Customer retention is important for any business, but it can be a particularly big issue for telecom businesses. In most countries, the industry is highly competitive, meaning there is little keeping customers from switching providers if they are unsatisfied with the service they receive. This dynamic means that finding useful ways to reduce customer churn is a crucial part of any telecom operation.
Technology is one place that businesses can look to for answers, and chatbots are an excellent example of this. Chatbot technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and the specialized software can now offer telecom companies an immediate, economical, and effective way to improve customer retention.
In this article, we look at some of the different ways that chatbots can help telecom companies retain more customers.
What is a chatbot for telecom?
Any chatbot is simply a software platform that converses with a human user, usually via instant messaging. A chatbot for telecom is essentially a normal chatbot that has been designed to work optimally within the context of the telecom business.
At their simplest level, chatbots can respond to a fixed number of inputs with basic preset answers. This type of chatbot is acceptable for some applications, such as answering basic FAQs, but can end up frustrating users with its limitations. More recently, chatbots using AI have been developed, giving them significantly greater capabilities. With the help of AI, chatbots can generally understand more inputs and provide more varied, useful responses, making this new generation of chatbots the clear winner in terms of functionality and usefulness.
How can chatbots help telecom companies improve customer retention?
Being able to access support when it’s needed is undoubtedly one of the most important considerations for customers. If they’re met with silence or long hold times, they are likely to look to other providers. However, despite knowing this, many telecom businesses still rely on outdated support models that struggle to deal with people contacting from different time zones.
One way around this issue is to use chatbots. Customer support chatbots can be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making time zone differences completely irrelevant. Customers from anywhere in the world can access the support they need whenever they need it, so they’ll never be left without help again.
Collect meaningful data
Chatbots, and particularly AI-enabled chatbots for telecom, can help companies understand their customers better by collecting meaningful data in a non-intrusive way. For example, the preferences and past issues of individuals can be collected through previous interactions and used to dictate conversations. Additionally, chatbots can be used to conduct surveys about behavior and demographics.
With this type of data, telecom providers can build a more complete understanding of customers. This can help to refine responses, provide targeted support, and speed up the resolution of issues. With these improvements, customers are more likely to be satisfied with the support they receive which could lead to higher rates of retention.
Communicate in different languages
Customer retention is all about offering a better overall service than competitors, and a great way to do this is to think about what customers might appreciate but that most companies don’t offer. One example of this that is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s diverse and interconnected world is multi-language support. Expecting customers from different backgrounds to communicate in a language other than their native tongue can inconvenience them and make them uncomfortable, which can lead to lower rates of satisfaction.
In the past, the only way around this was to hire multilingual staff, but this is an impractical and often prohibitively expensive solution. Alternatively, some modern AI-based chatbots can converse freely in multiple languages, even seamlessly switching between languages automatically after detecting their use.
Receive more feedback
Feedback is an absolutely critical part of improving any business, and this is as true for the telecom industry as it is for any other. With proper feedback, companies can better understand what is working for customers and what isn’t, then act to improve the situation and increase retention rates. The major challenge for providers is actually getting meaningful feedback in the first place, as most customers don’t want to take the time out of their day to leave it.
AI chatbots offer the perfect way to increase the amount of feedback collected. For example, a chatbot can ask a few simple questions or ask for a Net Promoter Score question at a convenient time directly after giving support, increasing the chances that a customer will take the time to cooperate and ensuring the experience is fresh in their mind.
Help customers access support faster
A huge benefit of chatbots is the ease at which they can be accessed by customers. The fact that they are always on, respond instantly and can be contacted via a variety of mediums all mean that customers can get the help they need faster. This will generally lead to higher rates of satisfaction and can improve retention rates significantly.
Stay more engaged with customers
Building meaningful relationships with customers is very challenging for large-scale operations such as telecom businesses. However, it is crucial to build and maintain these relationships if you want to encourage brand loyalty and reduce customer churn. One way to achieve this is to stay as engaged as possible with individuals.
AI chatbots can help you to stay engaged by providing an instant, hassle-free interface for two-way communication between businesses and customers. Chatbots can send notifications, service updates, thank-yous, ask for feedback, and more, all in an automated and non-intrusive way.
Free up support for issues that really matter
There are some issues that need to be handled by a human support agent. However, the more menial and unnecessary issues that are directed to agents, the less time they’ll have to spend on the important tasks.
With the help of AI-powered chatbots, telecom companies can reduce hold times for customers with important issues and automatically escalate the most pressing cases to support agents. This automated categorization and direction of support tickets make support more efficient so is likely to lead to higher overall customer satisfaction and retention rates.
How can Skil.AI help you?
At Skil.AI, we develop tailored AI chatbots for telecom to boost efficiency and automate crucial parts of telecom operations. Our platforms use advanced AI and machine learning technology to help companies offer flexible, rapid, and efficient customer service.
Get in touch with our team today to find out more about our customized chatbots and schedule a demo.