Switching Providers in the Name of Customer Experience

Written by Lakshmi Nair

Australia’s telco market faced headwinds when one of the biggest telecom providers, Optus, lost its largest client, TPG, to competitor, Vodafone Hutchison. TPG is said to be shifting 320,000 mobile customers from Optus to Vodafone in order to offer several benefits to its customers, including access to better network and mobile data quality. Seems like yet another example of businesses wisely investing in customer experience.

With a growing emphasis on customer experience, businesses need to be proactive about establishing clear feedback loops with their customers in order to anticipate changing needs and address any dissatisfaction. Any supplier, vendor, service provider, or internal function that has a direct impact on customer experience should be closely monitored and evaluated for satisfactory performance. Customer questionnaires, satisfaction surveys, social media activity, and reviews are just a handful of tools that can be used to keep a pulse on how customers feel about your brand.

As a buyer, if your service provider loses a large client, it is not immediate cause for alarm. However, if that particular company has had several setbacks of the sort in a particular vertical or sector, or is experiencing a downward trend, it may be time to initiate a discussion with the company’s officials and get more information. If the loss of clients is due to dissatisfaction, consider reviewing your own KPI’s to see if any adjustments need to be made. This could also be an opportunity to reallocate newly available resources from previous clients to your own account, in which case a client loss might actually be in your favor.

Any time a big change occurs with your suppliers, even if the change doesn’t directly impact your relationship, take the opportunity to assess the situation. What other changes or trends may have contributed to this change? Are there underlying triggers that are not immediately apparent?

 Proactive monitoring of your suppliers on an ongoing basis is critical to ensure that you maintain an accurate understanding your supplier’s health. Beyond financial metrics, other key factors to consider are service maturity, governance, attrition, infrastructure, innovation, and more.

What other supplier metrics matter to you?