The telecoms market is undergoing a huge transition in the UK and across continental Europe. A number of high-profile acquisitions have been made with analysts expecting further consolidation of telecoms companies still to come. The reason behind this spate of acquisitions? The attempt to bring to the market a quad play offer for consumers writes Tim Faulkner, Vice President EMEA ClickSoftware
Quad play is a term that has been around for a while now. The idea is that a telecoms company can offer a fixed telephone line, broadband, TV and mobile service. For consumers, they get a one-stop shop for all their services. It means dealing with less providers, consolidated bills and makes the overall service much easier to manage.
In research conducted by ClickSoftware last year, we found that over a third (34%) of consumers have either cancelled a service or stopped using a brand altogether as a result of poor customer service
A staggeringly high figure to think a third of the customers that businesses come across on a daily basis can be so quickly and so emphatically put off spending any more money with them.
For quad play to be a compelling offer to consumers, it needs to improve the customer service aspect and ensure that there is consistency in service delivery across the company. Regardless of the role, every employee and contractor needs to be provided with the training, tools and information they need to perform a good job.
Whether it’s discussing a service over the phone or an engineer installing a solution at a customer’s house, everyone working for the company is a brand ambassador
When it comes to cost, industry commentators are undecided about whether it will lead to cheaper bills for consumers, however they are in agreement that bringing all of these services together should lead to better customer experiences. That said, in any acquisition, merging the companies together can be a difficult task.
This is further complicated when considering the multiple suppliers each company deals with and how these are integrated. For quad play to take off, companies buying others will need to work out their supplier roster quickly to minimise disruption during the transition.
For the telecoms companies, each should now be in a more powerful position to deal with suppliers. Because there will now be less telecoms companies to work with, the suppliers will need to compete more fiercely than ever.
Every employee and contractor needs to be provided with the training, tools and information they need to perform a good job.
What we will see as a consequence of a quad play market is the development of a marketplace bidding system. Suppliers will need to tender their services via a marketplace platform and the telecoms company will then have to take its pick of the supplier it feels provides the best service.
This new way of working will also benefit the telecoms companies as they will be able to have full visibility across all field resources, including contractors. By extending the same technology utilised by the company to its contractors, they can better ensure consistent processes and level of service are carried out across the organisation.
Regardless of which service provider is performing the task, the visibility should ensure consistency and a better customer experience.
The rest of the year will see the issue of quad play develop. We will see telecoms companies aggressively promoting the offer in order to acquire customers. It will be crucial that for quad play to really take off, the customer experience element improves right off the bat.
Utilising service providers in this new marketplace model is one way of ensuring this takes place