The Impact of COVID-19 on Telecom Providers

Telecom Tech Outlook | Friday, November 19, 2021

Telecommunications providers should begin by taking a two-pronged, user-centric approach. Aside from new products and services, network quality must be prioritized. Poor network coverage is one of the most serious problems plaguing the telecom industry's customer experience.

Fremont, CA: As more people work from home, customer expectations have risen sharply in the last year. Prior to the global pandemic, only 4 percent of employees worked from home. During the first lockdown in April 2020, that percentage increased to around 30 percent. At the end of January 2021, high levels of infection forced nearly a quarter of the workforce to stay at home for most or all of the day.

Many people reconsidered their options after spending time working from home. Previously, only a few hours of internet access per day were required. Following that, all-day demand driven by the home office meant that the telcos' performance would now be scrutinized throughout the day.

The digital customer experience (CX) in telecommunications has assumed a disproportionate role in light of rising expectations. Due to the temporary closure of sales and service centers, the emphasis on digital CX has grown even more.

Better Customer Experience in the Telecom Industry

Telecommunications providers should begin by taking a two-pronged, user-centric approach. Aside from new products and services, network quality must be prioritized. Poor network coverage is one of the most serious problems plaguing the telecom industry's customer experience. If the customer experience lens reveals that a product falls short of basic customer expectations, it may be doomed from the start. Telecommunications companies establish a stable operation from which to expand their services by providing good network quality as well as satisfying basic expectations in a reliable manner.

Increasing the simplicity and clarity of all services and products is another step toward customer satisfaction and growth. Providers should simplify their service and application structure instead of adding more elements that increase the complexity of the product and service portfolio. For example, providers could automate their service ticket management to save money and reduce request processing time. Billing simplification and service error reduction are also viable options. While these are complex solutions for improving customer experience in the telecom industry, the implementation challenge is worthwhile. These efforts will pay off in terms of customer satisfaction and business growth in the long run.

High Churn Rate

Aspect's research clearly demonstrates the significance of customer experience in the telecom industry. The telecommunications industry had the second-highest churn rate due to poor customer service among retail, travel, financial services, telecommunications, and big-box retailers, up from 23 percent the previous year.

Aside from the high churn rate, it is also notable that German telecommunications providers frequently lag far behind other countries in terms of customer satisfaction. According to a recent survey conducted in North America and Europe, German telecommunications providers received a score of 1.7 on a standardized scale of 1 to 10. The United States received a score of 2.1, while Switzerland received a much higher score of 5.9. This raises the question of how telecommunications providers can demonstrate to customers that they are serious about providing a positive service experience.