Specialist markets such as student accommodation, assisted living, key worker and build to rent present unique opportunities for telecoms providers to deploy the latest technology to those who are the least well served by mainstream providers. Whilst a great business opportunity, they are not without their own challenges, especially for smaller providers who may lack the financial and human resources to serve the customer effectively.
All too often we read about the perils and pitfalls of poor customer service: outsourcing help desks overseas, untrained staff or struggling to get through at all. It's not good for corporate reputation and certainly extremely bad for customer satisfaction. In a competitive marketplace it's those who provide the full package of quality, reliability and support who will succeed.
End users who find themselves in difficulty getting online, trouble with their billing or simply need some assistance with another technical problem may need to seek advice any day of time or night. It's therefore essential that the supplier operates a comprehensive support arrangement which can help them. On-site wardens, or concierges neither have the expertise nor time to deal with problems. Owners and managers need to make sure they choose a company that provides exceptional service, leaving them to deal with running and operating their building. Having a choice of contact methods is also critical. For many residents English may not be their first spoken language so the ability to liaise with support in a written format via email is a valuable tool. Increasingly people are also turning to social media to find out more about their service status or to raise support issues. Though relatively new in concept it provides another way for customers to make service enquiries.
The UK-based PCCW Global customer care centre operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The centre's technical operators are able to deal with a wide variety of problems encountered. Being part of the multi-billion dollar Hong Kong Telecom group (HKT), the company has invested heavily in the last few years to boost the offering, minimising waiting times and rolling out support via email, social media and more recently a live chat facility. Improving the availability and range of contact methods has had a really positive effect on overall satisfaction levels and recommendations.