Operators need to get value added services (VAS) support right to avoid customer churn and revenue losses. VAS has become a strong driver for additional revenue and customer retention. As telecoms are establishing themselves as resellers of digital services, the support expectations of users’ grow. Customers now insist on relevant and quick answers to solve issues at first contact.

This post will highlight:

  • The challenges that can prevent operators realising the full benefits of VAS.
  • Practical support strategies to help retain customers who use VAS.

VAS Support Issues

Operators are vulnerable because customers are flooded with choices to easily switch at no cost or even a bonus. At the same time, operators are pressured to offer add-on services for differentiation and competitiveness, as many users choose mobile providers based on add-ons. This shift enables sales teams to exceed their quotas of selling VAS, but loyalty can be difficult to maintain as support proves to be challenging.

Typically, customers need more assistance during the activation stage of the new service. As almost no instructions are provided on operators’ websites, customers have trouble with starting to use their new purchase. This results in increased support contact. Given that 40% of the call center agents in the UK do not feel adequately trained to resolve issues, the frustration felt by customers only gets worse after contacting the call center.

Difficulty in setting up VAS and lack of support result in cancellation of the service and no additional purchases. This damages the average revenue per user (ARPU) and the relationship in general. Customers’ irritation is transferred to the operator and it becomes justifiable to look for a new provider.

 

How to Solve the VAS Support Challenge

Customers want both VAS and fast, multi-channel support. Here are some solutions to rise to the VAS support challenge.

 

1. Provide Relevant Online Content

According to Forrester,”73% of consumers reported that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.” Customers are time-poor and do not want to spend it contacting operators for support. Online self-service shows that operators anticipate and respond to customers’ needs. Detailed content in the form of FAQs and step-by-step tutorials are necessary to increase customer loyalty. Producing a knowledge base of relevant content can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. However, the advantages of providing online solutions (such as improving net promoter scores) to solve VAS issues at the first point of contact cannot be understated. Here is an example how QelpCare self-service supports Office 365 setup process:

Office 365

It is also vital to effectively optimize support content to show up high in the search engine results. This helps to keep operators top-of-mind in relation to support.

2.     Adequately Equip Call Centers

Although research by Forrester found that most customers (72%) preferred to use online self-service, operators have a duty to provide the best support to every customer. Call center agents must be given a complete knowledge database for all VAS which the operator offers. Interacting by telephone has the obstacle of the customer being unable to see the solution. It is therefore important to provide detailed, image-based tutorials for agents.

Agents can direct the customer to the online help if they have further issues for extra reassurance. Providing the knowledge and tools for agents to give the best VAS support takes dedicated effort and resources. This is made more difficult as the VAS offerings grow. However, customers will not tolerate any excuse for less than perfect support on first contact.

3.     Make Provision for Customer Needs In-Store

There is nothing more frustrating than your staff standing face-to-face with a customer without the answer to their support needs. Your retail staff should be provided with the same valuable tutorials that are used in the call center and online. The in-store assistance needs to be flawless and consistent.

Customers should also have the option to self-serve in-store. Interactive touch screens should be made available for customers to solve issues themselves, if they choose.

Conclusion

Operators must take all of the necessary steps to ensure customer VAS support is accurate and complete. Supporting new VAS services requires a lot of work and time. Even so, this is necessary for customer retention and increased profits.

Operators can profit from offering both VAS and high-quality customer support without straining resources. Qelp delivers customer support solutions to more than 60 global operators. We provide multi-channel support for VAS to satisfy customers and reduce operational costs.