Six steps to help prevent customer churn during technology migrations
As new technologies deliver stunning new opportunities, old ones must be laid to rest. But any change to your customer’s experience may make them think about a change – and in the worst cases, changing their provider.
With the first disconnections looming for Temporary Special Services (legacy data services provided over copper) under the nbn rollout plan, James Walsh, Telstra Wholesale’s resident expert in product exit and migrations, discusses how service providers can keep their customers happy during the switch to replacement solutions.
Here are James’s top tips for smooth migration while minimising potential business loss.
1. Look at it as an opportunity
Your organisation’s approach to migrations can be instrumental in determining your success.
“The migration offers a great opportunity for businesses that can take advantage and up-sell to their customers,” said James.
“There will always be a risk of losing customers, particularly those that are the most price-sensitive. However, we are seeing Australian consumers and businesses using data in ever-greater amounts. Businesses in particular are putting more value on the application experience delivered by their internet provider. Given these trends, the new technologies replacing copper, such as fibre, offer several advantages: they are faster, more reliable and offer greater data capacity.”
2. Start early
The most important piece of advice James can offer is to act soon.
“With only six months to go until the first disconnection date, providers need to have all their preparations underway if they are to make the migration process as smooth as possible,” said James.
“It’s not possible to conduct migrations well if you leave it too late. If you haven’t spoken to your customers, or to your service or account manager by now, please do!”
3. Allocate the right resources
In James’s experience, Wholesale service providers that dedicate teams to the migration, and support efforts with marketing campaigns, tend to have higher conversion rates among their customers.
“One recent product exit provided a contrasting example of migration practices. On one hand, there was a service provider that put together a small team, including senior representation, to focus exclusively on the migration. They rolled out a marketing cam-paign to inform their customers about the process and sell them on the benefits of the new technologies. On the other hand, I’ve seen service providers deprioritise the migration, treating it as an onerous task. Unsurprisingly, the migration experience that the first service provider gave to their customers was much better than with those that didn’t prioritise the activity, and yielded far better business results,” James said.
4. Check service lists
A critical step for service providers preparing for migration is to check their service lists.
“Go through your records to identify who your customers are and what services they are using. Make sure all the information is up to date. Check whether they have very important or complex services, for example do they operate ambulances or airport services. These types of service will take longer to put in place and obviously customers can’t afford to lose services because they get cut off,” James said.
“The good news is that we are here to help. We can provide our list of services and customers affected and we have solution engineers available to advise on complex solutions,” James added.
5. Prepare and communicate your offers
When it comes to products and services, there are three things that providers should do in advance of migration.
“First, understand what the right solutions are for your customers. Second, where possible, develop offers for those solutions to entice your customers to stay with you. And third, be positive and explain the benefits of the migration and the new solutions to your customers in terms that they will understand and appreciate,” James said.
6. Talk to us
James’s last piece of advice is simple: talk to the experts at Telstra Wholesale.
“In my experience, our service providers who are always in contact with us and asking lots of questions tend to experience fewer problems during migrations,” James said.
“I would encourage all of our service providers to get close to your Telstra Wholesale service manager. We are here to help you make your migrations a success. Use us: take advantage of our knowledge and expertise. Together we work to ensure you deliver the best possible migration experience and keep your customers happy.”
Read more about Telstra Wholesale’s commitment to supporting customers during migrations, here.