The telecommunications sector is a major employer. More than a million people work in this sector in the United States alone in a range of roles from maintenance and installation to customer service, sales, and a range of corporate positions. In a diverse sector like this one, internal communication is important to ensure accurate information is shared on time, reaching and linking a workforce that isn’t always co-located in the same building.
Unique challenges for a unique industry
Telecommunications companies are usually large with thousands of employees. This sector is also highly competitive with customer demand for and reliance on voice, mobile, and internet communication remaining strong – particularly as people are working remotely more in response to COVID-19 and need stable and reliable telecoms to enable this.
And just because a customer has been with a company for a long time doesn’t mean they’ll stay if they find things unsatisfactory in any way.
According to Accenture, 77% of customers say that they are no longer as loyal to a brand as they were three years ago.
Smaller start-ups (digital disrupters) are always ready to take unhappy customers away from major telco brands.
There is a strong link between internal communications and engagement within a telecommunications company and how that affects relationships with the outside world. When employees don’t understand what is going on because they have inaccurate information or nobody has communicated with them, it can appear to the customer that they don’t care or are incompetent – and this can cause lots of frustration and ultimately see them taking their business elsewhere.
Therefore you need your team to be able to deliver top-notch customer service, which is not going to happen if your people aren’t motivated, engaged, and enthusiastic.
There is also competition within this sector for the talent itself – the employees. High-performing companies often have a strong internal culture where there is excellent communication, high levels of productivity, strong morale, and is able to attract and retain the best people in the industry. Companies that lack this will inevitably see their best performers leave to go work for a company that does – taking their corporate knowledge, skills, and experience with them – never mind the cost of replacing them.
The main communication challenges for telecoms providers and how to solve them
Companies within the telecommunications industry often have similar issues with internal communications that can be overcome with the right strategies and tools that can be delivered with DeskAlerts.
1. Workplace logistics
Telecommunications companies often have employees working in a variety of locations: they aren’t usually co-located on one site. There may be people working in retail stores, in call centers, on the road doing maintenance, installations, and repairs, in corporate offices, or even working remotely from home. Depending on the company they might be scattered across a state, across a country, or even in various locations around the world.
While each individual company in this sector will have its own unique structures, it is highly unlikely that the company will be able to gather every employee in the same place at the same time to ensure they are given important news and updates.
Solution: Companies can use a mixture of different digital communications channels to communicate with employees to ensure that important information reaches them no matter where they are working. They can also use internal branding to grow and enhance brand awareness among the staff.
Tools: Employee mobile apps are great for delivering information to offsite workers. Pop-up notifications ensure there is a high impact to get immediate attention on computer screens. Digital signage reinforces information and gets attention on other company screens when there isn’t a cell phone or computer around.
2. Different generations consume information differently
In any large company, there is usually a mix of employees across different age demographics who have different preferences for the way in which they receive and respond to information.
Call center employees, for example, are often Millennials or Gen Z. They have different preferences to other, older, demographic cohorts that may occupy different types of roles elsewhere in the organization. For the younger cohort, content needs to be presented and delivered in an engaging, compelling, and entertaining format.
Solution: Recognizing that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to internal communications and being prepared to tailor and deliver internal communications content in a way that appeals to different cohorts.
Tools: You can instantly grab employees’ attention by placing information on a desktop scrolling ticker. Young adults also respond to mobile alerts as these are a “native” communications method for this group. Eye-catching corporate screensavers are also good at getting attention.
3. Information overload
Sometimes people get too much information every day that they can’t remember it all or don’t have time to look at it all. In some telecoms companies, employees can receive up to 50 emails every day that they might not even open. Other channels such as instant messenger and team chats can also add to the feeling of overload.
Information overload means that it can be difficult for the average employee to sift through everything and identify the information that is absolutely crucial for them to know about in order to perform their job well. For example, it can mean that when they aren’t across new promotions or policies this could translate to longer call times, repeat calls, and low customer satisfaction.
Solution: The internal communications team needs to ensure that important messages are targeted to the right internal audience at the right time so that messages can be prioritized and filtered effectively.
Tools: Using a desktop ticker on the bottom of an employees’ screen is a good way to visibly communicate information on a range of topics in an eye-catching way. Test employee knowledge of new priorities and get feedback using a quiz or survey. Send desktop alerts to immediately get peoples’ attention, no matter what else they are doing, either via computer desktop, digital signage or on mobile devices. All of these tools can be used to target specific groups of people within the organization and be personalized.
4. Provision of on-the-job training
Training employees well and ensuring all employees have consistent training is critical for developing skills and competencies that ensure they can perform at their best and deliver for the company.
On-the-job training should happen as part of the onboarding process. When there are new processes, procedures, products, or technological innovations, employees need to understand how to use them. However, ensuring employees have access to effective training can sometimes be difficult – especially when many employees are working remotely during the pandemic.
Solution: Use online tools to deliver your corporate training.
Tools: Quiz will help you to check staff knowledge in an educative and entertaining manner.
5. Remote working during the pandemic
The spread of COVID-19 has meant that it can be a threat to employees’ health to have them all working together inside a crowded and busy call center. And in some jurisdictions, it is illegal to do so. The telecommunications industry is one of the biggest users of call centers in the world, and the logistics of transitioning this workforce to remote working from home is extremely challenging – particularly if the team uses complex and on-premise technology.
According to KPMG’s recent Telecoms Industry CEO Outlook, keeping workers engaged, connected, and productive amid a background of anxiety-driven by COVID-19 and changing work patterns is one of the most significant risks and threats to growth faced by the sector.
Solution: Relying on easy-to-use technology that can be managed from the cloud and easy-to-implement tools and launch quickly. Digital communications tools are no exception.
Tools: Use a variety of DeskAlerts tools and enhance further by making the most of features such as delivering messages based on the recipient’s time zone, video messages from the CEO, or polls and surveys to get instant feedback.
6. Emergency situations
Emergency situations take many forms and can happen with little or no warning. It could be inclement weather, a natural disaster or an act of terrorism or a mass shooter situation. Whatever the issue that is affecting employees located within close proximity to it, you have a duty of care to alert your staff as quickly as possible so they can take steps to be safe.
Solution: Because every second counts in an emergency situation, the type of message that is sent needs to be highly visible and distinctive from the usual emails employees receive all day
Tools: Send distinctive emergency alerts via lock screens, pop-ups, or mobile phones with a distinctive (usually red) design to really capture peoples’ attention.
7. Overall poor communication
In large companies such as telcos, many issues can develop over time that contributes to a poor communication culture, which in turn drives poor engagement levels and negatively influences other performance metrics. This can include:
- Information silos developing where information isn’t shared between teams
- Managers who don’t pass on information from above to their teams
- Changes that aren’t communicated well (or at all)
- Internal communication not being prioritized in any way.
Solution: Develop a culture of communication using an internal communication software system that will drive engagement.
Tools: The employee mobile app will help keep people in the loop no matter where they are. Surveys and polls will help give feedback and useful metrics.
8. Too much one-way communication
Good communication with employees relies on them being able to have a say and communicate their concerns or provide suggestions to drive improvement. When they feel they don’t have a voice, employees can become frustrated, cynical and stressed.
Without gathering or taking onboard feedback from your employees, your company could make preventable mistakes and waste time, money, and other resources.
Solution: Provide mechanisms that enable two-way communication with employees to gather insights and feedback.
Tools: Surveys, quizzes, and polls will let you gather opinions from your employees and the results can be seen in real-time.
Developing strong connections within your telecommunications company will help to see it succeed and perform well against the competition, both in terms of your bottom line and customer satisfaction as well as employee retention. Find out how DeskAlerts can help you to unlock this potential by contacting us for a free demo today.