5 Ways to Make Your Telecom Customers Happy, by Sara Mihan

What are customers looking for? They definitely want more. But more of what? In Cognizant’s Third Annual CSP Survey, customers made it clear that they want better quality, streamlined digital channels, more proactive and personalized offerings, and the ability to bring connected things to life.

And boy are they looking: the number of customers who switched carriers in the past 6 months rose 70%! What is driving this dissatisfaction and seemingly constant search for something better?

Quality services in a digital world

Basically, it boils down to a need for good quality service. We’ve released the results of a survey of 1,995 US customers of High Speed Internet, Mobile, and Pay TV services: Quality of Experience in a Digital World: A CSP Action Plan for Millennials and Beyond. The goal was to investigate and compare millennials and non-millennials across digital services, as well as examine year-over-year trends.

Here are some of our key findings:

1. Customer want proactive recognition of problems and swift resolutions. Customer satisfaction levels remained relatively flat over three years, hovering just above the 50% satisfied mark. The most important factors influencing customer satisfaction were quality and reliability. Primarily, customers want providers to prevent service disruptions and be proactive in providing credits and communications when disruptions do occur. For example, an email to a customer stating, “We saw you experienced buffering while viewing the movie Frozen. We have credited your account for your purchase,” creates a WOW experience for the customer. No calling the provider, no waiting on hold, no pleading a compliant case, just simple recognition of an issue and swift resolution.

2. Customer contact channels are changing. When we compare 2013 to 2015, we saw a nearly 20% increase in use of digital contact channels (web, mobile, chat, social). Customers are browsing for new products and services and reviewing simple usage information. Not surprisingly, customers–even millennials– still prefer a telephone call for more complicated and personal transactions. Older responders over age 50 especially think that digital channels are too complicated a path for them to resolve their issue. On the bright side, those who overcame challenges with digital channels, enough to order service, were much more likely to continue using digital channels for ongoing activities, future upgrades, and purchases. There is an opportunity for CSPs looking to divert customers to lower cost channels or target digital campaigns for those who ordered using a digital channel.

3. Privacy and personalization concerns are shifting. Surprisingly, concerns over privacy decreased by 12% from 2014 to 2015. Consumers seem to have drawn the conclusion that better, more personalized services and care mitigates some of their previous concerns about the security risk of sharing information. Not surprisingly, 85% of millennials expect a personalized digital experience. The latest viral app, Pokémon Go, demonstrates that millions of people are less concerned about sharing their personal information in exchange for the novel experience being offered.


Video and TV services are still #1. Traditional pay TV is still the most popular form of entertainment, with 83% of those surveyed subscribing to it. However 21% of those subscribers reported ‘cord shaving’ or reducing their package. ‘Cord cutting’ is most attractive to those under 50, with just upwards of 40% stating they were considering cutting the cord. Lack of content, especially live TV, and the complications of piecing together a solution that matches the ease of Pay TV are the main barriers to cord cutting. Over-the-top (OTT) services came out strong, with customers favoring the low price point and features like binge viewing. The seemingly daily announcements of new offerings and packages are moving the consumer closer to reaching that perfect blend of paying for just what they want…the cool OTT features, and the content viewed best live.

5. Connected technologies are very popular. In fact, they are wildly popular with millennials– and 89% of non-millennials also find them desirable. Millennials report that connected technologies would increase their overall satisfaction with their CSP and make them less likely to jump ship. They look most for reliability, data privacy, and ease of use in a connected experience, which ties back into the overall theme of service quality. Millennials showed a preference for streaming services, and connected homes, while non-millennials preferred security services.

Digital and analytics can help transform delivery of quality services

The customer base increasingly relies on CSP services because internet connectivity are so integrated into their daily life. They expect CSPs to provide quality service and they want them to know them individually; this means knowing what products and services would suit them best, know if their equipment is about to fail and offer a replacement in advance, to obviate complaints and issues. Within these challenges lie opportunities to use digital and analytics to exceed the customer expectations in the future. Here are a few recommended actions for CSPs:

  1. Deliver high quality service and provide personal and proactive customer communications.
  2. Make digital channels easy to use and educate customers on their availability and use.
  3. Prepare for and capitalize on the ‘connected boom’.

Learn more about our findings and download our new white paper — Quality of Experience in a Digital World: A CSP Action Plan for Millennials and Beyond.

Opinions expressed in this blog are of the author and may not represent Cognizant’s point of view.

Sara Mihan

Sara Mihan is a Senior Manager within Cognizant Business Consulting’s Communication and Technology Practice. Sara has over 17 years of experience as…

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Originally published at digitally.cognizant.com on August 15, 2016.