In today’s fast-paced consumer world, telecom companies lose far too many deals due to inefficient tools and workflows. But there is a better way. Automated digital workflows, a type of business process automation (BPA) help boost teams’ sales rates by streamlining sales processes to close more deals, faster, and with better compliance. With workflows, agents complete entire sales journeys with customers through their mobile phones in real-time.
While on a call, agents invite the customer to a collaborative mobile zone via SMS, where they can instantly share visual order summaries, device financing documents, and terms and conditions to ensure customers are on the same page and compliance requirements are met. Agents can also instantly collect eSignatures, digital consent, PCI-compliant digital payments, and more.
This blog will detail some of the unique challenges of telecom sales, the pitfalls of traditional telecom sales processes, and how Lightico’s dynamic workflow solution can lead to higher closure rates, better take rates, reduced AHT, and much more.
Current Challenges of Over-the-Phone Telecom Sales
A typical telecom sales process is complex and difficult to complete quickly, compliantly, and successfully over the phone. A sales representative has a limited amount of time to interest a customer in a telecom product, review the order, and collect the payment.
Here are some of the stages of a typical telecom sales call:
- Discussion: The agent and customer discuss product options and align expectations.
- Presentation of offer: The agent reads over a description of the product that was decided on (e.g., iPhone 11 with 256 megabytes with the unlimited plan).
- Terms and conditions (T&C) read: The agent reads a lengthy T&C script. The customer normally doesn’t fully understand or catch everything.
- Signature collection: During device financing with zero-interest loans, signatures are usually required, breaking the journey flow.
- Payment collection: The customer provides credit card information, usually over the phone.
Unfortunately, such transactions are fraught with challenges:
- Lack of visibility into the order summary: Representatives read out loud the often-complex order summary, which leads customers to sometimes misunderstand or mishear what they’ve just purchased. As a result, telecom companies suffer from post-call cancellations. They receive their first bill, are surprised by what they’re paying for, and call to cancel.
- Agent variability: Agents have to stop and think about how to pair product variations together with process, T&Cs, and relevant forms during the order summary process, and make decisions independently — impacting sales success rates and compliance rates.
- Lengthy sales scripts: Reading T&C scripts out loud is frustrating for both agents and the customers who are forced to listen. Customers often miss information or fail to understand, and it takes up precious time.
- High customer expectations: Today’s consumers expect a visual, fast, and intuitive experience, thanks to their regular exposure to brands like Amazon and Apple. Traditional over-the-phone telecom sales pale in comparison.
As we’ve seen, telecom sales are often characterized by manual, cumbersome processes that fall short of today’s digital standards. This can have a detrimental impact on the KPIs telecom companies value the most, leading to:
- Inefficient compliance: Lengthy T&C scripts and start/stop software used during payment collection cause inefficiency and a poor customer experience. Processes are prolonged, and misunderstandings are rampant.
- Inconsistent compliance: Customers often interrupt the script-reading with questions, leading agents to miss parts, and jeopardize compliance. In addition, the telecom lacks transparency into compliance adherence, as no one is able to listen to all the calls.
- 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.
A New Approach: Smart and Digital End-to-End Telecom Processes
Fast & Easy No-Code Deployment
Traditional solutions force managers to turn to their IT department each time they want to make a change. In many cases, a change request needs to be raised with the vendor. This leads to inefficiencies and potential compliance lapses.
In contrast, automated workflows empower the people who know the processes best to make immediate adjustments to workflow, forms, and other configurations without delay.
Companies that deploy automated workflows solutions benefit from zero coding requirements from IT and development teams. Telecoms easily configure and update workflows, forms, fields, and offerings from a user-friendly, drag-and-drop admin console.
This no-code approach allows our customers to stay agile and tweak business rules according to shifting regulatory and end-customer demands. It’s far more time- and cost-efficient than relying on software that requires coding.
Automated Digital Workflows For Telecom Sales
Digital workflows enable the full end-to-end automation of entire workflows. Such solutions allow telecom companies to improve their take rate by building a dynamic offer and visualizing its presentation — along with all compliance requirements.
With workflows, sales teams to build retail offers in real-time 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.
Before: Telecom 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: Telecom 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.
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 telecom 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
Automated digital workflows reimagine the traditional telecom sales process for the digital era by allowing agents to visually and collaboratively interact with customers while on the sales call. Such automated solutions offer the following core capabilities:
- ID verification: Agents can automatically authenticate customer identity through instant ID collection and verification.
- Results: Improved compliance, reduced fraud
- Product visualization: As the customer speaks with the agent, they can simultaneously browse relevant products and add them to the cart.
- Results: Better alignment, improved NPS
- Digital offer summary (“visual cart”): Agents are able to not just verbalize but show the customer’s selected devices, accessory options, plans, and pricing. This helps get the customer excited and create a store-like experience.
- Results: Better alignment, higher closure rate, and lower cancellation.
- Instant T&Cs: A no-code workflow based on business logic automatically generates the digital T&C and relevant documents for signature based on the chosen offering. This helps prevent human error and eliminates the need for lengthy agent scripts.
- Results: Zero errors, higher compliance rate, slashed AHT
- Secure payments: Agents can collect payment instantly via credit card with mobile-friendly, PCI compliant payment forms that eliminate all risk.
- Results: Improved completion rates, better compliance, higher NPS
- Shared review: Customers and agents can co-view the customer’s bill at the end, adding a final layer of clarity.
- Result: Slashed post-call cancellation rates
- Real-time eSignature collection: Agents can collect customer signatures in real-time or in off-line mode.
- Result: Reduced time spent chasing customers for signatures.
- API: Agents can initiate sessions through multiple organizational systems including the CRM, mobile applications, customer portals, and more.
- Result: Getting more out of existing systems.
Improve Telecom Sales and Servicing With Automated Workflows
Automated digital workflows help telecom companies streamline their customer-facing activities, both on the sales and servicing side. It bridges important gaps in any telecom’s digital transformation efforts.
By advancing to automated digital workflows, telecom companies 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 telecom companies keep the ball rolling between critical steps in the sales process with no manual effort, allowing compliance and speed to coexist like never before.
After adopting Lightico’s workflow automation platform, telecom companies have on average:
- Boosted revenue per call by 10%
- Improved NPS by 15%
- Made sales journeys fully compliant
- Improved sales advisor efficiency by 20%
- Reduced call handle time by 10%