Knowing me, knowing you; Customer satisfaction used to be so easy…

An article written by ROCCO’s head of UK Operations, Nicola Bryan

MNOs can take part in ROCCO’s Customer Service Research by following the link here, in return for participating ROCCO will send you an exclusive Executive Summary reports ranking all the Roaming and Interconnect Vendors in the market on their Customer Service score.




Consumer: A kilo of sugar please?

Vendor: Certainly sir, here you are, a kilo of sugar.

Consumer: (exchanges cash) thank you

Vendor: Thank you, have a great day!


Consumer: A kilo of refined Madagascan vanilla sugar please?

Vendor: We only have this sugar

Consumer: Is it refined Madagascan vanilla sugar?

Vendor: No its just the plain sugar that we’ve always sold

Consumer: But I need refined Madagascan….…


The key point being that you think about what a customer really wants or you lose a customer…

“Amazon did not kill the retail industry. It did it to itself with bad customer service. Netflix did not kill Blockbuster. They did it to themselves with ridiculous late fees. Uber did not kill the taxi business. They did it to themselves with limited the number of taxis and fare control. Apple did not kill the music industry. It did it to itself by forcing people to buy full-length albums. Airbnb did not kill the hotel industry. It did it to itself with limited availability and pricing options. Technology by itself is not the real disruptor. Being non-customer centric is the biggest threat to any business”

 Credit to Alberto Brea

Admittedly a Customer’s need used to be so simple, like so many of us, when I was 14 I worked Saturdays in a local store, with the owner and his family, they knew every customer on first name terms, they would ask after the families and prepared the usual array of products tailored for that customer.  I marvelled at the store owner whilst he would casually ‘add on’ new products that he knew the customer would like, whilst sharing local ‘news’. Customers would walk out happy and loyal. So in reflection, customer service was simple too. So what’s changed?

Well, gone are the days of essential consumer needs, this was replaced by challenging consumer demands quite some time ago.  And with this heightened expectation and saturated market place, a vendor has it harder than ever before to earn and keep a customer. Increased choice and option has created a ‘Consumer Monster’ and no longer is plain old simple ‘service’ acceptable, but an entire 360 experience (or CX as its known in the industry) is expected, so it’s up to the vendor to ‘go the extra mile’ and source the refined Madagascan vanilla sugar or simply let the customer walk away.

So how do vendors slay the colossal ever-evolving Consumer Monster and achieve this 360 Customer Experience in 2017? Here is the first of the top CX trends coming into fashion this year;


With technology evolving by the minute, and more cookies than a bakery, it’s easier than ever for vendors to create a more personalised customer experience.

Big Data gives vendors accurate trends and insights into their customer’s preferences and purchasing history so there is no reason not to use this crucial information. However, it’s important that there is a balance.

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”  

CEB, a global insight and technology company conducted research into this topic recently asking marketers how they thought their personalized campaigns made customers feel, and then asked their customers for their view.

“Almost three-quarters (73%) were negative, and almost half used synonyms for “creepy” — including words like “hunted,” “naked,” “unsafe,” and “worried”

It seems there is a fine line to walk between providing quality service and freaking customers out and as many companies are making large investments into data integration and analytics its important they get the balance right. Shep Hyken customer service and experience expert sums it up perfectly;

“Companies that can use data to properly and ethically connect with the customer and give them a better, more personalized experience, will have a powerful competitive advantage” 

Consumers can get frustrated when they encounter anything irrelevant, so they do appreciate it is necessary to share a certain amount of personal data to receive a more relevant experience.  Interestingly in contrast to CEB’s insight, in a recent consumer survey by Accenture-the worlds largest digital network, it confirmed that 75% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, and knows their purchase history.

“I think the most basic mistake is thinking personalisation means you get to know someone by name but not by what motivates and engages them, information that can be gleaned from their shopping habits,”

Simon Towner, divisional director of retail at Omnico Group

I must say I was equally impressed yet horrified when I read about ‘living profiles’ an extensive data library that reveals signs of a customer’s personality and preference on things that matter, to understand why you choose what you choose- so companies are able to combine data across all interactions and tailor your needs as a consumer. Great! But I may think twice before signing up to anything using my Facebook account from now on.

In conclusion, companies that have incorporated personalization into their strategies are better positioned for growth, however they must be ethically mindful of how to use their customer’s data, there must be an equilibrium, a sympathetic and careful approach to personalization, a knowledge that emotion plays a key part for the consumer, fundamentally the old store owner approach, for its when the direct marketing is aggressive, or relentless or becomes over familiar, that consumers begin to feel pestered, resulting in a feeling of invasion, violation and a big turn off for any hope of repeat custom.

MNOs can take part in ROCCO’s Customer Service Research by following the link here, in return for participating ROCCO will send you an exclusive Executive Summary reports ranking all the Roaming and Interconnect Vendors in the market on their Customer Service score.