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NBA is not the Customer Service Example Telecom Service Providers Should Follow

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December 05, 2011

NBA is not the Customer Service Example Telecom Service Providers Should Follow

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Well, maybe the tedious, pointless NBA work stoppage was good for something other than mercifully sparing us from hearing about the dull NBA for a few more weeks.

Telecommunications blogger Eric M. Danis, from Amdocs (News - Alert), and self-confessed “fanatical” Boston Celtics fan noted recently in a blog entry, “National Basketball Association, you are dead to me... I am sickened by the spectacle of team owners and players potentially cancelling this year’s season because they cannot equitably divide four billion dollars in revenue.”

He should talk. This reporter is a Minnesota Vikings fan. Futility, thy name is writ in purple. True Viking fans circle the bye week during the season. But we digress.

Danis promises never to return to the NBA, but, well, put the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals and we’ll see.

Ah yes, the point: Danis notes that, while communications and cable service providers “thankfully aren’t dropping the ball on loyalty as dramatically as the NBA,” they are losing opportunities to be scoring more points with their customers.

Guess what percentage of service providers participating in a global survey conducted by Informa (News - Alert) said customer retention and loyalty were a low priority for their organizations just two years ago? Seventy. As in 7-0. As in legendary Viking defensive end Jim Marshall’s number.

Maybe they’re simply reflecting the loyalty they get. Danis notes that 66 percent of polled operators “believe that customers are less loyal today than they were two years ago, which is obviously worrisome.”

Lessened loyalty could be due to “stiff competition service providers are facing from over-the-top players, device manufacturers (such as Apple (News - Alert)) and mobile virtual network operators,” as Danis suggests, adding that “service providers simply can’t afford to allow customers to easily slip away, because it’s very difficult to add customers in today’s competitive and saturated market.

He uses the example of the NBA being rather stupid not to realize that it’s not a good idea to give people a chance to see that they don’t need you. It’s a valid point. To reduce churn, then, Danis recommends service providers “focus on maximizing each customer’s value and transforming their organizations from reactive to proactive, among other steps.”

Most service providers do, in fact, understand the importance of customer loyalty across all lines of business, as Danis mentions, and more of them are placing a higher value on customer loyalty programs and incentives.

If only the NBA had gone away the entire year.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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