Great customer experience: What’s the secret?

Executive Briefing Service

Purchase report

This report is available to purchase.

Buy Now

Login to access

Want to subscribe?

This article is part of: Executive Briefing Service

To find out more about how to join or access this report please contact us

An excellent customer experience is a critical part of modern business, and one that most telcos really struggle with, achieving poor customer satisfaction ratings compared to almost every other industry. We’ve looked at a sample of leading companies with high customer approval ratings in telecoms and other industries, and found surprising commonalities in their approaches to providing a great customer experience, whether in the digital or physical world. In this, the first of a series of reports, we look at what great customer service means and what it takes to deliver it.

Introduction: How important is customer centricity for telecoms operators?

The need for improvement

Many network operators appreciate the need to improve their customers’ overall experience if their businesses are to prosper. Their executives understand the effect customer experience has on churn and customer lifetime value, and in turn on market share, operating costs, and revenues. This relationship is illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 for mobile telecoms, pay TV and internet. Using ‘Net Promoter Scores’ (NPS), the most widely accepted measure of customer satisfaction, it shows the relationship between NPS promoters (those more positive than negative and willing to promote the brand), passives (neither positive nor negative) and detractors (those who actively dissuade others), and churn and lifetime value.

Figure 2: NPS Promoters, Passives & Detractors vs Churn and Lifetime Value

Source: Bain & Co

Figure 3: Lifetime Value of Promoters, Passives and Detractors

Source: Bain & Co

While most appreciate in general terms what customer centricity means, it is not always well understood what good customer centric service should look like in practice, or how it can be achieved. Many would say that a service where all systems worked properly, customer queries were answered correctly, problems resolved quickly and few if any complaints were made to the national regulator, was providing a fully satisfactory service to its customers, and therefore providing a good customer experience. Given the complexities of delivering a mobile telecoms service, for many operators, delivering those would be an achievement.

However, that may not be what a customer regards as a good experience, and operators need to bear in mind that their customers compare them with other service providers, and not just other telecoms providers. They need to ask themselves if they should therefore aspire to something better than the satisfactory operation of their networks and services. To decide if that is the case, operators need to determine what a good customer experience is from a user’s standpoint, and establish means of assessing whether they have delivered that or not.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • How important is customer centricity for telecoms operators?
  • The need for improvement
  • What does customer centricity mean for operators?
  • Customer centric networks
  • Network performance to meet user needs
  • Customer premises networks
  • Customer centric services in a digital world
  • Improving service
  • Systems integration & AI
  • All channels to look and behave the same
  • Using AI to improve customer experience
  • Customer centric service enhancements
  • Customer centric service
  • Lessons from Ritz-Carlton, a premium service
  • Cricket: US MVNO increasing NPS, cutting churn
  • TELUS: Creating, recognising and measuring success
  • TELUS performance: Measuring success
  • Conclusions


  • Figure 1: Key Steps to Deliver Satisfactory and Exceptional Service
  • Figure 2: NPS Promoters, Passives & Detractors vs Churn and Lifetime Value
  • Figure 3: Lifetime Value of Promoters, Passives and Detractors
  • Figure 4: US Consumer NPS Scores for Different Industries
  • Figure 5: Average NPS for Telecommunications Operators in 9 Developed Countries
  • Figure 6: Highest Scoring Companies in US for Their Sector 11Highest Scoring Companies in US for Their Sector
  • Figure 7: Importance of criteria for choosing a mobile internet provider
  • Figure 8: MobiNEX segmentation dimensions
  • Figure 9:  Mobinex H2 2016 – Average scores by country
  • Figure 10: Operator and Country Scores for Reliability and Speed
  • Figure 11: Cricket wireless tariff structure
  • Figure 12: Single customer view and omni-channel insights of CMOs
  • Figure 13: TOBi, Vodafone’s AI chatbot
  • Figure 14: Amelia functions and applications
  • Figure 15: Impact of AI on media company call handling
  • Figure 16: Change in cricket NPS score from Q3 2014 to Q3 2015
  • Figure 17: TELUS monthly churn
  • Figure 18: TELUS employee engagement
  • Figure 19: Number of complaints made to the CCTS by year
  • Figure 20: TELUS ARPU 2007 – 2016
  • Figure 21: TELUS EBITDA

Technologies and industry terms referenced include: , , , ,