Prior to the pandemic, the Telco industry displayed a competitive and pressured cycle of customer recruitment. Using short term promotions hinged against quarterly goals with the ambition to replace lost customers with fresh ones, the sector concentrated investment on infrastructure and technology. Ironically, this strategy increased customer attrition due to post-promotion price friction and low investment in customer service and employee skills.

But COVID-19 has interrupted this cycle, by reducing new business, especially in the smartphone market, resulting in customers temporarily staying put. This provides a unique opportunity to retain and maximise profits from loyal consumers, by addressing consumer churn caused by inadequate customer service.

Companies that remain with irrelevant quarterly strategies, relying on promotions and weak customer journeys, put themselves at risk of damaging consumer trust and will emerge from this period of transformation behind the curve.

Instead, giving consumers and networks an equal value base for investment could substantially bolster revenue, as Bain research suggests that customer loyalty leaders increase revenue 2.5 times faster than industry peers and could deliver 2-5 times more in shareholder returns over the next decade.

Crucially loyalty can be increased by a more human and personalised approach to customer service, with a focus on building trust and anticipating customer needs. Advisor longevity helps to create customer connection with the brand and consistency builds trust and credibility, so the entire customer journey must be a positive emotional experience.

Interestingly, a Webhelp survey reported low emotional connection in the Telcoms sector, at just 15%. There are benefits to be reaped here as emotionally connected customers are more likely to purchase within the brand, remain more loyal and will actually pay more, negating the need for aggressive price structuring.

Prioritising customer service may require transformation in both outlook and operations, but being proactive now will increase market share after the post COVID consumer behavior shift. The industry must switch track and fully commit to a long-term mindset, start regarding current customers as a valued and profitable assets, and strengthen consumer loyalty to benefit the sector.

There has never been a better time to change the game.

To discover more about customer service models post COVID-19 read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, on Reimagining service for the new world which is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.