With a lingering reputation as the sector with the worst customer service, telcos will increasing focus on tending to their customers online, according to analyst firm, Ovum.
The firm recently released a new report which revealed telco customer service directors are looking to invest more in online customer service portals as it brings down costs and improves customer satisfaction.
Telcos and ISPs such as Telstra, Optus, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and iiNet all have an active presence on social networking platforms to answer customer queries.
For example, it is now quite normal for telcos to respond to an angry customer tweet on social networking website, Twitter.
“To secure customer loyalty in the face of disruptive competitors, such as Apple and Amazon, telcos need to be accessible, responsive, consistent and effective,” Ovum practice leader, Clare McCarthy said in a statement.
Web-based customer service solutions not only provide accessibility for customers but it also brings a level of consistency and is a cheaper alternative to call centres, she said.
The proliferation of smartphones means more people have access to the Internet on the go, making online customer service and self service portals a good option for telcos.
Self service portals refer to telco websites or apps which allow customers to reset their own passwords, check credit balances and so on.
“If portals are easy to navigate and customers can see their issue has been resolved satisfactorily, they are more likely to be happier wit their telco supplier,” McCarthy said in the statement. “However, this is not the whole story as not all customers want to use online customer service.
“Telcos know they must follow the customer journey on the customer's terms.”
Telcos must not neglect to invest in the retail side of the business and physical contact centres despite the growing interest in online customer service, she said.