Social Media And Telecom: A Love/Hate Relationship with Churn

It’s easy for brands like Sprint, Verizon, Rogers and Bell to generate thousands and thousands of fans and followers. It’s easy for them to sit back, share a few status updates, run an ad campaign and feel good about the levels of engagement found on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. But one of the most invisible yet important metrics that has been taking the telecom industry by storm is churn.

In the telecommunications industry, churn is a term used to describe customer attrition or loss. There are different types of churn such as voluntary, involuntary and internal. For most telecommunications companies, Churn is calculated by dividing disconnects by their net subscriber base. However, it differs depending on the time period the telecom provider is measuring (beginning, end or average between the two) and how they define a customer (a phone line, an account, a device, etc.).

Put simply, churn is never good. Yet, it’s often ignored and overlooked as it relates to the opportunities to decrease this number with the rise of social media and digital customer support. Here at Leadsift, we take time to analyze thousands and thousands of tweets within a variety of different industries to find trends and insights. Earlier this year, we analyzed about 500,000 telecom related tweets and found that thousands of them were leads with 38% of those demonstrating the possibility of Churn.

What Does Social Media Churn mean for Telecom?

Social Media Churn is a real problem. Not only are customers embracing their new microphone to ask your competition what they can do better but they are doing this in front of other customers. As a result, many Telecom operators are sitting on their hands not knowing what to do. The steps are simple. Identify the individual looking to leave, engage with them on a personal level and then drive conversion through one on one interaction. Here’s a look at the three biggest opportunities and threats:

1. Opportunity for Retention
Customers who are leaving one telecom for another are typically doing it because they’re either (1) upset with service or (2) getting a better deal or offer. Recognizing this, there is a clear opportunity for Telecom providers to step up and keep clients for the long haul. The average customer has a life time value of thousands of dollars as it relates to the Telecom industry. The ability to identify, delight and convert a possible churner can happen in the matter of 10 minutes. Thus, creating a return on investment of 10 minutes into thousands of dollars on a daily basis.

2. Opportunity for Churn Poaching
While churn may give you an opportunity to drive retention, it also gives your competitors (and you) an opportunity to do some poaching. Meaning, if you’re able to identify unsatisfied or unhappy customers; you can quickly bring them into your online sales funnel and drive them to a place of conversion. Similar to retention, the time allocated and required to identify, engage and convert is small. It’s a small amount of time for a return that can drive thousands of dollars as it relates to overall life time value.

3. Customer Service Improvements
When it relates to Churn, the reason for someone leaving one provider for another is never because of something good. Outside of someone having to move to a new city or country; the most frequent reasons for churn are related to the existing providers offering. In recognizing this, telecom providers have an opportunity to identify these conversations and keep an eye open for consistent trends.

Trends in churn can lead to great insights to drive a business forward. If you’re identifying churn leads on a regular basis and are noticing a trend in the reason for this churn, it’s clear that there is something that needs to be done. Whether it’s an adjustment in pricing or a shift in the actual product offering; churn is something to monitor not only for business opportunities but also for trends that lead to change.