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How to convince B2B customers to get help online in stead of calling or emailing

  • 1.  How to convince B2B customers to get help online in stead of calling or emailing

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 12, 2021 09:22
    I'm responsible for improving the digital adoption of the Proximus B2B Enterprise (as from 10 employees) customers in terms of online self-care.
    A major trend in the customer feedback related to this topic is: 'I don't believe that my ticket that I created online will be solved faster than when I just call the service desk or send an email to my trusted contact person in Proximus'.

    I'm sure you've all been there.

    Could we share some experience on this, and on how to motivate customers to go digital?
    Surely, switching off our email addresses or contact phone numbers cannot be the answer ;-)

    thank you so much.

    Francis
    #CustomerExperience

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    Francis Depuydt
    Proximus SA
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  • 2.  RE: How to convince B2B customers to get help online in stead of calling or emailing

    Posted Aug 13, 2021 04:06
    Not experienced the problem of reluctance to use online ticketing systems to report an incident in the first case but my experience is in the Wholesale carrier business rather than enterprise customer segment.

    But where customers use their own systems internally, based on ServiceNow and the like, the main desire is for API based integration.

    The major issue I experienced is what happens after the original report.

     In discussions in the past I have been told by B2B customers that they have a policy of calling, escalating and cajoling based on the principle that it is the squeaking wheel that gets the most oil.

    I also suspect that online systems provide the bald facts of the problem and the planned resolution. Often customers then want to argue the case for a different course of action that they believe provides a better outcome in their view.

    So far the only resolution to that has been the use of chat applications integrated with ticketing systems which allow some automation and allow agents to handle multiple sessions simultaneously.

    Then of course the possibility of chatbots for some of the interactions arise.

    This in turn leads to the notion of omni channel. For those who do not have ticketing systems to link to one can consider collecting ticketing information via bots connected to a variety of media. The idea being one of being where the customer is rather than trying to drive them to your Web page. Chatbots can now even present simple webforms for people to complete to structure the information captured.

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    Derrick Evans
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  • 3.  RE: How to convince B2B customers to get help online in stead of calling or emailing

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 13, 2021 08:19
    Hi Francis,
    It would not surprise me if you can find the best answers inside your own organisation. Gather (preferably from several functions) 6-7 fellow employees. Give them a bunch of post-it notes. Then allow them 5-7 minutes to come up with as many ideas as possible for what hurdles prevent you from coming across with a compelling solution to customer self-service. Each member of your group works alone to write down their ideas. Then everyone vote on what idea they think have the most impact preventing the uptake of self-service. Take the ideas with the highest number of votes and turn them around by asking How Might We........Have each member of your group create solution ideas for the how might we. Work from there. If you want to have more on how to proceed, ask.

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    Cato Rasmussen
    Independent
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  • 4.  RE: How to convince B2B customers to get help online in stead of calling or emailing

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 18, 2021 04:42
    HI Francis,
    There are several viewpoints that spring to mind here.
    Firstly, I think the key word here is "motivation". Why would a B2B customer go digital?
    • What do your customers reply to that question - besides the one above?
    Secondly, how can you prove/show to them that going "digital" will provide them with at least the same perceived quality of response?
    • Display some metrics comparing digital to personal?
    Perhaps Gamification is an approach to consider.  A TM Forum catalyst was looking at this last year:
    • https://inform.tmforum.org/catalyst/2020/06/ready-telco-one-gamifying-the-customer-journey-to-increase-loyalty-and-value/
    A quick look in our Inform part of the library has this article. If you'd like to chat with BT on their experience, just ask me in the first instance:
    • https://inform.tmforum.org/insights/2021/05/bt-overcomes-the-challenges-of-digitizing-b2b-customer-experience-with-open-apis/
    And we have a mature, collaboration program looking at Digital/Customer Experience that has several assets that you might entertain plus some new ones being created:
    • https://www.tmforum.org/themes/?active=customer-experience-trust
    • https://www.tmforum.org/resources/collection/customer-centricity-toolkit/
    Hope that helps in some way?

    Dave

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    Dave Riches
    TM Forum
    Director, Member Solutions
    +44 774 811 8071
    driches@tmforum.org
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  • 5.  RE: How to convince B2B customers to get help online in stead of calling or emailing

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Aug 17, 2021 04:23
    Thanks, Derrick. Good suggestions - it's indeed an omni-channel (we sometimes call is 'opti-channel') play.
    F

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    Francis Depuydt
    Proximus SA
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