Competition in the telecom sector is heating up. With the likes of Google and Facebook disrupting the telecom space, many telecom enterprises face the challenge to take strategic actions that differentiate them from competitors.
One strategic area to tackle is customer experience. Creating a customer-centric experience is imperative with telecom executives. However, the belief that substantial technological, operational and human resource changes are necessary to create a modern, differentiated customer experience is holding them back.
Digitization doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Telecoms have the opportunity to create digital-first experiences without having to expand their existing resources. Case in point is Conversational Sales software, which enables personalized one-to-one sales interactions online.
Why Conversational Sales matter
McKinsey estimates that, in Europe, 89% of service journey in telecoms occur entirely or partially online. Digital solutions are the primary customer gateway to learning about and purchasing services. Although customers may visit a brick-and-mortar store at some point in the sales journey, most often, their first contact with a business happens online.
However, even though digital devices make it convenient to contact businesses online, the quality of digital engagement ultimately decides if the contact will result in a sale. So, even while telecom companies may implement an omnichannel engagement approach, how effectively they are able to interact with people and lead them seamlessly along the sales cycle matters.
Whisbi’s 2018 US Telecom Report finds that 77% of customers would like more human interaction online. Conversational Sales are ideal to create engaging human interactions online and make the buyer journey seamless.
Conversational Sales creates a more human buying experience. Real-time conversations mimic the sales interactions occurring between customers and shop assistants in a physical store. Hybrid Conversational Sales is the perfect mix of assisted sales, with direct contact to a sales rep, and unassisted sales, through a chatbot.
The case for bringing in conversational solutions
Scaling conversations is no longer a challenge
Scaling conversations is difficult. Customers may have to go through multiple steps and wait for their call to be transferred to the right person while they wait at the other line. This apart, call center agents also have other tasks on their daily agenda – meetings, interviews and demos. It is not possible for them to field questions from customers the entire day.
Conversational systems with live chat work 24/7 to take customer questions online. They can figure out if the visitor already exists in the system and route him/her to the right person. A sophisticated conversational sales system can conduct thousands of interactions a day, helping scale conversations up (or down) – there is always someone around to interact digitally with prospects and customers at a time of their choosing.
Beyond generic answers
Automated bots are designed to answer basic questions and therefore offer a suboptimal customer experience. Still, where a company’s call center receives thousands of inquiries a day that require only a generic response, automated bots may get the job done. By answering all or a large percentage of routine questions, they can free up call center agents’ time to handle complex inquiries.
Conversational Sales, on the other hand, address the limitations of automated bots by immediately connecting to a staff member if the query is too complex for the chatbot to answer. They can filter users’ questions and put them in touch with the right product representative or department.
Lead generation from Conversational Sales can surpass results of passive lead capture forms that leave it to website visitors to decide whether or not they want to share their details. An inherent benefit of conversational chatbots is that they guide visitors to the information they seek while also capturing their information along the way.
Advanced conversational agents answer questions from interested leads in real-time. They possess the capabilities to perform web shares, voice calls (VoIP or phone line) and video options. The idea is to enable customers to engage via methods they most prefer, keeping them in conversations and encouraging them to move along the sales path.
Intelligent chat platforms can also automate simple requests such as booking appointments in stores, changing their telecom plans or prices due to feature add-ons and signing up for new offers. Additionally, new chat platforms also begin friendly conversations with website visitors who are showing interest in a service offering.
Empower call center staff
The idea of chatbots tends to create fear about robots replacing humans. Chatbots cannot be a substitute for experienced human call center agents, rather, support them in providing better service. According to, businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% by implementing conversational solutions such as chatbots and virtual agents.
From theory to practice
Below you can see how a smooth digital transformation from assisted to unassisted sales will look like. While the first year the assisted sales, a one-to-one approach between customer and sales rep will take care of 80% of incoming queries, in year 4 the goal is to reduce this percentage down to less than 20%.
While not only technology is advancing, also customers are becoming more tech savy. This way customers will be more comfortable to finalize purchases directly with a bot and the number os unassisted sales will increase.
If customer queries are too complex and a human interaction is neccessary then the chatbot can simply take the customer’s details and forward him/her to the right sales rep, who can then finalize the deal.
This way the break-even-point will be reached in month 9, including 2 months for the onboarding process.
In an age of increasing customer expectations, Conversational Sales platforms offer users the option to choose the method through which to learn about new plans, how they want to sign up with the provider.
Live chat, chatbot, screen sharing, live video, all of those features can help customers understand new plans and offerings, while also gathering info about the customer for future marketing purposes.