3 signs your ‘good enough’ portal isn’t good enough for your customers

For carriers, the thought of revamping thebusiness portal experience can be taxing. It takes time. It takescollaboration. And it takes resources. But how sustainable is your ‘goodenough’ alternative? How do you know when a current customer experience isactually doing more harm than good?

At Globys, we have exposure to a lot oftelecom portals – A LOT of telecom portals. And when we see something thatisn’t working well, we share our findings and recommendations with thoseinvolved. Do these stakeholders push back or attempt to justify theseshortcomings? More times than not, no. The reality is most carriers admittedlyknow their gaps but have reluctantly accepted the ‘good enough’ portal state.

They know the user experience isn’t exactlywhat customers need but it’s ‘good enough’. They know support teams are askingfor more but it’s ‘good enough’. They know Sales is struggling to compete onthe digital experience front but it’s ‘good enough’. In essence, they’ve tickeda portion of the boxes in the feature-list “good to have” column and stoppedthere, which is woefully short of today’s customer expectations.

So how does an organization know when ‘goodenough’ actually isn’t good enough for your customers? Here are 3 signs yourportal capabilities are falling short of your business customers’ needs:

1.Low portal adoption and minimal behavior shifts from antiquated alternatives
Is the portal a better option or just another option for your customers? Forexample, take a large Enterprise who has 25 accounts and 3,000 mobilesubscribers. If I can only access a PDF copy of my invoice online – and have todo that task separately for each of my 25 accounts – then why not stick to thepaper bills that I’ve already embedded into my internal processes?

Change isn’t easy for anyone, especiallybusiness customers. For them to trade their tried and true practices – whichmay be manual and slow – there must be a clear value-add in store for them.

Doesyour portal give your business customers what they need to save time or makemore informed business decisions? Or is it easier for them to do it offline orcall someone on your team to do it on their behalf?

2.Minimal increase in digital transaction volumes, rise in customerdissatisfaction
According to Google, close to half of B2B buyers are millennials, nearly doublethe number from 2012. These are users who embrace all things digital. But withthis high acceptance, also comes high expectations.

We understand the makeup of a telecomcustomer relationship is far more complex than other industries. But the goalis to make the experience as simple as possible on the front end. The key hereis understanding how your business customers are doing business with you. It’sunfortunate to see business portals that are clearly aligned only to the needsof consumers – one-line service changes, single account payments, individualdevice orders, no ad-hoc reporting. This decreases, or eliminates, the value oftransacting digitally – even for this up and coming group of super digitalusers.

Isyour portal enabling your business customers to perform transactions easier andmore efficiently? Or is the lack of alignment and personalization causingfrustration among users?

3.Portal not leveraged as value-add in Sales process
Everyone agrees that today’s differentiation is dependent on the customerexperience. But for business customers, especially in the Enterprise segment,it’s more than having a friendly agent or an easy to use mobile app. Thesecustomers are searching for partners who can help them drive efficiencies.They’re looking for quantifiable time savings and cost reductions.

A solid portal offering is a Sales rep’sdream – as it basically sells itself with a clear value add. On the other hand,a ‘good enough’ offering is often kept under the covers during the salesprocess. Or even worse, coupled with custom solutions (read: manual and highcost) to move the sale to a close state.

Isyour Sales team actively promoting your portal as a value-add throughout thenew customer acquisition process? Or are they diverting the customer’sattention to other alternatives?

Take a few minutes and go through your business portalas a customer user. Put your internal debates, backend challenges, competingpriorities, etc. out of mind. And then ask yourself – is the portal providing abetter way for your customers to buy, manage, pay, and analyze their productsand services? Or is it just another ‘good enough’ option, driving ‘good enough’results?


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