9/16/2009 12:10:00 PM
Employees really are your most valuable asset
The UK mobile phone market is one of the most fiercely fought business battles on the planet. The recent high-profile merger between T-Mobile and Orange will do nothing to temper UK market competitiveness – in fact, the opposite is likely to be true as the combined brand looks to solidify its share leadership, combating renewed pressure from two formidable adversaries in O2 and Vodafone. Add to the mix the independent retailers, with Carphone Warehouse looking to bolster its proposition with the range and retail savvy of Best Buy, not to mention the giant strides Tesco Mobile is taking in the prepay market.
Of course, this is all great news for the consumer. The density of the country and maturity of the market have led to almost ubiquitous coverage meaning that unlike the US, service providers compete less on network coverage and with almost perfect competition, can’t afford to go to war on price. The battleground has evolved and is now fought on two major categories: product and the customer experience.
The former is fairly easy to define – the combination of the latest handsets, content and data products, with the introduction of 3G cards and netbooks blurring the lines between computing and communicating and increasing the strain on network bandwidth. Network quality, rather than just coverage, becomes increasingly important – a factor the merger also addresses.
The customer experience is a little harder to define. I’ve seen it described as ‘the sum of all conscious and subconscious interactions with the brand’ which, though impressive, doesn’t provide much in the way of actionable insight.
At Fizzback, we have a far more action orientated handle on the customer experience. Gathering experience feedback from a large cross-section of UK mobile consumers, across the whole lifecycle from retail to retention, we hear hundreds of thousands of consumers each month describe their experience in their own words.
The clear pattern that emerges time and again is that it’s the human elements that make all the difference – combinations of employee attitude, friendliness and knowledge rise to the top of the list of key drivers of customer engagement, loyalty and advocacy. Our clients have found that by rewarding the correct behaviour, it’s possible to make rapid improvements in brand perception, encouraging customers to keep coming back, and recommending their friends do likewise.