The 2021 CX Divide

May 22, 2021

Why customers matter more than ever

While changing telecommunications (telco) providers can be an arduous process, it is set to become easier when the consumer data right (CDR) legislation is rolled out across the telco sector. The CDR will give consumers greater access to and control over their data, putting the power back into their hands; ultimately, it will increase competition and the ease at which customers can change providers.

For telco providers, it means they must prioritise and delight customers more than ever, including how they engage with customers and solve their issues.

According to our study, only 21% of customers say their telco provider is “very easy to deal with”. Needless to say, there’s significant room for improvement.

Given the challenging (and in many cases, frustrating) process involved with changing providers, many consumers stay where they are, not because they’re happy, but because they’re content. However, with the impending introduction of CDR, those challenges may soon be a thing of the past, meaning customer relationships will become pivotal to telcos’ long-term success.

Supporting this point, our research shows the “big four” telco providers (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and TPG/iiNet) maintain long relationships with customers as over half (53%) have a tenure of six or more years. But how much longer will they remain customers, if changing providers were to become so much easier?

The key to establishing and building relationships with customers lies in the interactions they have with their telco provider. So, it’s up to telcos to improve the quality of customer interactions in order to retain customers

Customer interactions must improve

Customers rarely engage with their telco provider, with less than a quarter (23%) interacting several times a year. That being said, despite the best efforts of organisations to invest in and improve customer interactions via digital channels, the majority of customers still prefer traditional human interactions—59% would rather call or visit a store.

This pales in comparison with the financial services sector, with banks performing much better than telcos. Our research shows that 86% of consumers say their bank is easy to deal with, compared to less than three-quarters (71%) saying the same about their telco provider.

This shows that while the technology exists, telcos are not utilising and/or effectively deploying it to provide customers with the support they need. As such, telcos must invest in delivering better and more “human” digital service experiences as the majority of customers are actively avoiding self-service and digital options (such as visiting the website and/or smartphone apps); a trend not seen in the financial services sector.

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About the Provider

Pegasystems Inc. is an American software company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1983, Pegasystems develops software for customer relationship management, digital process automation, and business process management. The company has been publicly traded since 1996 as PEGA.


Customer Service, Telcos Suffers