Call my agent!: Treat your customers like stars

Jean-Philippe Viegas
August 1, 2022
Being digital does not mean that you should save on your customer support, but instead offer the best customer experience by bringing the most efficient and accurate care to your customers.

Care for your telco customer

The popular TV show “Call my agent” showed that movie stars require their own dedicated agent that needs to be always available to assist, console and pamper them. Telco Operators, or any other service company that plan to survive in a competitive landscape while efficiently managing thousands of inquiries, will want their customer to feel they are unique, just like a movie star!

Customer agents are key into the organization and even if there will not be one agent per customer, the company must almost give the illusion that this is the case! So, while the service provider must drastically lower down its cost-to-serve, it still must bring the quickest and smartest response to its customer.

1 agent for 20 000 customers: promote self-service

Not all companies can adopt the same support and telco customer care strategy. But they should carefully choose their interaction channels. Rather than piling up all the trendy ones, companies need to be cost-effective by promoting self-service as much as possible.

Digital Telecom Operators are generally low-cost, no-frills, full app-driven service providers with a target for digital-born (Generation Z) or digital immigrants (Generation X that onboarded the digital age).

Few of their customers will want to speak to an agent, unless it is called ALEXA or SIRI: you will have to wait in line and to synchronously speak to a real person, even repeating things.

At the opposite of digital telecom Operators, traditional companies, such as electricity and gas providers will deal with a broader range of people including baby boomers for whom chatting with an agent, or even worse a bot, is awkward. But digital brands also flourish in this industry.

Increasingly, consumers prefer the speed and resolution of self-service via automation (chat, bot, FAQ with efficient search). This has only accelerated after all the remote engagement realized during the pandemic.

For instance, a Digital Telecom Operator should deploy an average of 1 agent for 20 000 customers (we are far from a movie star!).

What a company should keep in mind, as stated in a Gartner study is that:

• The more channels exist, the more requests occur, and a request started on a channel frequently ends up on another one
• the cost of a live channel interaction (chat, voice, etc…) is 80 times more expensive than a self-service resolution.

AI automation to a real agent

A subscriber might start their support journey with a search regarding a question on roaming plans, then land on an AI-powered knowledge base where they are presented with an FAQ on roaming charges.

If the issue is more complex, then a subscriber can initiate a second step of the interaction with a conversational interface, digital-first (especially for digital and/or low-cost service providers) then voice (or directly for more traditional companies). It can be powered by chatbots or an interactive menu.

At a given point in time (the later the best) a human agent will intervene to assist on the channel. Indeed, as you move through the support journey, the cost of resolution increases exponentially as a subscriber flows from self-service to assisted channels.

Agent tool: full augmented view

Whether the service provider decides to put in place a voice-assisted channel or not, real digital operators don’t do so as it involves huge costs linked to language support, time spent, cost of communications, multiple solutions need to be put in place: contact center with AI automation, CTI (computer telephony integration), ticket management, CRM. The customer agent will need to answer multiple customers and know everything about them in a matter of seconds.

For this triPica proposes, as part of its service a full-fledged telco customer care portal: the Agent Tool complemented with Zendesk customer service suite.

This allows the level 1 agent in the loop to have a full augmented view of the complete journey to date, the customer details and history, and AI-powered insights supporting an effective resolution.

The customer request might come from any channel: Message, chat, phone call, social media post. In any case, this interaction will be tracked as a ticket, and the 360° view of the customer appears in front of the agent (either by searching, or automatically with the customer ID link)

Agent tool - triPica

The overview provides personal information, contracts, devices, deliveries. The agent, in order to better assess a customer request, needs to know all the actions and events that occurred and when in the account: subscription, top-ups, payments, payment rejections, tickets created, notifications sent. Absolutely everything is tracked. This is what we call the timeline.

Moreover, AI will assist with calculated KPIs that give precious information to the agent. For instance:

• How engaged is the customer. Engagement will vary depending on actions such as referring a friend, adding a line/contract, staying longer
• What is the value score of the customer that will increase when he purchases things, spends more, has a specific device (iOS device owners have generally more value!)
• Churn risk: a complex KPI that will use a lot of customer data and compare it to the customer history, similar population pattern, etc…

An agent will spend his time on the ticket management portal (Zendesk complements agent tool on that part) where he will be able to deal with customer interactions via multiple channels, being proposed some pre-built scenarios and language suggestions, and on the agent tool to determine and initiate actions on the account (suspend, close, give a goodwill, escalate, etc…)

On top of that, the agent will have at his disposal: bills (in pdf, so that they can resolve an issue there), payments, dunning situation (for postpaid), contracts with tariff details, legal documents, and balance information (prepaid and postpaid) and also consumption details (call details in telecommunications and grid communication flows for utilities)

As all actions happen in real-time, there is never any discrepancy between customer view and agent view

An optimized agent experience will reflect quite immediately on a positive customer experience, translated into a top-notch NPS.

Find out more about how triPica can help reinvent your model, digitalize your business, and finally bring efficiency to your customer support team.

Jean-Philippe Viegas

Senior Presales Manager at triPica