2015 has shown that Customer Experience has become equally or more important than product and price differentiation in the Telecom industry. When looking to 2016, analysts expect the following key trends:

1.   Mobile First

Various analysts expect that in 2016 more than 2 billion people have a smartphone. However, only a few months ago about 42% of websites are not yet mobile friendlyEven more alarming: according to a study by the call center evaluation company Software Advice, 90% of US adults had a poor experience when looking for online support on their mobile device.

According to Google, last summer marked the point when more searches have been completed on mobile than on a desktop or laptop. Mobile operators, therefore, have no other choice than making their website fully responsive to mobile devices and providing end-to-end customer service in their MyOperator app.

2.   From Multichannel to Omnichannel

According to a recent study by Dimension Data (link to blog), today’s customers have become omnichannel, outcome-focused and want a seamless customer experience with cross-channel integration. Operators need to review their omnichannel capabilities, draft customer journey maps and make strategic plans to improve customer experience. All touch points (e.g. call center, social media, LiveChat & FAQs) should be connected with each other and prevent customers repeating explain their issue.

3.   Selfservice is a must-have

Earlier this year Ovum conducted a global survey that examined the impact of mobile operators’ customer support abilities on their business. One of their conclusions was that 71% of the consumers have stated in the survey that – if available – they would make use of self-help applications, remote diagnostic tools and advanced in-store technical support capabilities and fix issues themselves. Last June, Gartner named selfservice tools as one of the top priorities for Customer Experience.

4.   Key role for NPS, PRS and CES

Collecting data from all customer service channels is key for analyzing customer behavior and the performance of each service channel.  However, according to a report by Aberdeen, 96% of companies are not satisfied with their ability to capture, collect and use customer data. For mobile operators, the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Problem Resolution Score (PRS) and Customer Effort Score (CES) are most relevant.

5.   Get the basics right: No waiting lines, no delight.

When customers reach out to the call center, they want to reach an agent quickly: research has shown that almost 60% of customers are frustrated for being on hold too long, and 15% hang up after 40 seconds of waiting. When customers get helped they don’t want to get delighted, but just want to get back to doing the things they were doing before they encountered the issue. Get the basics right.