Livehelp for the Telecommunication Industry – Case study
(Note: This case study uses Airtel as an example for the purposes of explanation)
Nikhil is using an Airtel postpaid mobile phone since 3 years. He wants to change his billing plan. He wants to check out the various plans and choose the one that suits his needs. He calls up the Airtel customer care. As soon as he gets through he is put through an elaborate menu which goes like – For billing related information press 1, for information on new schemes press 2, to talk to a customer care executive press 0. He presses 0 and finally gets to talk to a customer support person. He asks the customer care person to give him information on the different schemes and plans available. The customer support person tells Nikhil about all the plans one by one. He tells the customer support executive that he would get back to them after making up his mind.
Now he hangs up the phone and tries to analyze which plan suits him the best. Unfortunately he has forgotten half the information. Furthermore, he suddenly realizes that he asked the customer support executive only about calling rates and forgot to ask about sms rates. The information that Nikhil has at this moment is insufficient to make up his mind as to which plan he wants to go for. He calls up the Airtel customer care once again and waits till he is transferred to a customer support executive. His call is routed to another customer support executive this time. And since this second customer support executive is unaware that Nikhil has already spoken to someone before, he gives Nikhil all the information again, even the information that Nikhil had already heard. This gets irritating for Nikhil. He listens to all the information and hangs up. Now Nikhil has more information than before and again tries to make up his mind about which plan he wants to go for. He is in this thinking process. He is sort of made up his mind, but he feels lazy to call up third time and change his plan. So he ends up procrastinating it to the next day.
The next day Nikhil receives his bill. He realizes that he has been charged for roaming service inspite of not being out of station for a single day. He calls up the customer care. After a significant wait his call gets routed to a customer care executive. He explains his problem and after he has done that, the line gets disconnected. Now Nikhil is really frustrated. He knows that if he calls up again his call would get routed to a new customer support executive and he’ll have to explain his story again.
For two consecutive days Nikhil has had a bad experience with Airtel’s phone based customer support. He checks out the website of Airtel when he goes to office hoping that there will be some kind of customer support service available. He is disappointed when he sees a customer support and feedback form.
Fig 1. Snapshot of the support page of the Airtel website
Nikhil did not have the patience to leave a message and wait for someone to get back to him. While he was surfing he found another customer support page, as represented below as Fig 2
Fig 2. Snapshot of the support page of the Airtel website
Even the FAQ section did not address Nikhil’s issues. Thus are several limitations of this FAQ based customer support. FAQ’s are usually not exhaustive. It takes time to search for the relevant page. It is not very useful for people who cannot understand the complicated jargon of the documentation. Most customers need to be explained in simple terms what is to be done rather than bombarding them with technical information. The FAQ sections are very rarely updated and hence are of not much use.
Fig 3. Snapshot of the FAQ support page of the Airtel website
Thus now the only option Nikhil has is to visit the Airtel customer support centre. He ends up wasting an hour and a half visiting the Airtel office. In all Nikhil has spent more that 3 hrs trying to resolve these issues. Customer satisfaction has gone for a toss. Hence Airtel has an unhappy customer and has a threat of losing him to their competitors.
In the world of customer relationship management, excellent customer support is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. Providing after sales support has no more just a differentiator, it is a sustenance tactic in today’s market where customer is the king. Providing customer support increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. Providing good customer support can be an important step in image making of business. It adds value to your product and service portfolio and hence increases customer base.
The most effective and affordable way to provide this customer service is through LivehelpGenie – chat based customer service solution. LivehelpGenie represents your ability to respond to customer inquiries in real-time while the customer is navigating your web site. Your customer support team receives inquiries from the visitors of the website and answers them in the best possible way.
To give you a good understanding of LivehelpGenie, we would give you a walkthrough by generating certain scenarios which are exhaustive and address most aspects of our service.
Scenario Description: Nikhil wants to find out about the various plans and schemes available so that he could select a plan that suits him best. Nikhil is navigating your website. He clicks on the “chat with us” icon on the website of Airtel. The customer support agent is ready to respond to Nikhil’s queries. A two-way written dialogue is initiated.
Fig 4. Snapshot of the Samsung India website with LivehelpGenie logo
Fig 5. Sample chat
Scenario Description: Nikhil also wants to check up why he has been charged for roaming inspite of not going out of town. The operator who initially accepted the chat and told Nikhil about the various plans does not have the answer to these questions which fall in a different domain. In this scenario LivehelpGenie llows the operator to transfer the chat to another department
Fig 6. Sample chat
The above were samples of chat which were initiated by the visitor on the Airtel website. These indicate how we could provide quick and affordable customer service on your website. Customer support could be provided round the clock. There are three shifts – 8 am to 4 pm, 4 pm to 12 midnight, 12 midnight to 8 am. This would ensure that your customers are being attended to all the time. However, you might choose to provide chat based customer service for lesser than three shifts. For the other shifts we have an email based support system.
Scenario Description: Nikhil visits the website at night time. None of the customer support people are available. The email response management system is on. Nikhil leaves a message and he gets a response to her query next day.
Fig 7. Snapshot of the Airtel website with LivehelpGenie logo – email customer support
Fig 8. Snapshot of the email support system window
After Nikhil finishes with all the above, he is generally surfing and looking for broadband Internet Services. Since Nikhil is looking for broadband Internet services, he decides to visit the websites of the major players in the market such as BSNL and reliance. He visits each of these and is bombarded with information. Each of these companies has information about their products on the website.
Fig 15. Snapshot of the broadband services section on BSNL website
Fig 16. Snapshot of the broadband services section on Airtel website
Fig 17. Snapshot of the broadband services section on Reliance website
He happens to hit the Airtel website. The Airtel website has a complex structure with more than four levels of navigation. There are five basic sections on the website: Mobile Services, Broadband and Telephone Services, Long distance services, Enterprise services and About Bharti. The mobile services section comprises information about products and services, billing, additional value added services on mobiles and so on. Similarly each section has more than 10 pages. Overall the website has more than 50 pages. The complexity of navigation is high due to the large amount of information available.
Nikhil is finding it difficult to find his way around. He has spent quite some time on the website but cannot find the correct pages quickly. For instance, in order to find out relevant information about broadband services the following pages need to be navigated
Fig 9.First accessed page
Fig 10. Second accessed page
Fig 11. Third accessed page
Fig 12. Fourth accessed page
Thus Nikhil reached the relevant information after traversing 5 pages. A couple of times he misunderstood the structure and accessed the wrong pages. Adding the erroneous accesses, it can be said that Nikhil had to wait for at least 10 html pages to open before he got to the relevant information. Even after he has found the page for broadband services he realizes that the information is not enough for him to make a decision. He gets frustrated with the amount of time its taking to get the exact information and leaves the website. Consequently, Airtel has created a negative image before Nikhil and they might be losing a potential customer.
Using LivehelpGenie as a navigation aid can prevent this. It makes life easy for the customer helps your customers navigate your web site by "co-browsing" with them. Our specially trained agents can "push" specific web pages to the customer and help guide them through your site, locate the requested information and complete on-line forms or any other applications that will.
Fig 13. Snapshot of the Airtel website with LivehelpGenie– proactive initiation of chat
As evident from the above figure, the customer care executive initiates a chat because he/she senses that Nikhil needs some help in navigation and he might be a potential customer. Thus the customer support executive invites Nikhil for a chat. Nikhil accepts the chat and a sample conversation is given below.
Fig 14. Sample chat
While surfing Nikhil finds that all these companies have products which are more or less the same, have similar features and similar pricings. All these are known brands. She might get confused and just pick any one without a very strong justification point. She might pick either BSNL or Reliance because she might have had a good first impression of their websites, or they may have more aesthetically pleasing websites etc. She could take any decision which may not be based on rationality. She may not take any decision at all because she is confused with so many products. She may decide that she needs time and further input to decide what she wants to buy.
Airtel has just missed out on a potential customer!
Many such people visit websites every day. This represents a very huge potential market. Ideally, we should hold the customer back on our website once he is there. We should go in for push marketing. This is a very cost effective and targeted method of improving your sales. This is very targeted and effective because it does not spam the customer with extra information. Apart from marketing and advertising there are other advantages. It shortens your sales cycle. You can take secure orders during chat and sell instantly. We propose that you use Mi support, as a way of targeted marketing
Scenario description: Nikhil is navigating the website because she is looking for broadband Internet services. While he is surfing, a sales support executive observes that he is visiting pages related to broadband internet services and might be a potential buyer. The sales support executive triggers a conversation as an attempt of push marketing.
Fig 18. Sample chat