The hassle of installing new
equipment, and the fear of being left with no internet access, is deterring people from switching broadband providers.
In a survey of 2,000 customers conducted by comparison site Cable.co.uk, 50 per cent said they have never switched to a different broadband supplier, and 43 per cent of those who have switched previously have done so only once.
In many cases, people's reluctance to switch is due to the hassle of choosing a new provider, of installing new equipment, and the fear that there may be a period of having no internet access at home.
Given the burgeoning array of choice we have in everyday aspects of our lives; in banking, utility providers, credit cards issuers etc, it is perhaps surprising that so many of us choose to stick with what we have, in other words 'the devil we know' syndrome.
In common with banking regulator FCA, the UK's communications regulator Ofcom announced new plans to simplify the switching process between broadband suppliers. Change of any kind brings real risk; a fear of the consequences of disruption and cost when things go wrong can stifle our desire for change, even when the benefits are real.
A growing interdependence of services in our complex lives simply amplifies this stagnation. Digital technologies which can fast track us in conducting change, are often mismatched with out of date back office processes, causing angst for customers and stress for the front line staff who have to mop up the problems.
My own experience resulting from changing my credit card provider this week was far from smooth. Booking flights on my BA app (normally a simple task) became needlessly arduous when completing security verification. Four attempts at entering the same correct details resulted in the computer saying no. I then turned to the phone and a series of lengthy calls to the bank concerned, and the need to enter 16 digit numbers more times than I care to remember resulted in a range of diagnosis at each call. Perhaps it was lack of spacing in my postcode... doesn't work on iPhones... aah wait there's an issue with your date of birth! Well that's one thing we can't change!
Eventually we got sorted - after the last 2 remaining seats on my flight were gone! Throughout it all I spoke to incredibly helpful people who were each thwarted by a lack of accurate information and supportive digital technologies that could have resulted in speedy resolution.
As a customer service professional what does the term ‘going digital’ mean to you and your organisation? It’s a question that’s being vocalised in a recent round of meetings and webinars with all our stakeholders globally. For some, it’s a total transformation with an ambition to become the ‘Amazon’ of whichever sector they happen to operate in. For others it’s the adaptation of existing services to stay abreast of customer behaviours and preferences.
From all our discussions one clear consensus has emerged; efforts will be wasted unless there is a clear and transparent relationship with internal stakeholders in other departments, and of course with the supply chain providing the necessary technology.
CCA will be debating these issues with a range of partners on 3 June at our Partnership Conference. Senior executives are invited to participate in what promises to be a really insightful and useful review of our digital landscape. Click here
for further details.