CX Leaders Discuss the Opportunities Within Disruptive Technology, NPS and Omni-Channel

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Highlights from the Customer Experience Exchange for Telecoms 2015.

The Customer Experience Exchange for Telecoms took place in London this week. The invitation-only forum gave senior CX leaders the opportunity to engage with thought-leaders and gain insights into a variety of topics, from big data and NPS to disruptive technology and omni-channel.

We were present on the first day of the Exchange and had the opportunity to listen to some insightful sessions from the likes of Vodafone, Orange, UPC Nederland, EE, TalkTalk and Telefonica.

NPS is "widely used, and widely misused"

NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a widely used tool within marketing and CX to measure customer relationships, but how useful is it really? And how do some of the biggest companies in telecoms use it?

Jan Kringles, Head of Global NPS at Vodafone, led the panel discussion titled 'Turning Insight Into Action: Maximising Results From Your NPS to Enhance the Customer'. He was joined by Max Von Trotha, Director of Customer Experience, Business Excellence & Investment Management at EE; Sian O'Shea, Head of Customer relations at TalkTalk; and Jermome Dumond, Head of Strategy for Entertainment and Digital Services at Orange.

Kringles started off the discussion by explaining that Vodafone is in their 6th year of using NPS, which he calls a "silo metric". He explained that "the NPS programme I'm looking after is only one side of the coin, the key thing it is a touch point measurement" – for which he uses other tools.

Dumond added that in Orange they have a lot of discussions about NPS. Though they have recently chosen it as their main KPI, they aren't sure whether it's right for B2B customers as they have a "specific relationship" with their customers and there isn't one segment they focus on.

"NPS is a useful metric," O'Shea said. "It's widely used but also widely misused."

She explained: "Lots of companies favour NPS as it's simple to measure. Where it's misused, or not used in sufficient detail, is by not going back and looking at trends to understand why customers in certain areas give negative feedback. There is a lack of follow up. One of the challenges is root-cause insight."

And what did this panel have to say about customer experience in telecoms?

Kringles said that he is "quite skeptical" about CX in the telecoms industry. "Because we as an industry have a pretty poor track record."

He feels that telecoms has a worse customer experience than other sectors because, he said, "it was quite easy to do business 10/15 years ago as it was based heavily on acquisition. The ball game has changed and we're fairly slow because it requires a cultural change. We are running organisation historically not focused on CX."

Interaction through omni-channel

Mirit Ashkenazi is the Product Marketing Director, Revenue & Customer Management – Product Business Group at Amdocs, and she held a presentation around 'Make Every Interaction Count – Creating the Omni-Channel Experience'.

SEE ALSO: The Business Value of Integrating the Contact Centre Within Your Omni-Channel Strategy

First of all, what is omni-channel exactly?

"We as service providers have to enable customers a freedom of choice," she said. "Nevertheless we need to make sure that they still get the exact same information and that is consistent as they hop from one channel to another."

It sounds straight-forward, yet she highlighted research that showed that this wasn't the case for many companies yet. In fact, a majority of 75 per cent of consumers questioned said that they didn't trust service providers as the information they received was inconsistent, and 35 per cent had to use multiple channels simply to complete a single transaction.

Are you giving your customers a seamless experience? Ashkenazi reiterated that customers want the choice of how they engage with you (this could be via tablet, pc, mobile, retail, call centre and social media, for example). They also want to be able to do their interactions fast, with a single click, and no matter what device they use they should always see the same thing.

As market disruptors such as Google and Facebook already provide a seamless experience, Ashkenazi warned that consumers start to demand them from telecoms companies too.

CX is "impossible in 140 characters"

The session 'Revolutionising Your Customer Experience by Leveraging Disruptive Technology; Smart, Digital & Social' was chaired by sponsor Conversocial and speakers included Vincente De Los Rios Medina, Global Digital Channels Director at Telefonica; Maarten Stramrood, Director of Segment & Online Marketing at UPC Nederland; and Halimah Abdullah, Director of Customer Services at Lebara.

De Los Rios Medina said that every day it becomes harder to stay relevant in the market and shared this great video with Emma Stone in Birdman, which highlights the importance of relevancy.

Stramrood added that using disruptive technology requires "a cultural transformation within the entire company". And it's not just about the technology aspect either, as he explained that "doing things differently in your industry is also being disruptive. Disruptive is a mindset".

The conversation quickly turned to social media as an example of a disruptive innovation. For all the talk about social communications, how important is it truly within CX?

De Los Rios Medina said that "you have to do it [social media], but it makes no sense. It's a little bit stupid to interact with someone in 140 characters. If it's something important, it's impossible to do it with 140 characters."

However, Abdullah highlighted that there is an opportunity within social media. "It's about engagement," she said. "People will rant in there if they don't have accessibility to the help they want."

SEE ALSO: Getting Social Media Right: How to Hashtag Your Brand

Stramrood concluded that with the changing communication landscape for customer experience "privacy is going to be the major challenge for a lot of telcos in the next few years".

Customer Experience For Telecoms Logo.png Do you want to know more about the annual Customer Experience Exchange for Telecoms? Visit the website for the invitation-only forum for all the details.