For decades, telecom companies have easily survived with their simple business model, where their major challenge was building the biggest network. As long as the network worked, this business model worked really well. With technology that has changed over the years, so have the challenges for telcos where a simple “Can you hear me now?” leads to the loss of a customer. Good customer experience always leads customers to spend more time on the network.
Telecom operators, who initially spent their resources on managing networks are now spending their resources on technologies to understand their customers. With customer experience that has become a major driving factor for the companies, they are faced with new challenges every day, some of the major ones are listed below-
1. AI and Machine Learning:
Almost all the telecom operators are already using Artificial Intelligence(AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things(IoT). AI and ML are considered as the core technology of digital transformation and telcos are using them to widen their revenue stream. With billions and billions of data that is available on their customers, it no longer is easy to process them manually. AI and ML enhance the customer resolution system with advanced technologies such as virtual assistants or chatbots. However, introducing these new technologies into the existing system is not a cake walk for most of the companies, given that about 67% of telcos and CSPs are having a difficult time finding qualified staff to lead the integration of AI technologies.
2. Big Data:
Data analysis has become a very strong tool to enhance customer experience and reduce the churn rate for telcos. The telecommunication industry has long ago turned to customer-centric from product-centric, and understanding the requirement of each individual has become quintessential. Although big data provides various forms of analytics and help the telecom operators to enhance the customer experience, adapting to it is still considered as the biggest challenge by many operators.
3. Choosing Right Technologies:
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back to the technology – not the other way around”, that’s what Steve Jobs said. Undoubtedly, telecom companies are working towards providing the next-level customer experience to their customers, but not all are willing to take a big leap in technology. To add to this factor, the customers are not easily satisfied, and that’s probably because they expect the telecom industry to do more, faster, mirroring the growth of the technology. Even when there is value in their service provider, their familiarity with the industry and their above-average expectations overshadow positive feelings.
4. Focus on omnichannel experience:
A telecom customer’s journey in using the service of a telecom operator may have to go through a wide range of channels- reading about a product on an e-commerce website, reading a comment about the product on a Social media channel, find about the product in Google, receive an Email, chat with an agent to understand the product, etc. etc.
Most of the telecom companies, however, still manage their channels separately, which can result in a series of confusions for the customer, where they receive a different kind of offers and suggestions and even encounter a different kind of brand experience from each channel. Bottom line, customer loyalty demands orchestration of the omnichannel customer experience.
5. CX Infrastructure:
Digital transformation is one of the biggest challenges for every industry, however, if it is customer-specific this will be the first challenge that needs to be addressed. New technology can be expensive, but at the same time, imperative. Introducing customer experience solutions can be a laborious task, especially for telcos. Implementing new CX(Customer Experience) platforms without disrupting the service requires advanced tools so that the customers are not annoyed.
Telecommunication companies are expected to actively participate in the game of understanding their users well. With customer satisfaction and loyalty being the main driver of their business, it is vital that they spot trouble even before the customer has a chance to complain. Telcos, to meet the needs of their digital customers and to launch any type of offer any minute should consider contextual commerce and empower the user relationship by addressing the immediate needs by providing proactive, personalized and frictionless services. Telecom operators are expected to meet the needs of their customer from a 360-degree point of view and keep them satisfied throughout their journey.