Customer centricity is key for struggling mobile operators

The telecom slowdown of recent years is calling for an industry reassessment. Growth has slowed, margins have been declining, and the competition to win and keep customers is stiffer than ever.

But how could the industry be hurting with the ever-increasing demand for telecom services?

Global mobile data traffic is expected to quadruple between 2017 and 2021, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into an increase in per-customer revenue. Worse, customer satisfaction ratings for telecoms lag far behind other industries. So with data becoming a commodity, subscribers jump ship the moment they hear about a cheaper plan. And why shouldn’t they?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is becoming an increasingly important litmus test for identifying likely telecom winners (NPS is a metric measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction based on the likelihood a customer would recommend a brand to a friend or colleague). Yet in a recent study, the industry scored an overall negative NPS, including negative scores for five of the eight European countries studied.

“Start with the customer and work back” is one of five key digitalisation strategies a recent McKinsey report says telecoms must adopt to regain lost ground. Mobile customers are notoriously fickle, but it’s not impossible to win their loyalty. Enhancing the customer experience through digital services is the place to start.

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