70% of Wireless Customers Feel They’re Taken Out of Context

July 24, 2014
Hollis Chin, Vice President of Corporate Marketing

Are you happy with the customer service you get from your wireless provider? If you aren’t, you’re not alone. [24]7.ai just released its findings from a survey on customer experience with wireless carriers. A whopping 7 in 10 consumers said they were frustrated that their wireless carrier did not know their prior interactions and history when they interacted with them. That is, their wireless carrier did not know the “context” of their situation and what the customer was trying to do based upon previous interactions, forcing the customer to start the conversation all over again.  Ouch!

I can relate. I travel internationally and before every trip I add a voice and text service to my wireless plan. But I can never remember exactly which services I purchased last time. As usual, the night before traveling, I was on my carrier’s website looking at international plans and checking the list of countries. The chat agent box pops up and types, “Can I help you?” “Yes,” I type eagerly. I ask, “Can you tell me what international voice plan I purchased last time?” I watch the box, but nothing is happening. Hmmm. I wait. Eventually, the agent types, “I do not have your information. I would be happy to explain the different international plans to you. What country are you traveling to?” At that point I am feeling like a foreigner and not a customer. I’m taken out of context!

Consumers expect the companies they do business with to know what they want and how to help them complete their specific task.  I would have liked my wireless carrier to have known who I am, that the last time I called it was about international plans, and that I had purchased the Global Messaging plan and the Rest of World calling plan. Then I could have simply selected those same plans and then finished packing for my trip. It shouldn’t be that hard.  After all, my carrier has the data.  The problem is that the carrier isn’t being smart with the data and using it to maintain context.

In a recent article on Forbes, Kurt Marko states that adding context and intelligence to chat is what makes it more useful and profitable. Marko writes that “Visitors are likely to accept a chat invitation if the copy and content of the invite is relevant to what they are trying to get done. Acceptance rates are even higher if the invite takes into account not just the current web session, but also prior web sessions, or prior interactions on other channels such as voice, the IVR or social media.”

For the wireless carrier – or any business for that matter – to be smart, they need to be able to maintain context by accessing data from prior interactions such as previous chats as well as from other channels such as voice or online.  Then they need to anticipate my intent and deliver an experience that helps me complete the specific task quickly and effortlessly. That is what omnichannel consumers expect of companies today.

The tools exist for businesses to figure out how to be smart with customers. Intelligent and contextual chat solutions support omnichannel visitor journeys that seamlessly move from self-service or IVR to chat with full context of prior interactions. There’s no more “How may I help you?” or “Can you tell me your account number AGAIN?”

Hopefully, the next time I contact my carrier, I won’t be taken out of context and my carrier will already know what I need.

Hollis Chin, Vice President of Corporate Marketing
Hollis Chin, Vice President of Corporate Marketing

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