John Mitchell is VP Carrier and Retailer Solutions at Brightstar. With over 16 years of experience in the wireless industry, John specializes in creating value for operators and retailers with transformational programmes that drive supply chain efficiencies and customer experience.

Today, more than ever operators are rightfully obsessing about their customer satisfaction scores. It’s never been easier for customers to vote with their feet and switch networks and the inherent link between customer experience and revenue growth is something carriers are only too familiar with. Rightly, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is considered to be an essential barometer of performance across the wireless industry.

However, a recent report by the UK’s Institute of customer service suggests there is still plenty of work to do. Whilst customer satisfaction scores across telecom operators have shown a trend of improvement in recent years, amazingly, telecoms is the lowest ranked sector in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index. That’s below much maligned sectors like utilities, transport and public services.

Whilst these findings point to overall customer satisfaction it also prompts operators and retailers to take an end-to-end look at customer experience and align with modern consumer behavior. Whilst operators focus on driving differentiation and innovation in their propositions, the approach to sales by channel has arguably barely changed. We believe it’s time for operators to take a fresh look at their approach and re-think how they put the customer at the centre.

Channel Hopping

Access to the internet has become universal, with smartphone penetration across mature markets to all intents and purposes 100 percent meaning that both information and shopping behaviours have changed. Traditional rules no longer apply. Customers are researching and evaluating their purchase online before they step into a store, and in many cases continue to do so within the retail estate. Customers expect to be able to switch channel multiple times before eventually completing a transaction. Whether that’s a case of starting the journey online or in-store, the ability to ‘edit the basket’, and complete via a channel of their choice is something customers are coming to expect.

Traditionally channels have been distinctively segmented and the customer experience between them has been very different. Consistency is key and the ability to traverse channels requires consideration of the customer experience in every detail, from product availability to pricing and promotion being ubiquitous across channels with one version of the truth.

Make it personal

Customers use their devices in different ways and the ability to customise the basket extends far beyond bundled data and call minutes. Intelligent recommendation engines can be deployed across channels allowing customers to build unique packages based on their lifestyle and needs. From the choice of contract and device through to selection of accessories, enhancements, insurance and financing. The choice seamless between online and retail with the customer experiencing a truly personalized experience enhancing satisfaction and confidence in their choice.

Best of both worlds

The availability and range of products available in store is often a source of customer frustration. Whether it’s a lack of stock of a smartphone in a preferred color and memory size or a lack of depth in the accessory range, availability can easily become a show stopper and lost sale opportunity. A true omnichannel experience breaks down these barriers, allowing deals to be closed in store and delivered to home. Balancing the trade-off between limited planogram space for accessories and a full or extended range also becomes an opportunity. Products can be showcased in store and delivered to home or office helping recover opportunities that would otherwise be lost to other retailers or online stores.

The power of data

Creating a true omnichannel experience may seem daunting and costly but Brightstar has the ability to bring this experience together it one solution. Not only will this drive revenue and customer experience it enhances visibility and efficiency across the entire supply chain. Seamlessly plugging into Brightstar’s ecosystem of products from Buy Back services to dynamic optimization of supply chain creates a powerful and compelling customer journey.

Best of all, Brightstar ensures that our partners learn from every interaction, using this mass of transactional data to draw powerful insights, from demand shaping through to refined product recommendations empowering operators and retail staff with unique customer insights. Brightstar’s approach puts the customer at the centre and as trends and behaviours change and develop so does the ability to quickly respond and make ongoing customer experience improvements

Interested in finding out more about Brightstar and our Omnichannel services? Contact us.