Customer Centricity

Research Report /

It’s difficult for communications service providers (CSPs) operating in highly penetrated and developed markets to acquire large numbers of new customers. This typically only happens through mergers and acquisitions. Instead, CSPs must focus on customer retention, but they are far from over-achievers in this pursuit.

Churn is a major issue. For this report, we analyzed 2017 data from 36 mobile CSPs across 24 countries, showing that churn rates ranged from 14% to 75% for all customer types and from 5% to 32% for post-paid customers.

A major driver of churn among contract customers is dissatisfaction, so CSPs need to deploy tactics across the entire customer lifecycle in order to improve customer experience and increase Net Promoter Score (NPS). There is a demonstrable link between NPS and churn, and our analysis suggests that raising the telecommunications average to meet the cross-industry NPS average, would deliver a 3% reduction in churn.

It won’t be easy

Improving customer service and NPS is difficult. Operators need to understand the entire lifecycle of the customer and the key journeys that define a customer’s opinion of their CSP. Because of cost constraints, CSPs must identify how to make the most impact, such as by focusing on first impressions and leveraging existing tools like the bill to engage proactively throughout the entire lifecycle.

In this report we look at trends in revenue, churn and the costs of customer acquisition and retention. We also identify the ways in which improved customer service and NPS can lead directly to a reduction in churn and higher revenue. Read it to understand:

  • What is happening to CSPs’ average revenue per user and
    churn rates
  • How the costs of customer acquisition and retention are changing
  • How CSPs’ NPS scores rank against other industries
  • How improving NPS scores can positively impact churn and revenue
  • The value of taking a lifecycle and journey-driven view of customer service rather than focusing only on touchpoints
  • How CSPs, such as Sprint and Cricket are improving customer experience by focusing on the first on-boarding phase
  • How the bill can be leveraged as a proactive tool to interact with customers beyond the onboarding phase


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About The Author

Senior Analyst

Catherine Haslam is an analyst with 20 years’ experience in providing insight, analysis, and consulting services to decision-makers within CSPs. Haslam joined TM Forum in October 2016 from Ovum where she specialized in third party enablement, international service evolution and wholesale strategy, and led successful strategy consulting projects on the impact of OTT on CSP revenues. As a freelance analyst and journalist, Haslam helped develop an entertainment-focused practice at analyst firm STL Partners and set up the Asia arm of the Light Reading news service. Prior to this she worked for the GSMA where she was responsible for setting the agenda for the Mobile World Congress, speech writing for and providing background research to the management team, and advising on technical initiatives. She also held senior editorial roles including Group Editor for Mobile Europe.

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