Customer expectations are constantly changing and many companies are struggling to keep pace with the evolving needs of consumers. Although some industries do better than others at delivering great customer experiences, in general, there’s room for improvement across the board.

Customer experience (CX) affects all industries, however, energy and telco companies are in a unique situation as they interact with their customers on a daily basis, which puts additional pressure on them to achieve customer experience goals. A recent Accenture Research Report adds to this by saying, … an experience renaissance is afoot ˗ one that is galvanising companies to push beyond the CX philosophy and organise the whole business around the delivery of exceptional experiences. With an increasing number of organisations developing innovative solutions to exceed customer expectations, energy and telco companies need to step up their game and foster customer-centricity across the entire organisation.

 

Poor Customer Experiences: Triggers and Outcomes 

What constitutes a customer experience, whether good, bad, or mediocre? Whilst there’s not a single answer, the one thing that you can be certain of is that customers now have higher expectations than ever before.

When it comes to customer expectations and experiences, statistics are plentiful. To help bring to light the pivotal role customer experience has on your business, we’ve gathered key statistics to help illustrate expectations from the viewpoint of consumers.

The results of delivering poor customer experiences can’t be underestimated. Not only can it result in churn and diminished profitability, but regulatory fines are a real possibility, as well as the potential to harm your brand.

Now that we have a better understanding of the potential outcomes when customers are provided a poor experience, let’s take a deep dive into some of the causes. A recent study conducted by PagerDuty and Dimensional Research determined the following as the 7 key barriers to providing a great customer experience.

 

  1. Increasingly complex IT environments – 64%
  2. Increasing customer expectations around convenience and performance – 44%
  3. Hiring and retaining talent with the right skills – 40%
  4. Difficulty prioritising issues – 35%
  5. Inability to innovate quickly – 33%
  6. Siloes and bottlenecks between internal teams – 26%
  7. Increasing competitive pressures – 25%

 

In addition to the above, many energy and telco organisations are grappling with disconnected systems, complicated internal processes, cumbersome compliance processes, and an inability to keep the customer at the centre of the journey. With a number of potential issues hindering your ability to deliver exceptional customer service, you may wonder what the experience looks like through the eyes of your customers.

Let’s imagine for a minute that you are grappling with disconnected systems, complicated processes, and technology and tools that don’t provide the information field reps require when they need it. While this is day-to-day life for you and your business, your customers see something else. It’s important to remember that customers don’t have a looking glass to the inner workings of your organisation ˗ they only see the aftermath of this situation which may include:

  • Repeatedly being asked for data and content that you already possess.
  • An endless stream of transfers where they need to repeat information previously provided.
  • Processes that are confusing and overwhelming, resulting in stopping the transaction.
  • Apologies from field service reps and customer service reps for the way they have to handle the transaction.
  • The inability of your salespeople to effectively provide customer guidance.

When bad experiences happen, how does your organisation handle customer complaints? If you’re like 44% of UK businesses, you’re still relying on manual processes such as spreadsheets that don’t provide the swiftness needed to react promptly. With more than half of the people around the globe believing that companies need to take action on feedback provided by customers, it’s time for energy and telco providers to transform the experiences they are providing to customers.

 

Transforming the Customer Experience

When consumers were asked what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service is ranked number one. And around the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.

What does it take to deliver the exceptional experiences customers demand? Customers don’t want the hassle of trying to figure out what needs to be done and how. Nor do they want or have the time to go through disparate processes and workflows. Customers want interactions that are easy to understand, easy to use and instructions that are simple to follow. Giving customers the experiences they crave requires automation, seamless integration, natural workflows, and data that is richly populated.

To begin the process of turning unexceptional customer service into exceptional customer experiences, there are some steps that you can take immediately. Based on our extensive experience, we recommend that you:

  • Implement customer journey mapping into your customer service processes. The mapping should include each point where your potential customer interacts with your business, e.g. signing up, address changes, billing, complaints, service, etc. Once the mapping is complete, be sure to review it for interaction flows, expected customer experiences, and how the customer will be able to engage in two-way communication with your business.
  • Populate rich data into processes for customer or prospect engagements, such as information provided to the field or telesales rep that pertains to the interaction and display known information on the application form.
  • Develop intuitive and natural workflows.
  • Make initial field sales rep training and ongoing courses a mandatory requirement and easy to digest and apply to the work they are doing

Providing exceptional customer experiences isn’t a one-and-done initiative, it’s a journey that you’ll continually revisit as customer expectations continue to develop. One thing is certain, providing customers with traditional experiences is no longer enough.

When it comes to your ability to compete, the customer experience is increasingly becoming a differentiating factor. According to Gartner89% of businesses expect to compete mainly on customer experience and organisations that take customer experience seriously will stand out from the noise and win loyal customers.

 

Improving the Customer Experience Starts with a Single Step

As the Chinese proverb so articulately states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” the journey to delivering exceptional customer experiences also begins with a single step.

As the leading provider of sales technology for energy and telco providers, we have an intimate understanding of what it takes to move the customer experience needle in these industries. Whether that’s getting started with a minimum viable product (MVP) in order to plug the most critical sales gaps or longer-term plans to create an end-to-end exceptional customer experience strategy, with us helping them every step of the way.

Our ability to put you on the path to delivering exceptional customer experiences doesn’t end there. Are you saddled with legacy systems that are resulting in disconnected systems, processes, and people? Replacing these systems can be cost-prohibitive. With PSI, you don’t need to. We’re able to push and pull data from multiple systems ˗ both old and new ˗ which provides you with the automation and workflows you need to improve the customer experience.

 

What are your customer experience goals? Regardless of where you are on your journey, we’re here to help. Contact us today to book a 30-minute strategy session to learn how we can help bridge your customer experience gaps.