According to a recent PwC report, the top three aspects that create loyalty among cable and telecommunication customers are service, pricing and performance. In 2013, customer service will become the key strategic imperative for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. By building a better customer experience, companies drive loyalty. Satisfied consumers are more willing to consider additional purchases, recommend the company to friends and build barriers against switching vendors.
Successful customer relationship strategies start with the first contact a company has with a customer, but the first 90 days are the most essential. During this time period, the brand has the opportunity to turn a new customer into a brand advocate. Delivering a poor customer experience not only results in missing out on this benefit, but it is also likely to drive churn in the relationship. However, many brands fail to provide a beneficial experience at one of the most complex touch points with a customer: the monthly bill.
The traditional paper bill is difficult to understand. Customers have to look through multiple pages of usage details, transactions and charges. Customers often receive surprising or unexpected items on their bills without an explanation. This phenomenon is usually referred to as bill shock. There are three reasons for this:
- Customers are inundated with information and can easily forget commitments they made three to four weeks ago.
- Customers fail to read their statements in detail; most look for the amount due, and when that number doesn’t seem right, they respond (usually in a negative way).
- The expansion of services, products, accessories, taxes and other fees results in a confusing statement.
If a customer has questions about the statement, he has limited ability to address those questions. Yet, the billing statement delivery is the primary recurring touch point that a company has with its customer.
In 2013, industry leaders can leverage smart video technology to turn the less-than-enjoyable billing, statement and invoice experience into a positive communication opportunity with customers. Consumers are more likely to look at a two-minute video rather than scroll through pages of data; more importantly, video can proactively address issues and frequently asked questions. Viewers are also more receptive to promotions within a video bill, so companies can offer new features and value-added services, such as paperless billing and autopay. Video bills boost customer satisfaction, reduce customer care costs, increase stickiness through uptake in value-added services and increase retention rates because bill-related engagement is no longer negative. Personalized video bills set customer expectations upfront so there are no surprises, educate the customer so he knows exactly what he is paying for and why, and more importantly, deliver a wow experience that makes the customer to feel valued.
–Jim Dicso, president and chief revenue officer, SundaySky