Telco sales processes are often complicated and difficult for the agent to lead and the customer to follow due to complex plans and deal structures. As a result, agents sell less effectively, errors are rampant, service times get elongated, and customers are less satisfied with their calls. This combination of business impact (hurt sales and inflated costs) and customer frustration (damaged loyalty) has caused telcos to seek ways to simplify otherwise complicated processes. While people love human care, a need has emerged for standardized, automated operations.
To try to address this need, telcos have adopted point solutions that automate and digitize certain aspects of the sales cycle. Unfortunately, telcos’ most important processes remain siloed and inflexible. These tools demand coding from the IT department, customized integrations, or don’t integrate well with existing systems. Such disjointed processes make it difficult for telcos to adjust, reconfigure, and update business rules to a constantly changing business and regulatory environment.
Automated digital workflows are designed to eliminate these inefficiencies, and make the life of agents and customers more efficient and more clear. Many automated workflows have low or no coding requirements, enabling telcos to make changes on the fly.
Here, we’ll explore the pitfalls of traditional telco sales processes, how automated workflows solve for these issues, and potential use cases to streamline telco sales.
The Shortcomings of Point Solutions for Telcos
Many telcos still rely on traditional formats to close sales over the phone. The agent spends significant time trying to explain complex product options, leading to customer confusion or misunderstanding.
Once the customer shows interest, the agent must read terms and conditions from a lengthy script, which is also likely to be misunderstood. As a result of this confusion, telcos often suffer from post-call cancellations, long AHT, poor take rate, and a bevy of other issues.
To address these issues, some telcos have started to adopt digital tools for business process management. While this certainly represents an advantage over manual processes, it’s still not enough to meet the needs of telcos in today’s tough regulatory environment.
For instance, telcos sometimes use robotic process automation (RPA) to automate specific tasks, such as invoicing and order processing. The problem here is that silos remain, and processes are not integrated.
So customers may receive an automatically generated bill at the end, but agents still need to manually select products on the customer’s behalf, read lengthy scripts, and decide which accompanying products (e.g., insurance, damage cover) are relevant.
When systems don’t communicate automatically with each other, when agents are forced to make their own decisions, when digital tools are tacked onto otherwise non-digital processes, a number of KPIs are negatively impacted including:
- Inefficient compliance: Lengthy T&C scripts and start/stop software used during payments help keep telcos compliant but at a heavy price. Processes are prolonged, misunderstandings are rampant, and both the customer and agent experience is hurt.
- Poor conversions/take rate: Disjointed sales cycles lead prospects to drop off from the process due to confusion or frustration.
- Low NPS: Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure of customer satisfaction, drops even before the point of sale due to lack of clarity.
- Low eNPS: Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), a measure of employee satisfaction, drops due to frustrating, lengthy, and manual processes.
- High post-call cancellation rate: Customers who failed to understand the details of their purchase are likely to cancel when they receive their first bill.
Automated Digital Workflows For Streamlined and Compliant Telco Sales
In today’s fast-paced consumer world, telco companies cannot afford excessive AHT, lost deals, and post-call cancellations due to inefficient workflows. At the same time, the regulatory environment demands telcos to maintain T&Cs and PCI-compliant payments — or face hefty penalties.
The good news is that automated digital workflows can help telcos eliminate compliance risk while improving efficiencies. Such solutions allow admins to update business rules on the fly to trigger entire agent workflows throughout the call.
Key Benefits of Adopting an Automated Digital Workflow
- Simplified processes: A single system controls the entire end-to-end process with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
- Digital tools in one digital suite: At various stages of the workflow, rules trigger the sending of T&C documents, requests for eSignatures, and digital payments.
- More streamlined processes: Easy and intuitive conditional rules can be set to ensure business logic between and within steps.
- Optimized: Each customer interaction can be optimized across touchpoints and existing systems.
- More visibility: Digital workflows come with dashboards that allow business leaders to gain visibility into the KPIs that matter most, such as closure rates, AHT, and NPS.
- Zero IT involvement: Admins can adjust their business rules according to their needs without requiring IT support or coding.
How Automated Digital Workflows Work
Before: Telco agents rely on manual work and verbalization for everything, from product descriptions to T&C scripts to order reviews. Misunderstanding and confusion run rampant.
After: Telco agents and customers are automatically guided through conditional workflows. Customers can see and select products, read T&Cs, review their order, and pay all from a mobile-optimized interface. Customers are crystal-clear about what they’re getting.
Automating full digital workflows allows telcos to improve their take rate by building a dynamic offer and visualizing its presentation — along with all compliance requirements.
Sales teams can build retail offers based on agent or customer choices. Based on these choices, agents can build offers, assemble documents, and generate T&Cs, sending everything to customers in a compelling “visual cart” for them to approve and purchase.
Digital workflows are designed to maximize compliance and minimize inconvenience. A typical sales process using automated workflows can look like this:
- Agent sends the customer a text message link to a product page where the customer can select the products they want.
- The products the customer selects are automatically transferred into a visual cart containing an order summary. There, the customer can review the products and prices from the comfort of their own smartphone, and approve.
- Depending on the conditional information received, the workflow triggers a T&C document requiring the customer’s consent.
- Once the customer reads and approves the T&C, a PCI-compliant request for payment automatically appears on the customer’s screen.
- The workflow generates a bill, allowing the customer to easily review their purchase while the agent is still on the phone.
Here are some examples of conditional logic rules for telco sales that are based on different protocols. All these rules and many more can be dynamically configured and triggered in real-time:
[Applicant purchase item = x, add insurance module and T&C disclosure]
If- Type of product is x
If- State or residency is y
If- Age is z
Then: Add T&C document
Then: Request signature
Then: Add insurance
Then: Add damage cover
The ROI of Switching to Automated Digital Workflow For Telcos
By advancing to automated digital workflows, telcos can dynamically respond to changing product, customer, and regulatory requirements. Admins set workflow rules that reflect optimal sales behavior. As a result, sales calls become far more efficient, standardized, visual, and clear.
Automated workflows ensure telcos keep the ball rolling between critical steps in the sales process with no manual effort, allowing compliance and speed to coexist like never before.
Here are just some of the benefits our telco customers have seen by adopting Lightico’s automated digital workflow solution:
- 35% higher FCR
- 25% reduction in AHT
- 15% higher NPS
- 100% compliant journeys
- Higher ARPU
- Higher closure rates
- Eliminated errors
- Better customer understanding