Building advocacy in telecommunications

How CSPs can improve customer loyalty
in a connected world

CSPs have invested heavily in loyalty and customer satisfaction programs to increase advocacy. However, results from our most recent global telecommunications survey seem to indicate that CSPs’ customer satisfaction investments have not produced the positive results desired. Our survey of approximately 13,000 consumers in 24 countries reveals that customer advocacy levels are still quite low. And globally, there are more than three times as many antagonists than advocates. These antagonists cost more to support and are prone to speak negatively about their provider.

So with all the emphasis on “customer first,” why are advocacy levels so low? Today, customer attitudes and behavior patterns are changing faster than CSPs can adapt their analytical and customer management responses. Rather than traditional CSP sites and channels, consumers’ preferred sources of information include Internet searches, comparison sites, recommendations from friends and family, and social media sites. In addition, we discovered that key drivers of advocacy are emotive in nature, again contrasting with current CSP practices that target rational factors.

The flipside of low advocacy rates are high numbers of antagonists who are actively promoting negative messages about their CSP. Our survey identified a surprising 60 percent of consumers as antagonists. These consumers are telling friends and families about their bad experiences and are typically not letting the providers know when they have problems or issues.

We recommend CSPs initiate programs that target behavioral, emotional and rational aspects of the customer relationship to directly improve both bottom line and customer key performance indicators (KPIs). Our research suggests several key actions, which move beyond traditional techniques, to help CSPs strengthen advocacy and drive growth:

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Meet the author

  • Rob van den Dam

    Rob van den Dam

    Global Industry Leader - Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment, IBM Institute for Business Value

Communications consulting

Deep industry expertise provides the foundation for solving the most complex business problems.

  • IBM

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