improved customer experience and the telecom industry must leverage this.
- The Loyalty Challenge – With the increased number of dissatisfied customers, obviously customer loyalty is a rare phenomenon in the telecom industry. Customers stick with a brand only because it’s convenient and immediately switch brands when they find a better option. The severe lack of loyalty impacts customer retention rate which has a direct impact on sales and revenue.
Why Do You Need Loyalty Programs in The Telecom Industry?
- Reduces Customer Churn – Annual churn rate in telecommunications companies averages between 10% and 67%. It is ranked as the third-highest. The European Business Review estimates that carriers lose $65 million per month from churn. Customer retention in the telecom industry is a major problem, many carriers face. A loyalty program can give customers a tangible motive to remain associated with a particular company. Combined with good service, loyalty and rewards can significantly improve customer retention rate.
- Gives a Competitive Edge – It is a well-known fact that the telecom industry is highly competitive. Brands go out of the way to beat the competition and improve retention rates. Loyalty programs can give a solid competitive edge to any brand. A smart and dynamic program will improve customer engagement, satisfaction level, customer experience and boost loyalty among customers.
- Improves Employee Satisfaction – Loyalty programs can also be utilized to improve employee loyalty and satisfaction. For example, loyalty programs for telecom operators can help to improve performance and subsequently improve customer experience. Keeping your employees satisfied can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty programs are a great way to achieve it.
- Improves Customer Engagement – Engaging with your customers is crucial, especially when you want to build a strong customer-brand relationship and foster customer loyalty. A loyalty program can help you engage with your customers, encourage communication and help to build a healthy rapport which eventually can bloom into strong brand loyalty.
- Helps with Acquisition – Seasoned players know that customer acquisition in the telecom industry is getting tougher. With the extensive competition, you need to ace up your game in order to make the most of the increased customer attrition rate in the industry. Telecom customer loyalty is not strong, it is easy to acquire customers and with a little push from referrals, you can easily accomplish this feat. Incentivizing referrals can bring in new customers easily and also help to improve the retention rate.
Loyalty Program Strategies You Could Benefit From
- Surprise and Delight – Telecom customers are not accustomed to random rewards or gifts. Though this is a tried and tested loyalty strategy, it is seldom used in the telecom industry. Surprise your customers with rewards, gifts, incentives on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It is bound to improve customer satisfaction rates and help you win over new customers as well.
- Referrals – Referrals are a great way to keep existing customers engaged and bring in new customers. When customers are incentivized or rewarded to refer your brand, they are bound to positively influence others within their circle. It will also help with customer acquisition in the telecom industry.
- Gamification – The retail industry is actively using gamification strategies to keep their customers engaged with their loyalty programs. Gamification is the integration of gaming elements in a loyalty program. Just like a game, you design your program with levels, assign badges and even have an online scoreboard. Depending on your marketing requirements, you can use the gamification element for various purposes, be it improving customer retention in the telecom industry, boosting telecom customer loyalty To leverage the benefits of gamification loyalty, connect with Annex Cloud.
- Personalization – Many carriers offer personalization; however, it is not a common practice. Also, personalization must not be limited to service but to loyalty programs as well. Just like you would recommend a customer that often makes international calls, to take up an offer on international calling, similarly, you can personalize their loyalty program or reward customers that answer to your CTA.
How Can Annex Cloud Help to Improve Customer Acquisition and Retention in the Telecom Industry
Achieving the highest possible scores in 15 criteria in the new Forrester wave, Annex Cloud’s experience and expertise in loyalty are unparalleled. Annex Cloud understands the working of the telecom industry and designs well-curated loyalty strategies that will help you achieve your business and marketing goals. For a quick consultation, click here.