Customer experience is hard

Good customer experience is hard. Especially if you’re a network operator. We put fibre in the ground and connect enterprise buildings, clouds and data centres together, therefore the thing we sell is the connectivity, right? Well, not really. While we talk about having the right bandwidth in the right locations, what we really want to give the customer is a really good, uniform experience, so if you order a service in the UK or you order a service in Tokyo, you get the same experience.

It’s the experience that is the wrapper that goes around these commodity assets, and it’s something every company in every industry can leverage for business gain, but not all do so successfully. And in an industry where many of our competitors have a negative Net Promoter Score (NPS) that’s because it’s a hard thing to do.

Depending on your business, a good customer experience can translate into higher customer retention; faster revenue growth; the ability to command a price premium; lower operating costs; less regulatory pressure; and more engaged employees.

A good example of this is Southwest Airlines, for which a good customer experience turned into 43 consecutive years of profitability. Analyst house Forrester Research estimates that customer experience leaders can achieve 5.1x revenue growth over laggards.

This is why we’re taking the hard road and focusing on delivering not just a really good customer experience but the best in the business. We believe that we work harder for our customers than any other network provider – and our customer satisfaction scores bear that out.

What’s NPS and why should you care?

This Net Promoter Score (NPS) you hear about is a customer satisfaction score typically used across consumer sectors but increasingly applied to businesses too. It is determined by randomly surveying customers and subtracting the number of detractors (people who would not recommend your service) from the number of proponents (people who would recommend your service). Passives (people who would do neither) are not counted). It is scored out of 100, and is used by many industries as a numerical indicator of customer satisfaction.
For our general relationship with customers we scored 32 at end Q217, this is based on us listening and acting on what matters to customers. For operational performance such as problem resolution and incident management, we scored 32.

This is benchmarked against an EU B2B cross sector average of 15, that drops to 4 specifically in the telco sector, with many telcos on a negative score according to NPS authority SatMetrix.

We acknowledged that the telecom sector has a pretty bad reputation for customer experience and we’re not content to be the best of a bad bunch. We already rate higher than anyone else in the industry in terms of NPS but we have our sights set on being able to benchmark ourselves against other sectors actually know for a good customer experience and that’s why everyone at Colt from the CEO down is individually incentivised to boost the company’s NPS.

We don’t see ourselves competing against other telcos, we see ourselves competing against the likes of Amazon – companies that are founded on delivering a good experience.

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