Market traction: WISPs vs Telcos

While telcos have long been the dominant force in the industry, Wisps are slowly but surely gaining market traction. But what sets these two types of providers apart, and how can Wisps continue to build market traction?

Differentiating factors

Customer service

The key difference between telcos and Wisps is their focus on customer service. Telcos are often large corporations with a wide range of customers, and as a result, they often view customer service as an afterthought. This can lead to long wait times and poor service when customers need assistance. Another significant issue is that when customers contact the call center of telcos, the agent is unable to provide a comprehensive solution. They can only test if the router responds to a ping, and this is only possible if the customer has a standard router.

On the other hand, many Wisps are small and medium-sized providers that operate in specific communities and know their customers, which allows them to offer personalized service and support to their customers. This personalized approach can be a significant advantage for Wisps, as it helps them build stronger relationships with their customers and increase customer loyalty. According to recent studies, 70% of customers view customer experience as a major consideration when selecting a telecom service provider. This has a direct financial impact, as PwC research suggests that consumers are willing to spend up to 8% more for exceptional customer experience in the telecommunications industry.

Price

Affordability is another key factor that is contributing to the traction of Wisps in the market. With the increasing demand for high-speed internet, many people are looking for affordable alternatives to expensive Telco plans. Wisps are able to offer their service at a more attractive price point for cost-conscious consumers than Telcos, by using the less expensive infrastructure. This affordability can be especially beneficial in rural and underserved areas, where Telco service may be more expensive or less widely available.

Since large telcos usually operate on a national scale, it limits their ability to offer different tariff plans for different areas. The flexibility in price and plans that Wisps can offer in their community provides a competitive advantage over large telcos.

Coverage

Local Wisps have a coverage advantage since they offer service in rural areas, where the big telcos don’t have access or are not profitable to serve. In addition to reaching remote and rural areas, Wisps can also provide internet coverage in areas where wired infrastructure is not feasible. For example, in mountainous regions, it can be difficult and expensive to lay down wired infrastructure due to the terrain.

Instead of trying to behave like the large telcos, Wisps should focus on capitalizing on their size and coverage area to deliver a highly personalized and top-quality experience for their customers. One way to do this is by tailoring their offerings to the specifics of each community that they serve, driving word-of-mouth marketing for future growth. They may also offer more flexible and personalized service options, such as customized plans for businesses or high-bandwidth users.

Opportunities for Wisps

The only way to effectively resolve the most common issues that customers experience is to have a physical presence in the customer’s location. However, this approach is costly, particularly on a national scale, and is one of the reasons why large-scale service providers rely on call centers. Wisps, however, have an advantage as they operate primarily within the community in which they provide their services. They have a physical presence in customer locations and are not reliant on third-party installation partners.

Additionally, even if the cost of services offered by local Wisps is slightly higher, customers are willing to pay for it since the customer service and internet speed are superior to that of larger telcos. According to a recent study, when customers have an emotional attachment to a brand, they tend to spend 60% more annually.

For Wisps to capitalize on this opportunity, they should focus on 3 key areas:

1. Educating customers. Advertising your brand is important, but it’s also important to consider how and what you advertise. As a WISP provider, you have the opportunity to educate your customers and establish yourself as an expert in the field. This can be done by:

  • Creating educational materials such as videos, tutorials, and guides that explain how WISPS operate
  • The differences between fixed wireless and Wi-Fi
  • How to troubleshoot issues
  • How to maximize high-speed internet

By marketing yourself as a brand that is willing to partner with customers to educate them on your product, you can create customer loyalty, retention, and a positive reputation for your brand.

2. Managing customer expectations by clearly communicating what services are included in the installation package and what additional services can be provided for an additional fee. Moreover, it is important to understand the specific needs of customers such as gamers who prioritize low pings or photographers who prioritize high upload speeds and offer them services they are willing to pay for.

Customers are aware of geographical limitations for support, but they may need more information to fully understand the specifics of the internet service provider industry. The context is important. For example, while people may accept a 5 km delivery radius for fast food, they may not understand why a technician cannot travel 20 km for a service call at no extra cost. This may seem unreasonable, but with the proper context, most customers will understand. Since Wisps are operating locally, they must efficiently communicate with customers, which will bring great value for both customers and the business.

3. By training your customer support team on the specifics of your WISP service, including technical details, troubleshooting techniques, and customer service best practices, you can ensure that your team is able to effectively assist customers with any issues or questions they may have. Additionally, training your team on the latest industry developments and trends can help them stay current and provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to your customers.

How to increase market traction with Splynx

Wisps looking to achieve higher market traction should consider utilizing a powerful ISP management software like Splynx. With Splynx, Wisps can easily manage their customers, subscriptions, and services all in one place. We offer a wide range of features, including a customer self-service portal, automated billing, network management, and much more.

This allows ISPs to focus on providing high-quality services and support to their customers, rather than spending time on manual administrative tasks. We helped more than 750 ISPs worldwide to stand out from the competition and increase their market share. Book a free demo here.

Recap

In conclusion, Wisps are slowly but surely gaining market traction at the expense of telcos. This is due to their focus on customer service, affordability, scalability, and their wireless infrastructure which is relatively less expensive and can be deployed more quickly. Wisps have a unique opportunity to establish a loyal customer base by providing a premium level of service at an affordable price. By educating customers on the services included in their package and managing their expectations, Wisps can position themselves as a top-tier provider in the industry.

Stats sources:

https://customersfirstacademy.com/customer-service-stats-and-trends/ 

https://www.lumoa.me/blog/customer-experience-in-telco/ 

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html

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