Managing Customer Satisfaction Using the Customer Sentiment Score
The Consumer Access Segment had 15.43 million customer contracts as of the 2021 year-end (2020: 14.83 million; 2019: 14.33 million). Of this figure, 11.19 million (2020: 10.52 million; 2019: 9.99 million) were attributable to the mobile internet business and 4.24 million (2020: 4.31 million; 2019: 4.34 million) to broadband connections. The topic of customer sentiment is firmly anchored in our Company and is a key part of our daily work, both for our premium 1&1 brand and for Drillisch Online’s discount brands.
We capture and measure customer sentiment in the Consumer Access Segment using the customer sentiment score. This is determined separately for each product (DSL and mobile), but also at an overarching level at selected contact points along the customer journey. Customers who have opted in receive an e-mail inviting them to take part in an online survey. In addition, customers can take part in surveys on the contact points concerned via the Control Center and our website. Each survey asks a question relating to customer satisfaction, and the customer can answer on a five-point scale ranging from “extremely satisfied” to “extremely dissatisfied”. The answers are used as the basis for the score in question.
The Customer Experience unit is at the heart of managing customer satisfaction at 1&1: It establishes customers’ needs through surveys and by observing the market and the competitive environment, and actively makes the results known within the organization. At Drillisch Online, the units responsible are Business Process Management (BPM) and Quality Management (QM Development).
The scores produced are more than mere figures for us: They are core measurements that we use to guide our daily work. Our main objective is to increase customer satisfaction and create compelling customer experiences.
We constantly measure customer sentiment for all relevant customer contact points and customer journeys throughout the customer life cycle. These measurements are mostly event-driven, i.e., they are made immediately after a customer journey (e.g., a change in rate plan) or following some other form of contact with the organization (e.g., Customer Service). In total, we receive roughly 87,800 customer feedback items per month for 1&1 and 21,300 or so for Drillisch Online’s brands.
Qualitative, in-depth interviews complement the quantitative customer surveys. The aim here is to understand what motivates customers and to use these insights to optimize product and service design. Comprehensive data analysis is used to validate and quantify all insights gained from customers.
We use these detailed findings to identify potential improvements and develop measures designed to specifically increase customer satisfaction.
Good service is a high priority for customers in all areas. In October 2021, a FOCUS-MONEY study has confirmed that our service hotline offers this, giving 1&1 the “Fairest Customer Hotline” award and a score of “very good”. A number of different elements from the customer contact process were used during assessment. These ranged from finding the right service number through availability down to how customer issues were processed.
The two Drillisch brands smartmobil.de and winSIM placed first and second in the Top Service Quality 2021/2022 survey conducted in fiscal year 2021 by online portal “Testbild.” They came top of the “mobile network provider category” with scores of “very good.”
Customer satisfaction doesn’t stop at departmental boundaries, which is why joint teams from different areas are used to enhance it.
Clear responsibilities for changes in customer sentiment exist for all customer journeys and contact points. At 1&1, measures designed to enhance the customer experience are developed together with the Customer Experience unit, and their impact on customers is then assessed. At Drillisch Online. customer ideas and suggestions in the areas of quality and project management are included in its ideas management activities. Both units are continuing their work to enhance customer satisfaction and enable customers to get even stickier with their Personal Service World. Suggestions are reviewed and then introduced, and modifications to IT projects are documented and implemented.
Trends in customer sentiment, the status of the measures identified, and new ways of enhancing customer satisfaction are discussed every month at various group meetings at 1&1 AG, up to and including at Management Board level.
We ensure a high level of customer satisfaction by focusing squarely on customer needs. One way in which we do this is to use qualitative and quantitative market research to test and evaluate the impact on customers of ideas for new products, campaigns, service concepts, and the like before these are introduced. A total of 48 ad hoc market research studies were performed in 2021. These are conducted both internally and externally. Market studies that involve polling non-customers as well as customers are performed with the assistance of an external institute. In addition, we actively engage with our customers on a variety of topics using quarterly dialogs and focus groups. This ensures all departments stay close to them and understand their needs even better.
Our Customer Guidelines help staff to put customer orientation at the heart of what they think and do every day, and so ensure this approach becomes second nature within the Company:
What is more, 1&1 received a “very good” rating in the 2021 broadband and fixed network test run by specialist magazine “connect” and saw a clear year-on-year improvement in its score, which rose from 902 to 912 out of a potential total of 1,000 points.
The 1&1 Service Card is another element driving customer satisfaction, as well as a way of differentiating ourselves in the market. Our customers receive a 1&1 Service Card listing all the services that they can use free of charge with each order.
These include e.g., the 1&1 Trade-in Bonus and our 24-hour Replacement Service.
We aim to always offer our customers the best possible experience and to do our best for them at all times. This is why we constantly develop new service products that add value for them. These include:
Drillisch Online also aims to delight customers with its exceptional service: Our motto here is “One customer, one contact, one solution.” Even though they are price-sensitive, our customers are not prepared to compromise on a first-rate, award-winning customer service that focuses on their needs:
We tell the world how proud we are of what we achieve every day and of our customer service, and have what we say confirmed by independent external auditors. Our brands have been certified by TÜV Saarland (under its “TÜV-tested Online Portal” scheme), while our customer service activities have been certified as complying with the ISO 9001:2015 quality management standard. This certification was renewed until 2024 following an audit in fiscal year 2021.
In 2021, smartmobil.de added another mobile product to its range. The Shift cellphone further expands the product portfolio in the direction of more sustainable phones, complementing the Fairphone, that was already available. In addition, the option to acquire refurbished devices is displayed in a prominent position on the website. This not only conserves valuable resources but also avoids the carbon emissions that would be produced in manufacturing new products.