Xerox, WDS Advise Mobile Carriers on Keeping Fickle Subscribers Loyal

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-09-13 Print this article Print

Xerox made a name for itself with copiers but in recent years has become a leader (per Gartner) in the services space. While it still makes $1.4 billion a year selling paper and similar products, it makes $11.8 billion offering business process outsourcing (BPO), information technology outsourcing (ITO) and document outsourcing (DO) services. Since refining its practices through its initial business, it has taken on major accounts—it handles payments processing for Medicaid and "runs parking" for the city of Los Angeles—and in 2012 acquired WDS, a customer experience management company, to fully round out its capabilities. On Sept. 4 Xerox presented an overview of its business and a look at future areas it's investigating, and shared the results of a 2013 loyalty audit of mobile services customers. The audit found that only 13 percent of U.S. customers are "truly loyal" to their mobile operator—willing to resist competitive promotions and forgive issues. To the operators of the other 87 percent of customers, Xerox offers the advice below.

  • Xerox, WDS Advise Mobile Carriers on Keeping Fickle Subscribers Loyal

    By Michelle Maisto
    0-Xerox, WDS Advise Mobile Carriers on Keeping Fickle Subscribers Loyal
  • Xerox Is Now a Services Company

    "What we do is handle a boatload of transactions that our customers would never like to have in the first place," said David Ffoulkes-Jones, CEO of WDS. On the upside, customer care offers an opportunity to "track experience, tie that to data centers and know whether there's going to be a break in the relationship."
    1-Xerox Is Now a Services Company
  • Where Brands Disconnect From Their Message

    "There is no better source of information than the call center, but most agents don't know how to harvest it," said Doug Overton, vice president of analysis and consulting at WDS. Xerox's solution enables analysts to look at the various ways people use to describe the same problem. Such information helps customer service agents resolve issues more quickly—and more satisfyingly, for both the agent and the customer.
    2-Where Brands Disconnect From Their Message
  • Satisfaction Is No Guarantee

    Satisfaction isn't a guarantee of retention, reports WDS, which found 19 percent of all "highly satisfied" mobile customers in the United States are at risk of switching. These "mercenaries," as WDS calls them, "chase low prices or buy to pursue a trend. It takes effort to keep this segment satisfied but they show little, to no, loyalty."
    3-Satisfaction Is No Guarantee
  • Loyalty Comes With Time

    Customer intent to switch rises in the months just before a service contract ends. A customer who has been with a carrier for less than two years is 1.3 times more likely to switch than a customer with six years of "tenure."
    4-Loyalty Comes With Time
  • Pricing Is Important but Not Everything

    WDS found that while it's vital that customers feel they're getting good value for their money, even 36 percent of those who say they're "Highly Satisfied" and feel they get "Excellent" or "Very Good" value for their money are at risk of switching.
    5-Pricing Is Important but Not Everything
  • Network Hygiene Isn't the Only Measure

    Carriers ask about service reliability and customer care, but they need to measure how valued customers feel and if they're being "rewarded" for their loyalty. "If a customer doesn't feel valued ... they are 2.5x more likely to be a switch-risk."
    6-Network Hygiene Isn't the Only Measure
  • Better Network Coverage

    WDS calls customers who say they're "somewhat likely" or "likely" to switch carriers in the next 12 months "swing voters." Their actions can be accelerated with the wrong activity or reserved with the right ones. Better network coverage elsewhere could lead 57 percent of them to defect.
    7-Better Network Coverage
  • Testing Loyalty\WDS looked at "stress tests" that help gauge a user's "tolerance."

    The higher the tolerance, the greater the loyalty. A majority of customers (59 percent) with high tolerance weren't tempted by a 10 percent savings offer, but when the savings grew to 20 percent, only 38 percent remained "unlikely" to churn.
    8-Testing Loyalty\WDS looked at
  • The Direct Relationship Between Customer Care and Churn

    Despite operators' efforts, the greater the number of calls to customer care, the higher the risk of churn, says WDS. Among customers found to be a switch risk, 48 percent had interacted with support at least once.
    9-The Direct Relationship Between Customer Care and Churn
  • There's No Single Effective Measure

    While some CRM solutions can identify those will low-satisfaction rates, a carrier should be able to identify further distinctions within the group to make smart use of their resources. "The data makes clear that no single satisfaction measure is enough to fully understand the loyalty profile of a customer," says WDS.
    10-There's No Single Effective Measure

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