25/08/2015

By Marcel Rduch, Head of Telco, Services and Utilities EMEA, Maxymiser

Telcos continue to wrestle with the challenge of two highly distinct visitors: existing and prospective customers — both of which have completely different needs and expectations when arriving on a website. Given the lack of loyalty in the market, the high levels of churn and the infrequency with which individuals engage with a Telco, it is clearly essential to present consumers with the most appropriate content to reflect current status, knowledge level and stage within the buying process.

Information Overload

On the plus side, a typical Telco website has the potential to offer many different products and services and can offer both new and returning customers a multitude of pages to explore. On the downside, this wide range of offers results in a high risk of presenting the wrong message to a user, judging by their individual needs. Showing existing customers a ‘new customer’ offer for example, might result in a lost opportunity of getting them to upgrade their package, potentially resulting in a huge negative impact across all existing clients.

Given the short window of opportunity available to Telcos, the risks associated with presenting the wrong information are too high — and unless an organisation is continually measuring the incremental value being achieved through optimisation, how can it be confident in its approach?

There are three main pillars of optimisation — customer acquisition, customer value and customer satisfaction. The first thing to determine is the type of customer visiting the web site. What is the point of the visit? Is the individual looking to buy — and, if so, what products? Is this a first visit and how far down the buying process has the customer progressed? Armed with that insight, a Telco has the chance to serve up the most relevant content across the different pillars of optimisation.

By making use of existing customer data, for example, a Telco can easily identify the level of potential for increasing the customer value. Customers with contracts due to expire within the next few months can be targeted with very specific offers encouraging them to renew early, such as a discount on a new smartphone. Additionally, if a Telco is armed with data on the latest geographical broadband speeds, the right place and time can be shown to a customer, along with an individual upgrade promotion with their highest available speed.

Alternatively, customers contacting support or searching for information clearly fall into the customer satisfaction pillar — ensuring a good experience during the contract lifetime is a key factor in renewal down the line. One Telco, for example, discovered through optimisation that users responded better to a simple, ‘was this helpful, yes or no’ question for help articles, than the option of a star rating. This approach not only significantly improved the number of submitted reviews but also made it far easier for the Telco to identify articles that needed to be improved, ensuring a better experience.

These three pillars also need to reflect the huge diversity in customer understanding. Whilst the growing tech savvy generation is well informed about the different broadband and mobile options, a large number of customers still need more information to understand the recent innovations — such as the ability to access content from different devices and the importance of bandwidth to ensure a smooth experience is achieved, regardless of the connection type used. Some customers are also very well informed before arriving on the website, having undertaken research on price comparison sites, for example, and will be at different stages within the buying process.

The ability to present information in a way that reflects the consumer’s specific knowledge level and readiness to buy is important in delivering the right message at the right time.

Conclusion

Consumers do not visit Telco sites very often — renewing broadband and mobile contracts is an annual or biennial process for most. It is therefore essential for both types of customers to be shown the most relevant content to ensure that they don’t stray to competitor websites or price comparison sites in an attempt to get a better price. It’s only by continuously optimising a website along the three pillars that a company can refine assumptions about who is visiting, what the right message will be and how it should be prompted. Once this is understood, Telco’s will be equipped to get much closer to delivering an experience that guarantees individual customer satisfaction.