posted by Chris Dragoon
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. While this saying has some serious clout in the love and friendship world, it’s true for the relationship between you and your customers too. Your customers are here to shop for the products and experiences they love and one of the easiest ways to disappoint them is through constant, irrelevant messaging or through making them all too familiar with your customer service call center.
This is especially true for telcos—your customers are satisfied with the services you provide, but they don’t want to be in constant contact. Wireless and cable providers are brands where customers want to pay for the service and then they won’t think about it until something stops working. If your customers are being bombarded by messaging or have to consistently be on hold with your customer help line, brand favorability will certainly take a hit.
One of the best ways to establish brand loyalty and positive customer experiences is to be more hands off. Don’t suffocate them with messages all the time, get them off your customer service line, do less so they can do more.
Personalization Based on Their Interests
The first step to crafting a self-created best customer experience is through the type and frequency of your messaging. Upon install, an easy way for customers to have a heavy hand in how they interact with your brand is to ask what they want or intend to do with your app. For telcos, it could be selecting options of the type of content they’re interested in: Do they want to see notifications about their data usage, account management, bill due dates? Maybe they are interested in your partner promotions.
For example, AT&T currently runs a promotion with DirecTV and their NFL Sunday Ticket program. AT&T could survey their users on their interests upon app install. If they select partner deals or sports among their interests, AT&T could use that info to better promote that promotion to the right audience.
Brands can even take personalized messaging one step further and base it on previous customer activity within their app. This will help create a customer experience catered to the products and services they are interested in. Another way that brands like AT&T can start to personalize their customer interactions is by looking at usage data. For instance, AT&T can segment customers using a significant amount of their data streaming football games and promote the NFL Sunday Ticket promotion.
How they interact with your brand will influence future engagements through the lens of their customers interests and behaviors. The more you pay attention to the data, your brand will be able to aid them in creating their own best experiences.
Auto Pay—Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Another simple way for users to create their own best experience is to let them handle account management within your app. For telcos especially, account management is going to be the primary use case for your app for many of your customers.
Having account management capabilities in a clear and simple format will increase your favorability with your app and your brand. But going one step further will be to create auto payment capabilities.
Many of the largest brands have this function and it’s a good way to side pass your customers’ least favorite part of their relationship with you—paying.
But by having functionality in your app to have auto payment set up, customers can set it so that it’s out of sight, out of mind. And if it’s one less thing to think about, something more fun can replace that brain space.
Send Me Your Location
Geolocation has been all the rage lately with the new iOS 13 release changing how brands are able to leverage location data. It’s now more important than ever to really communicate to your customer the value you’ll provide if they agree to give you their data.
When customers provide you their location data, telcos can use this to promote deals in their area. Take T-Mobile’s Tuesday promotion as an example—customers get a free taco from Taco Bell every Tuesday, among other promotions. T-Mobile could send a location based to their customers on Tuesdays when they are near a Taco Bell location.
Using geolocation can really benefit both your brand and the customer. Your brand will see higher engagement with the partnerships you’ve developed, making them more valuable.
One of the best ways to empower your customers is to create a customer service center within your app. The first step is the simplest—offer support in a FAQ or information page. Plenty of your customers have the same question so making this info accessible is the first and easiest step to creating a self-help experience. But that’s the easy part.
What will separate your brand from the rest is an in-app customer service messenger. According to a 2019 Financial Services Consumer Report from social media monitoring company Crimson Hexagon, an in-app messenger was by far the most discussed app feature within the banking industry, making up 49.5% of online conversation of the 7 most popular banking app features.
Customers don’t want to spend hours on hold with customer service lines and adding another means to get in touch at a faster pace in a convenient manner will improve their experience with your brand.
And better yet, an in-app messenger will free up call center traffic. So for the customers who still choose to get in contact via phone call will have less wait times while your brand could save on call center staffing. Lower costs, happier customers, everybody wins!
In the end, creating your brand’s greatest version of the customer experience is to remember the age-old adage of doing more by doing less. Remember—distance makes the heart grow fonder. If you are constantly bombarded with irrelevant texts and emails and push notifications, if you’re on the phone with customer service every other week, the honeymoon phase may end sooner rather than later. Give the customers what they want, the services they love with the type and amount of communication they desire.
Customer experience is the final frontier of differentiation. And by empowering your customers with a few helpful boosts along the way like data utilization, self-help centers, and personalization, customer satisfaction can be cemented and your growth, guaranteed.
So leave it up to them and be a bit more hands off, in a sense. Let the lack of presence in their lives be the best part of their experience with your brand. Communicate only when relevant to them, proactively prevent time spent with customer service, and payment due dates sent to the back of their minds. These are the things that can empower your customers. All it takes is a little distance.
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