The first-ever CEM in Telecoms UK summit made an impressive debut last week! It was tipped to be an event that would showcase ‘advanced CEM strategies’ and it certainly lived up to its reputation. Many delegates were struck by the maturity of thinking around key topics such as:
- Social media – no longer something operators are afraid of but they are proactively embracing it to engage with customers!
- Employee experience – operators are agreeing on the extent to which a good employee experience can positively impact the customer experience
- ROI – operators are succeeding in linking CEM with hard financial metric s but there is still work to do around linking NPS with churn rates
Delegates also applauded the attention to detail that many of the case studies demonstrated. CEM is certainly shifting from being a ‘fluffy’ or ‘intangible’ topic to one that is focused on outcomes and measurable improvements that contribute to business goals.
However, the event wasn’t just about finding solutions to shared problems, it also provided an opportunity to raise questions and challenge traditional thinking. Some thought-provoking questions included:
- Multi-channel consistency – what do we really mean by consistency and is it always appropriate? For example, are some channels better than others at delivering certain information?
- Exceeding customer expectations – do we really want to strive for this or is it dangerous to do so? Will your customers ever be truly satisfied with your efforts or will they demand more?
- Social media – is it better to do something or nothing when a complaint is made? Should you wait for it to blow over or even for a customer to intervene, giving you more credibility?
One topic guaranteed to generate controversy is NPS and this event was no different! While opinions seemed to vary dramatically, there was a general agreement that NPS is valuable as a ‘weather vane’ of customer satisfaction but needs to be supported by the voice of the customer to give granular detail as to why your customers feel the way they do.
This was illustrated in the example of ‘positive detractors’ – a phrase coined by Andy Bennett, Customer Experience Manager at Vodafone. He explained that customers would provide a score of 6 yet would claim to be very happy with their experience!
NPS is therefore a valuable tool but needs to be put in context in order to truly understand the customer experience. Markus Hohl from O2 suggested that we need to ask customers better, more specific questions, for example: ‘how far from ideal is O2?’
One final takeaway that delegates seemed to be reassured by was the agreement that the customer experience is a long-term journey. A ‘quick wins’ approach will not work when real culture change is needed and this can take years, but when done properly it can bring lasting benefits to both your customers and your company.
We are currently uploading more information on the CEM UK website.Come and visit us soon!
If you are interested in these topics, we would like to suggest you two conferences this year:
Customer Experience Management In Telecoms: Eastern European Summit: 24-27 September 2012, Prague, CZ. View the Full Programme.