Customers must come first

If you pick up a newspaper, or read a telecoms industry magazine, you’re likely to see stories about mobile, landline and broadband providers having poor customer service. For an industry which enables communication, technology businesses often struggle to converse well with their customers.

The telecoms industry has recently encountered an improvement in its customer service handling, which is still ranked the lowest when compared against other sectors on the UK Customer Satisfaction Index, but generally, these improvements aren’t consistent across the board.

Ofcom have called for “consistency and excellence” to become the norm for complaints handling in the telecoms industry, as currently there are huge inconsistencies between service providers and how they’re communicating with their customers.

Let’s be clear: customers aren’t asking for the earth, surely they deserve a basic level of care and service at the very least? For Ofcom to call for ‘consistent excellence’ smacks of lip service, to one of the most important industry struggles today.

With the significant technological advancements we’ve experienced in recent years, people are becoming more and more reliant on technology. One Ofcom survey revealed that two thirds of households said that they would struggle to function without their mobile service. This demonstrates the extent to which technology has become an integral part of our lives, so when we encounter problems with it, we need it to be fixed rapidly, and that becomes even more critical for business.

Of course, not everything runs smoothly, and we all encounter problems, but it’s how businesses respond to queries or complaints from their customers that’s important. Many aspects of our industry are highly complex and dependent on technology, and there are some consumers who may not completely understand the intricacies of the products and services we provide. Therefore, we need to ensure that we are there for those that rely on us for an efficient service.

We have the ability and the understanding to help our customers to have a better experience and service, so we should be doing this as quickly and efficiently as possible. Customers don’t want an education in our industry, or to have to wait long for their problem to be resolved, they just need someone on the end of the phone that can quickly and accommodatingly solve their issue.

This is something that unfortunately, a proportion of businesses in our industry have forgotten, with many consumers left disappointed by their service provider. Ofcom are right when they say that there needs to be consistency across the industry, but perhaps they need to play a bigger part in making sure that this happens. Although telecoms companies shouldn’t need to be forced into doing the right thing, something must be done to ensure that customers aren’t missing out on the customer service that they deserve.