Transforming the telco customer experience
The customer-business relationship has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and this is certainly the case from a communications and media industry perspective. Today’s consumer is tech savvy, well-informed and open to exploring new ideas and offerings from companies. It means consumers are more likely to cast their net wider and operate a liquid or fluid approach to loyalty as they gravitate towards the businesses that offer the best customer experience. As such, the pressure on organisations continues to increase, as they must ensure they’re offering the optimum experience that customers have become used to and demand from every service. As a result, in an era of increased competition, customer experience is the biggest driver for customer loyalty and, in turn, future revenue growth.
Similarly, telcos are facing competition from other industries, where consumers are becoming accustomed to digitally-driven experiences such as Netflix and YouTube, offering on-demand consumption around the clock. Alongside these intuitive experiences from adjacent competitors, other digitally native businesses like Instagram have entirely changed the perception of what customer experience is to consumers.
Reimagining the process
For established telcos, reimagining their processes can be a challenge when they are still faced with a wide range of legacy technology-driven challenges to delivering the omnichannel customer experience that’s now expected. However, all hope is not lost, and telcos have the ability to transform their offerings through new foundational technologies. Using the right layer of technologies such as cloud and AI-powered virtual assistants, as well as data and analytics, telcos can continually innovate their customer experience, transforming into data-driven organisations.
For this to work, telcos should consider five things in order to integrate the different aspects of the business that are key to creating the right experience for customers.
- Unlock value from customer interactions: This focuses on value in the customer service channel, enabling telcos to identify customers who want to interact digitally, while also leveraging analytics and cognitive computing to predict customer intent, to ensure their needs are met and a personalised experience is delivered. This should be backed up by a team that continually enhances and refines this approach so the AI continues to learn and improve the customer experience.
- Identify revenue growth opportunities: Concentrate on growing sales and revenue, using new signals in data to help identify opportunities. Running data through AI or machine learning models will help to create these insights by searching through potentially mountains of data, offering a 360-degree view of each customer based on demographics, browsing history, web crawlers and other data and finding future growth opportunities.
- Develop a digital-first strategy and operating model: Integrate the experience between marketing and sales by understanding how customers travel through the digital channels. From there, telcos can learn how to give them the right message at the right moment – a key component in building a reliable relationship with customers and developing longer-term loyalty.
- Channel interaction and decoupling: Telcos can generate omnichannel experiences by breaking away from their legacy systems and processes, creating a modern architecture. This will enable them to decouple channels from the complexity their legacy back-end systems and processes usually involve, providing easier access to data that can shape customer experiences. From there, they can continue to refine customer service by easily offering more relevant and personalised experiences across multiple channels at a much quicker pace than ever before.
- Improve engagement quality with customers: Improve engagement quality and the value generated from customers by bringing marketing, loyalty and sales initiatives into one unified marketing solution and enabling telcos to turn interactions into successful engagements through personalisation.
A new chapter
Customer experience doesn’t work if it’s just a minor consideration. It needs to be fully embraced and used as a catalyst that accelerates the business forward as part of a culture change within the organisation itself. This means striving beyond a customer experience emphasis and toward a reimagination of the organisation through the lens of experience.
To survive and thrive, telcos must become far more agile to deal with today’s liquid customer and their changing expectations. To do this, they must deliver truly differentiated customer experience. Embracing continuous technological advancement to empower the delivery of superior experience will be what stops customers slipping through their fingers. This means elevating the marketing, sales and service life cycle, investing in digital channels and innovative technologies, and adopting a modern architecture which delivers.
And with these customer behaviours and expectations changing at pace, telcos need to make this adaptation quickly if they are to meet and exceed the heightened expectations of today’s consumer. Done successfully, they could not only match the standard being set by competitors but clear the bar and lead the way for the future of customer experience.
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