Australian telcos failing to meet customer expectations, Pega says

Gabriela Darley, 1:1 Customer Engagement Executive at Pega

Australian telco providers are failing to meet the expectations of Aussie customers, according to research from Pegasystems Inc., the low-code platform provider that builds agility into the world’s leading organizations. The study, conducted in collaboration with Omnipoll, surveyed 1,228 consumers on the state of customer service in today’s telecommunications industry.

What were the findings of the survey?

It found that customer expectations are not being met by Australian telecommunication providers, with nine in 10 Australians wanting their telco provider to offer the best deals to ensure their long-term loyalty. Despite this, just over half (57%) feel loyal customers get the best rates. The majority of Australians (86%) also want a provider that proactively suggests more appropriate plans based on their usage, while only half (53%) feel telcos are doing this.

Other expectations not being met include not needing to repeat issues and requests during each interaction (important to 83% of customers, met by 55% of telcos), and quickly and transparently processing requests (important to 89% of customers, met by 71% of telcos).

Telcos fall short on customer relationship quality, trailing banks

Australian telcos are failing to impress their clients in most areas. Telcos were measured on the quality of their relationships with clients on a scale of 1-100 in several key areas including how easy it is to deal with and whether it provides sufficient digital self-serve capabilities.

The average telco scored 63.7, and only 2 in 10 consumers gave their telco a score of 80+, which is Pega’s benchmark of good customer service. Pega conducted the same research on the Aussie banking sector and found telcos are trailing the banks on most metrics, including:

  • Being easy to deal with
  • Being a trusted advisor
  • Is ethical and is doing business responsibly
  • Knows me and my situation well

Overall satisfaction is significantly lower at telcos compared to banks (26% very satisfied vs. 32% very satisfied), while consumers’ intention to switch is higher at telcos (30% vs. 21%).

Customers call for improved loyalty rewards

Banks outperform telcos in almost every measurable area, but the one index both sectors fall short on is rewarding customer loyalty. For Australian telco providers, “good at rewarding customer loyalty” had the lowest score of all metrics for all providers.

When asked what they would change about their telco provider’s service, ‘reward my loyalty’ was the second highest of all consumer priorities, after lower prices. Consumers also flagged wanting their telcos to suggest adjusting their plans to one that better suits their needs.

What were Pega’s thoughts on the findings?

“Our research shows Australian households are spending an average of AUD145 per month with their telco providers for services they are unsatisfied with. As Australians face an economic crisis, consumers expect their service providers—including telcos—to help provide financial relief by rewarding loyalty with better deals and proactively suggesting the most appropriate plans,” said Gabriela Darley, 1:1 Customer Engagement Executive at Pega.

“Sadly, this is something telcos aren’t doing enough of at the moment. A lack of rewards for loyalty is a major churn point for consumers, with many either exceeding their plans or paying for services they don’t necessarily need. By proactively offering different plans that are a better fit, telcos could get ahead of the competition and keep their customers satisfied.”