One resolution for telcos in 2015: improve your relationship with customers

Do you still make New Year's resolutions, or like many have you long dropped the habit as a pointless and futile exercise that you forget about half way through January?

It seems to me that the tradition of setting new targets and goals for the coming 12 months has seen something of a revival this year. The New Year's Eve party I attended invited guests to put their resolutions on a large piece of paper--and we all took part with enthusiasm, with some even making some fairly major commitments for 2015.

Even a long-running campaigner against new year's resolutions conceded defeat and suggested three resolutions that are worth making for everyone: start meditating; stop (yes stop, not start) doing something this year; and "resolve to cut everyone a massive amount of slack".

I'm not sure how those three resolutions might apply to telecoms companies, but perhaps further meditation on how they can stop making their customers angry all the time by living up to their promises is probably no bad way to start.

According to a new survey by an agency called Lady Geek, which focuses on raising the profile of women within technology, companies of all types but especially telecoms companies could achieve much higher levels of customer satisfaction if only they had more empathy with their customers and employees.

Indeed, the agency's new "Empathy Index"--which lists the top 100 best-known companies on social media in order of how they treat customers and staff--features four high-profile telecoms companies in the bottom 10: EE (94th position), Vodafone (96th), BT (98th) and the Carphone Warehouse, which came in last place.

Companies were rated on how quickly they respond to customer concerns on social media, for example. Clearly, some telecoms companies lack empathy to a somewhat alarming degree, although apparently Three is doing something right as it was placed fourth in the index.

It may seem an elusive goal to become more "empathetic", but in the words of Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman, don't waste time convincing yourself it doesn't apply to you. Just do it.

Happy New Year!--Anne

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