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Jan 20, 2021

How To Improve Customer Retention In The Telecom Industry


Updated: July 19, 2022


77% of all consumers retract their loyalty more quickly than they did three years ago. This means customer retention in the telecom industry is harder to achieve than ever. 

As the industry has reached a saturation point, new customer acquisitions can’t make up for the lost ones. This further motivates ISPs and telcos to implement retention strategies. Research shows that even a 5% increase in a company’s retention rate can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

So what can providers do to reduce churn? Find our advice below.


Advice To Improve Customer Retention In The Telecom Industry

1. Offer Great Customer Service

This seems obvious, but, unfortunately, not all providers make customer service a priority. In fact, about 20% of the Americans who cancel a contract with a telecom company indicate poor customer service as the primary reason.

It’s important to note that only a small percentage cancel their contract after a one-time crisis; most customers cancel after an ongoing negative experience. And once they’re gone, they’re gone for good as discounts can’t make up for the fact that customer service reps are not knowledgeable enough or they’re rude or have a negative approach. 

Great customer service goes beyond being readily available to answer customer queries. Instead, offering great customer service means eliminating high-effort interactions and creating a frictionless experience:

  • eliminating repeat contacts when the standard answer/solution doesn’t solve the root problem, so customers must reach out again and again;
  • eliminating the need to reach out to customer service for issues that can be easily solved by implementing a comprehensive knowledge base;
  • preventing customers from wasting their time waiting for their problem to be solved or having to repeat information.

Another suggestion to improve customer service is to provide more human interactions. In the age of automation, this might sound counterintuitive. However, few things are more annoying than trying to bypass a robot and contact a rep that can help you with your specific problem.

Note that increasing the quality of the services provided is an ongoing process for improving customer retention in the telecom industry.

2. Implement a Relevant Loyalty Program

With so many competitors to choose from, loyalty in the telecom industry becomes almost unattainable. In fact, 12% of customers change their provider simply because they don’t see their loyalty being acknowledged or rewarded.

So, to keep customers close, providers need to offer them benefits they can’t find elsewhere.  Perks can include hardware upgrades, content, internet service, and fiber-optic service. Some providers even throw in access to video streaming services.

The key to a successful loyalty program, however, is personalization. Only the rewards that are relevant to them will make customers remain loyal. 

To create personalized experiences, providers should segment customers and tailor rewards for each specific segment. Powerful behavior segmentation requires an investment in technology, which brings us to the next point. 

3. Invest in Technology

Customer analytics and insights tools can predict customer behavior, which, in turn, enables telco providers to identify the best tactics to reduce churn. 

For example, Vodafone uses AI to compile comprehensive customer profiles and identify who is more likely to churn. Then, they reach out to these customers and offer discounts or other perks relevant to their needs in return for their loyalty. 

Another example of how technology helps increase customer retention in the telecom industry comes from a Hong Kong telco. By reducing the time needed to pinpoint the location of network faults from 3 hours to 30 minutes, they reduced their churn from double digits to only 1.5%!

4. Gather Customer Feedback Regularly

Customers have clear expectations regarding the services they’re paying for, so ISPs and telcos need to know if they’re meeting those expectations. One way to find out is by running feedback surveys at various points along the customer journey. This way, any dissatisfactions can be addressed before they become a reason to churn. 

5. Offer a Full Range of Services

Having as few providers as possible to cover communication needs is cost-effective, and customers know that. That’s why, ideally, they would prefer to have one provider for everything, including the email service.  

This is where Axigen can help ISPs and telcos in their efforts to increase customer retention. Many of them cater to other businesses that often welcome a secure email server solution alternative as an affordable add-on. 

The Axigen Mail Server is specifically built to provide ISPs with fast and reliable service provider messaging by leveraging an advanced, proprietary architecture. Axigen SmartProcessing™ helps service providers reduce email processing time to a minimum, while Axigen UltraStorage™ ensures effective space management and prevents service downtime or loss of data even at the highest traffic peaks.

Catering to business needs rather than consumer needs is a smart strategy because business clients tend to stick around longer than end-users. Although this may seem cold & pragmatic, it will undoubtedly improve your cash flow and reduce the pressure on your customer acquisition efforts.

6. Offer Email as a Separate, Premium Package

If you’ve never considered email as a revenue generating vertical, consider the following: you already have the technology to support it, you can upgrade your plans to offer even better services, and then all you need is a good project manager.

Who would buy email as a separate service? Simple:

  • A manager who needs mailboxes for their team or business
  • Privacy-focused businesses who need full control of their email security
  • Devs who require full control of their email admin options
  • Simple users who want a premium experience from their email
  • Anyone who wants to be free of Google, Microsoft, and other large enterprises with controversial pasts when it comes to privacy and security.

By deploying Axigen, you can add your logo onto our whitelabeled email server software and generate a new revenue lane in a matter of weeks. All this while offering a valuable service with increased retention because of the stickiness of great email client UX.

Summing Up

The need to be connected will always be there for consumers, so from this point of view, ISPs and telecom companies will always get business. What will ultimately help improve customer retention in the telecom industry is the ability to anticipate bottlenecks and continuous customer experience enhancements.