Telecom expense management is now central to many companies. Whereas a few decades ago most organizations kept manual records of wireless data services, today companies rely on a combination of technology and digitized workflows to monitor their wireless spending.
As the quest to find the best TEM provider intensifies, advanced solutions are not enough to keep businesses satisfied and loyal. Customer service is becoming the differentiator among TEM vendors – with a customer experience race taking place to decide the ultimate winner.
The State of TEM Customer Service
Customer service may have been one of the last things that came to mind when organizations compared TEM providers in the past. However, the trend is slowly starting to shift as companies evaluate the support aspect of a vendor’s business.
Unfortunately, many large-scale customers are suffering from discontinuous information trails, out-of-sync call menus, and missing omnichannel support. Complex and siloed IT systems as a result of merged processes and technology prevent TEM support staff from efficiently addressing their customers’ queries. Staff performance suffers from the multiple touchpoints that customers use to contact the company.
To make matters worse, the economic downturn is resulting in cost pressure on many players in the industry. This leaves little margin for customer service improvement. Thus, it has become a major challenge for TEM help desks to resolve inventory and invoice-related benefits quickly as the number of variables involved becomes potentially huge.
The good news is that leading TEM vendors are taking steps to overcome support-related challenges. In a customer-first TEM company, there’s a dedicated team that takes responsibility and ownership for delivering real outcomes – such as reduced errors, correctly ordered solutions, and minimized expenses. Also, all areas of a customer’s company are supported with area-specific solutions due to the team’s familiarity with the assigned area’s telecom processes.
TEM providers that deliver experience and service along with their application enable companies to eradicate the issue of service disruptions, enjoy access to accurate expense and inventory data, and free up time to focus on those transformation projects that would otherwise never fit into their standard schedule.
How Can TEMs Improve Customer Service
Vendors of TEM services need to explore diverse ways to improve customer service. Below are some recommendations that can help improve this side of their business.
- Harness customer data
As part of their contracts, TEM providers gain access to volumes of customer data. However, not many of them are able to use it effectively to get insights into user behavior and, hence, improve customer experience. This needs to change. For instance, vendors can start evaluating the usage data of customers to identify clients that are error-prone, high-maintenance and those who are most likely to contact support. With insights like these, TEMs can find opportunities for the first-call resolution and provide self-service options that help keep everyone happy.
- Build a customer-centric culture
To get the most out of a customer service initiative, TEMs need to incorporate an organization-wide, customer-centric culture. Some ideas include investing in training frontline staff and developing a volunteer program where personnel engage in activities geared towards enhancing the customer experience in TEMs. Providers can also implement programs where customer service teams support subscribers throughout their onboarding journey, enhancing communication and reducing overall complexity.
- Empower agents
TEMs should also consider empowering support staff to handle customer problems rather than neglecting their issues. Most users don’t want to be transferred over to a higher-level executive when the agent can’t address their problem. They want to speak to someone who can guide them in the first instance. Agent empowerment can give them the confidence to respond to users’ queries and resolve their issues. It can also improve job satisfaction, drive down turnover rates, and make agents feel a sense of pride in their work.
- Develop multi-level response systems
With the preference for self-serve options and online customer service growing by the day, TEMs should also consider investing in web-based offerings for customer support and sales. Email support, hotline and customer portal options have the capability to enhance response times while providing better data and tracking than conventional support options.
brightfin offers a hotline and email contact options to all of its customers, and our customer portal provides world-class support when and where your company needs it. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help streamline your TEM needs.