Koen van Geffen
Koen van Geffen, CEO Summa and Voiceworks

“You can run, you can hide, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t escape the war of winning the attention of the customers. Almost every company, day in day out, is confronted with the ongoing challenge to receive top customer satisfaction.” – Koen van Geffen, CEO Summa and Voiceworks 

The telecom market is an especially competitive market as Telco’s constantly change their pricing model to win customers. When describing ways to connect customers with their brand, many marketing managers use words like ‘engagement’, ‘customer journey’ and ‘cross channel management’. Fashionable terms, but also empty when not carried out properly.

This is where a good customer experience management (CEM) comes into play. The focus on the satisfaction of the customer is no longer an option, but a necessity. And while telecom providers realize this more and more, the question remains: how do you achieve this optimal customer satisfaction?

In my view the answer lies in the way of communicating. A key factor in customer satisfaction is the communication in general and the reachability in particular. In our 24/7 economy and the interconnected world we currently live in, the communication, collaboration and the reachability of companies and its employees have become more important than ever before.

Telecom market competition

This is especially the case in very competitive markets, such as those of telecom providers, MVNO’s and MVNE’s. According to the Infonetics Research Report of January 2015, the global mobile service revenue barely grew, while mobile data services rose in every region driven by the increased use of smartphones. Still, overall growth in telecom revenue continues to slow down in every region.

Telecom providers are feeling the competition of internet companies, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft that deliver Over The Top (OTT) services, such as Youtube, WhatsApp and Skype. This results in a decline in traditional communications such as voice and SMS and reinforces the pressure on telecommunication companies to improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

These companies are also looking for other ways to pursue growth and trigger customers. For instance adding innovative ecosystems of digital components and applications to their services that can seamlessly offer complementary services and products. To do this you need the full picture of how people and systems communicate and collaborate.

Add voice, chat and video as an upsell

Customers of telecom providers should not need to worry about their communication technology. They should simply be able to interact and collaborate through voice, video and chat with the device of their choice. Whenever and wherever.

When telecom providers decide to enhance their existing platforms with a real-time communications suite, they are able to retain customers and drive new traffic onto their networks. This gives customers the power of real-time communications alongside upsell possibilities. And all of this is possible by introducing a freemium model for a basic solution and then drive revenue growth by offering attractive add-on features and bundles.

Every company needs it

It is not only telecom providers that need real-time web based communications and collaboration tools to provide a good customer experience. For example Evernote, a productivity web application, has just added Chat so that users can share, chat, and collaborate with others without ever having to leave the workspace.

Evernote CEO Phil Libin said this feature was “one of the most requested by users.” We firmly believe that every company must add real-time communication to their CEM-strategy and offer one single user experience, making sure that customers don’t resort to external tools or applications. It is an investment that will result in higher customer satisfaction as well as customer loyalty, things every company nowadays strives for.


By Koen van Geffen, CEO Summa and Voiceworks

About this blogger

Koen van Geffen founded the Dutch telco Voiceworks in 2005, together with his fellow CEO Stijn Nijhuis. In 2015 they started the international operating company called Summa. This startup company makes innovative software for systems and people in order to communicate and collaborate better; solutions that really add up. Van Geffen has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Information Technology from the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.


  1. Though evaluating competition, adding channels, and delivering a real-time communication are essential for a better customer satisfaction, but these aren’t enough. Would like to add one more point, choosing & deploying the right support solutions to empower your support agents. There are many tools and solutions available, like knowledge management, device management for telecoms, operator self service, self-care apps, and more. For instance, you should deploy the right knowledge base software that helps improve customer service metrics with the required support knowledge for your agents. This blog explains how effective knowledge management is essential for a better customer service, http://www.kochartech.com/blog/2016/10/27/knowledge-management-software-helps-improve-customer-service/


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