What felix Mobile is doing to keep customer support cost-effective

Mobile telco's digital customer care leader shares the technology and strategy he's employing to help this rapidly growing business manage customer service efficiently

There’s much to be said for the commercial benefits of providing exceptional customer support. But no matter how that support is provided, there is always a cost somewhere.

That’s not great news for a new company looking to grow quickly – especially one in a highly-competitive industry that does not have a great reputation for customer satisfaction. This question of how to provide exceptional customer support at low cost has been on the mind of Michael Dominish since he joined startup mobile telecommunications brand, felix Mobile, at the start of 2020 as digital customer care lead.

“We are aiming to be a really simple, customer-focused brand in terms of how we sell our product, how we communicate with customers, how we service customers, and how they go through the process of joining and activating,” Dominish tells CMO.

“The bigger we get, the harder it is to control quality of service we are aiming to have. So as the base grows, my challenge is how do I make sure I don’t need to scale up with that.”

Felix Mobile’s customer proposition is based on a simple prepaid product that offers unlimited data at speeds up to 20Mbps with unlimited calls and text here in Australia. The company has also set out to attract customers who are environmentally conscious by offering a carbon neutral service powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, and felix Mobile plants a tree for each customer every month.

The entire customer experience is housed within felix Mobile’s app, which is the channel through which customers sign up and interact with the company.

Today, felix Mobile operates a lean customer service team of just 10 staff and has been maintaining average first response time of 32 seconds during business hours. Dominish has been aware from the outset, however, of difficulties he will face as the company grows, and the need to balance exceptional support against his desire to keep the team small.

“The best experience is for our customers not to have to contact us,” Dominish says. “So in the back of my mind, when I think of scale, that’s the key for me in what are we designing. It should be minimising that need upfront. Our products, app and our digital experience should be so straightforward, that most of the time for customers it should do the heavy lifting.”

The tech toolkit

Given no telecommunications provider has yet worked out the magic formula for flawless service and processes, felix Mobile has chosen Freshworks as its core customer support platform. Dominish says that decision was partly driven by the ability to integrate the Freshchat service directly into the felix Mobile app.

“We needed a CRM platform to be able to manage the back-end and the management of the tickets,” Dominish says. “If the customer opens the app, when they go to chat with an agent, we wanted that to be an extension of the app experience. That integration is key, because it is a live integration to our back-end, and we are pulling in live customer data that we know is accurate. That surfaces the right information to our agent so they can see what they need to see to get on with it.”

Felix Mobile has also invested in a Freshworks-powered AI-based chatbot to provide another layer of customer interaction.

“We haven’t enacted that because we haven’t needed to,” Dominish says. “We are refining that as we go, so when we do need to put that on to help with our volume, it is more likely it is going to be received well.”

In the meantime, Dominish says he and his team are paying attention to every scrap of feedback that customers provide and using that to not only improve the customer service experience, but to improve felix Mobile’s product offering as well.

“I use all of the insights I am getting out of Freshdesk as well as well as our survey program and our socials, to help influence our product roadmap and the way we update content on out site,” Dominish says.

Hence, he has been pleased to see that when customers have been talking about experiences such as the signup process, they have been talking about how easy it is.

“We have a young customer base, and we need to earn our stripes and with these early adopters. We need to get it right for them, because stuffing it up will result in them not having the experience they need, and we won’t get to that critical mass we are after,” Dominish says. “So we are obsessing over our early adopters.

“The mark of success for me and my team will be to keep things small and not hear from customers, as opposed to figuring out how we better support customer interactions at scale.”

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