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Telecoms, connect to knowledge when the customer calls

Like other utility providers, telecoms face the challenge of a splintering marketplace. Few people in our connected society can do without the services they provide. Yet companies that once enjoyed dominant positions in their country or region must increasingly compete with smaller, newer companies for customers. Customers can switch provider as easily as filling in a form online. Just supplying connectivity is no longer enough; telecoms need to differentiate themselves on the quality and innovation of their service.

To retain market share, telecoms must provide the joined-up experience customers expect in an omnichannel world. One key factor in customer experience is knowledge. Telecoms must provide accurate, up-to-date knowledge about services, policies and troubleshooting at any point the customer makes contact.

Customers having problems with their mobile phone, landline or Internet service are already limited in their contact options. They don’t want to be moved between channels, asked to repeat information after waiting on hold for half an hour, or (worse) advised to make contact through the precise channel that’s broken. They want a representative quickly to grasp their problem and provide a solution.

Telecoms that serve knowledge effortlessly and accurately at the point of need retain customers more easily than companies that do not. Furthermore, they become an advert for the quality of their own service: providing joined-up communications.

Knowledge as infrastructure

Infrastructure is telecoms’ lifeblood. Whether you maintain your own or use infrastructure already in place, everything depends on wires, conduits and connections. Delivering knowledge effectively across your enterprise is no different, although the infrastructure in this case is virtual rather than physical.

To provide the best customer experience, knowledge should run throughout your enterprise like phone cables through a town. Knowledge is a utility that supports your other activities. A cloud-hosted, centralized knowledgebase such as Transversal’s Prescience™ supports all customer and agent touchpoints from a single installation. You can plug in to your knowledge wherever it is needed. The same repository of curated information can support customer-facing websites, field engineers, agent desktops, CRM, live chat and any other applicable touchpoints.

It’s good to talk

Utility Warehouse, a growing phone, Internet and energy supplier, has a simple goal for its customer service. The company aims to give quality experiences by treating each customer as they would treat a member of the family. Knowledge is crucial to meeting this goal. To give customers accurate information about its diverse portfolio, the company needs to brief not only 600 contact centre agents but over 40,000 external sales partners.

Utility Warehouse implemented the Prescience™ knowledge solution to replace its legacy KM system, which was hard to maintain and couldn’t keep pace with the growth of the company. From a central repository, the solution serves knowledge to three key touchpoints: customer self-service, agents’ desktops, and a dedicated portal for external sales partners.

A key benefit of deploying Prescience™ was improving the quality of customer interactions. Agents didn’t just know more about phones; they were more effective on the phone. Because the customer self-service knowledgebase deflected many routine enquiries – 4000 per day – the kind of calls that reached agents were likely to be complex ones requiring personal attention. And by implementing equally effective knowledge delivery in the contact centre, Utility Warehouse empowered agents to handle those calls with grace and skill.

The change was reflected in talk time. After Utility Warehouse implemented Prescience™, average handle time (AHT) decreased by 60 seconds overall. However, the time agents spent talking to the customer actually increased. This was because agents, with quicker and easier access to knowledge, spend less time putting customers on hold and less time wrapping up a call. Thus agents were able to spend less time on each call, but the time spent per call was more productive.

Not surprisingly, this quality talk time was reflected in increased customer satisfaction scores.

Utility Warehouse’s internal measures of call quality rose by 30 points. Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased by 10 points. A representative of the company described the results as a “quantum leap” in customer service.

A material benefit of having better conversations is increased opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling. Since agents are equipped with more knowledge, and have more time to dig deep with individual customers, they are well placed to sell additional products and services. Another Transversal client found the value of their contact centre sales rose by £2 million per month after implementing Prescience™.

Everyone connected

Telecoms are huge enterprises, with potentially millions of customers and large-scale contact centre operations. While delivering knowledge on such a scale might seem daunting, a cloud-based knowledge solution like Prescience™ makes it simple. Prescience™ enables you to curate knowledge in one place and publish it anywhere, regardless of the number of touchpoints you maintain, the number of your customers or the number of your agents.

Prescience™ also works alongside other business systems, making it an ideal solution for large, established companies that have legacy infrastructure. Rather than having to rip out other systems to transform your knowledge, you can plumb the platform-agnostic Prescience knowledgebase directly into those systems.

This makes for lower total cost of ownership, supports phased roll-outs, and preserves your knowledge through future changes to your technology stack. It’s a solution well adapted to companies in a rapidly developing industry.

In a business where customer retention is fluid, and where it can be hard to differentiate on product, providing a quality customer experience through knowledge can help you stand out from the competition. The company that delivers the right piece of knowledge, at the right time, straight to the customer’s phone, lays the ground for boosted CSAT and consumer advocacy.  

Contact Transversal’s experienced consultants for more information or to request a demo.

telco infographic