Beyond the First 30 Days: Successful Carrier Customer Relationship Management
Last time, I outlined carrier CRM tactics that make the difference for the first 30 days. I made the point that using apps advances the subscriber lifecycle and makes all the difference. Strategies like welcoming new customers during the first week; learning more about their needs, likes and dislikes; helping subscribers customize and personalize their phones; etc. After that, providing proactive, ongoing support with CRM apps offering directory assistance, data backup and GPS support. Finally, optimizing the experience through tailored offerings based on subscriber feedback obtained through surveys and consumer research. Wow, that’s all in the first 30 days.
But moving beyond the first 30 days, how do you maintain and deepen the relationship?
Education Strategies for Decreasing Cost per Customer
First and foremost, maintaining the relationship is about periodic education. Educating the subscriber about the self-serve options available to them is crucial. This benefits the consumer because they are empowered with knowledge. It benefits the carrier because it reduces incoming calls to the call center.
U.S. tier 1 carriers have as many as 70,000 people that answer incoming customer phone calls. If a carrier can deflect even one percent of those calls, that will result in significant savings.
Typically subscribers call customer service more frequently at the start of the carrier/subscriber relationship. The calls range from questions relating to how to use a new device to inquiries about their bill. The most successful carriers proactively answer these questions early in the lifecycle and empower subscribers to help themselves. Once the immediate questions and concerns are answered the subscribers are left wanting a self-serve, customer education portal. Keeping this portal on the device and pushing reminder notifications are the simplest, most effective ways to keep the subscribers aware and informed, in turn lowering the cost per customer.
Using Surveys to Reduce Churn
Carriers should survey the subscriber on an ongoing and proactive basis. Directly surveying them to get satisfaction levels about their service. This allows carriers to appropriately follow-up, if necessary, and retarget subscribers that are happy or unhappy accordingly.
It’s also important to survey subscribers regularly to determine how they are using the network, and devices; what software is helpful; what features and functions are useless. Typically, we would recommend doing this every month to maintain a dialogue, but not annoy the subscriber.
Additionally, retargeting the customer prior to contract expiration about their current use patterns allows effective promotions for new phones and service plans that create more satisfied customers and greatly reduces churn.
Special or exclusive offers delivered periodically to the subscriber via the mobile phone home screen also effectively reduces churn. Carriers should use their corporate partnerships to offer perks for their subscribers, such as a VIP tickets to an international recording artist’s world tour.
Periodically Discovering the Subscriber’s Interests: Increasing ARPU
The use of Apps for CRM allows the carrier to successfully connect with the subscriber while providing engaging content and compelling action. For instance, if a subscriber has a 700 minute plan, but uses 1100 minutes consistently, the carrier can proactively send a message to let them know that they can change their plan to save money and the same is true with data plan overages.
One tier 1 carrier did a great job increasing ARPU by promoting their music service to feature phone and Android subscribers. They did this by delivering a highly functional ad unit to the home screen that allowed for service upgrade directly from the ad. This creative delivery yielded a 13.9 percent banner CTR and a 2.5 percent adoption rate.
Every interaction a carrier has with its subscriber counts. These things add up to a very happy, loyal subscriber. If there are issues along the way, even minor ones, this can greatly affect the subscriber’s happiness, loyalty and likelihood to remain with that carrier. There is no magic bullet, but at the end of the day, effective, proactive and consistent communication is what will maintain and grow the carrier subscriber relationship.
Jon Jackson is Founder and CEO of Mobile Posse.