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Inflation Isn’t Going Away, but You Can Still Keep Your Telecom Customers Happy

Two women discuss customer retention strategies in a mobile phone call.
If communications companies are hiking their prices, they have to give customers a reason to stay. [ZQZ Studio / Stocksy]

Inflation is still impacting the communications industry. If you’re hiking prices, you need to give customers a reason to stay. Here’s how.

With all the telecom options out there, communications service providers know that staying competitive means giving customers a reason to stay loyal.

Yes, inflation is still having an impact on the communications industry, and those price increases could cost customers. Communications companies like AT&T and Verizon raised prices this year due in part to inflation.

And now customers are looking at their options. In the second quarter, Verizon fell short of expected growth, adding only 12,000 new wireless customers compared to the 167,000 additions predicted by analysts. Meanwhile, T-Mobile, Comcast, and Charter have not raised prices, improving their competitive position. 

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If communications companies are hiking their prices, they have to give customers a reason to stay. Here’s what industry experts and consumers told us about how providers can maximize the return on their investments and increase opportunities for revenue growth. 

Improve customer retention by gaining a complete picture of their journey

Pairing customer data with real-time intelligence lets providers give recommendations in context based on who they’re talking to and why they’re talking to them.

This doesn’t mean using siloed data, but rather accessing a more complete picture painted with data throughout the platform. This unified, 360-degree view of the customer shows not only what they’ve purchased or what cases they’ve logged but also information on their digital history, spending and payment patterns and usage patterns.

Communications providers can then use this information to deliver a better experience — serving the customer the way they want to be served. In some cases, that could actually be offering the customer a pared-down plan. For example, although wireless providers actually get less money by offering shared or family plans, it may help prevent churn because if customers have five lines with the operator, it’s harder for them to just say, “I’m done with you.”

It boils down to leveraging real-time customer insights and giving them what they need when they need it — and ultimately a reason to stay as prices fluctuate. 

Automation can pinpoint customer needs — and save you money

In wireless and mobile, things move quickly. If a customer wants to buy something that spans across multiple systems, such as a wireless plan along with streaming, the provider must provide a simple experience on the front end and then convert that into something they can quickly deliver. To do this, there must be a seamless experience across different channels that delivers a good experience to the customer while hiding the complexity on the back end. 

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When it comes to fixed lines, there’s more involved when it comes to fulfilling service, and the costs are high. To complete an offer, you may need to send a truck roll or technicians. When the order isn’t perfect, then you need to spend time fixing it. Then, the customer complaints come in. 

Eliminating that negative customer experience depends on how quickly you can create an offer and sell the right thing, at the right time, and at the right price — and then deliver smoothly without any exceptions or delay. 

Automation helps create a better experience for the customer, making price hikes feel more palatable and improving customer retention. It also reduces costs to the provider, which may prevent inflation-related price hikes from ever being passed down to the consumer. 

Making the right offer thanks to a unified view of the customer, while also leveraging AI to deliver it seamlessly, is critical as price hikes add to concerns over churn. Delivering on this perfect order will help alleviate inflationary pressure and allow providers to continue focusing on their customers. 

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Photo of David Fan
David Fan

David has dedicated his professional career to helping global communications service providers innovate and transform the way they engage with their customers. David leverages his extensive technology background, implementation experiences and global exposure to develop industry enterprise software best practices. Currently, he is serving as the vice-president of product management at Salesforce, focusing on the communications industry.

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