Now THAT is Service: How the UK is Changing the Telecom Industry
Broadband, the 4th utility. Anyone who has shared the house with teenage children or worked from home for any period of time will know that high speed broadband has grown from a luxury to a basic human right in most people’s eyes over the last decade, with outages seemingly as disruptive to that of a power cut or lack of water supply.
Telecom Industry: A Need for Change
However, the companies that provide this service to us very frequently have a less than stellar reputation when it comes to customer service. An outage, after the first few Anglo-Saxon words have been exchanged and the router rebooted, would typically trigger a call to a tech support call centre, several minutes on hold and then, perhaps several days later, a visit from an Engineer to fix the problem while you stay at home waiting, with only a date and maybe a ‘morning’ or ‘afternoon’ to go by.
The major players in the UK have known their reputation for a while and have been working hard to improve it and so has the industry regulator Ofcom, took action with an innovative approach by insisting that providers automatically issue credits to customers who received poor service. At a time when the public is skeptical of public officials and government intervention, we say “hats off” to Ofcom for stepping up to do the right thing!
A UK Government Agency Leads a Positive Revolution
It started quietly enough, and few people paid much attention in the beginning, but when the word spread that Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulatory agency, would insist that telecom companies credit customer accounts for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations, it turned into a revolution in the industry.
Under the new Ofcom regulations, “broadband and landline customers will get money back from their providers when things go wrong, without having to claim it following an Ofcom review.”
As a direct result of the intervention, “BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet – who together serve around 90% of landline and broadband customers in the UK – have agreed to introduce automatic compensation, which will reflect the harm consumers suffer when things go wrong.”
Why Does This Precedent Matter to Other Service Providers?
- Today’s tech savvy customers demand good service or they will take their business elsewhere.
- Ofcom’s research shows that 90% of all adults report going online every day and 75% of Internet users state that the use of the Internet is important to their daily lives.
- For businesses, a fast and reliable broadband connection is vital to operate and compete effectively in today’s marketplace.
- Problems with broadband services can be very costly and frustrating for businesses, and many businesses feel that they shouldn’t have to fight for compensation on top of the problems (like stalled business!) caused by poor broadband services.
What Does this Mean for Other Service Providers?
- Will others adopt similar policies voluntarily or will comparable regulating agencies step in?
- Will consumers demand similar refunds for poor service in other areas?
- Will they build this into their costs and upset people further or will they “bite the bullet” and bear the cost on their own?
- Will it cause other industries to look for ways to improve their service delivery?
How Companies Like Glympse Can Help
Glympse is the industry leader in location-based customer experience solutions. Our platform solution helps telecom companies engage and interact with their customers throughout the entire customer journey – from booking the appointment all the way through the time the technician leaves your home or business.
Today’s tech savvy customers expect and demand transparency in their service providers. In today’s on-demand economy, convenience is the new currency. Consumers are mobile and untethered; services must be, too. You must serve customers on their schedule and keep them informed along the way. Click here for more on how Sky is doing this.
To help you compete, you can work with companies like Glympse to provide that level of service to their customers with the following benefits:
1. Providing timely information. With companies like Uber, Amazon FedEx, UPS and the U.S Postal Service, and now Charter, Rollins, TruGreen, Sky, Virgin Media leading the way, customers have come to expect real-time insight into when their delivery will occur or service delivery person will arrive at their location. Providing information about a delivery or service representative’s location and ETA to customers can transform their experience. Instead of waiting around all day, they’ll know exactly when to expect the delivery or service person to arrive. Customers are freed up to do what they want with the rest of their day.
2. Enabling customer involvement with two-way communication. Providing information is step one of the value proposition. Enabling two-way communication with the ability for customers to interact throughout the service experience is equally important. This two-way communication benefits your organization not just in the sense of giving customers the type of experience they want, but also in the data shared. A technician showing up to an appointment only to find the customer isn’t there is far less likely to happen if you provide them an easy way to let you know they will no longer be available.