Telecom companies are facing a deluge of modern-day challenges: right from intense competition to the inability of their legacy infrastructure to keep up with the pace of disruption. While these challenges certainly impact the overall bottom line; another realm of the business that is constantly affected is customer experience.
With high-speed and high-quality communication services becoming a basic requirement – both in personal and professional spheres – telcos are increasingly finding it difficult to drive seamless customer experiences.
The CX challenges plaguing the telecom industry
The telecommunications industry has, traditionally, operated in a siloed manner, focusing only on a standard set of processes and technologies. But in today’s digital era, as new trends constantly enter the market, this must change. Telcos have to make substantial progress toward augmenting their network capacity to meet the constant demand for higher-speed networks. But this is easier said than done.
In 2022, and beyond, the industry will be confronted with new challenges (and opportunities) presented primarily by:
- The dynamic regulatory and legislative environment that demands stringent regulations to be met
- The constant emergence of new technological innovations like IoT, 5G, and edge that have to be embraced to drive value
- An evolving competitive environment where new-age, digitally-savvy players are mushrooming at an accelerated pace
- The huge list of options consumers have in purchasing and consuming high-quality communication and internet services from wireless and satellite providers
- The presence of siloed and rigid legacy systems that are not only difficult to operate but also difficult to manage, maintain, and integrate
- The growing instances of mobile and cybersecurity attacks that require a thorough and detailed reassessment of security and risk management practices
These challenges directly (or indirectly) impact telcos’ ability to deliver an omnichannel customer experience – regardless of the device, network, or geography. At the same time, manual ways of operating the business and the over-reliance on proprietary systems make forecasting customer needs and delivering personalized services across the customer lifecycle a perennial challenge.
Solutions to focus on
As the digital age demands instant service gratification, consumers have extremely high expectations. Although customer service has always been critical to building and maintaining a competitive edge in the extremely crowded telecom market, with new norms and new economic conditions coming into play, the only way to sustain customer satisfaction and reduce churn is by meeting these expectations.
In today’s post-pandemic era, winning customer trust and loyalty is a totally different ball game, and depends entirely on the quality of service and level of satisfaction. As the pandemic accelerates the adoption of digital channels, seamless customer experiences have become vital. This is especially true as people work from their homes and require reliable service and support 24×7. At the same time, with autonomous vehicles, smart factories, and remote energy grids requiring top-notch, high-bandwidth communication services, it is time for telcos to move from being reactive to proactive. They must make sense of the billions of data points – to meet customer expectations of easy, fast, and first-time-right services.
Right from personalized offerings to efficient device management, quick customer service turnaround to high bandwidth connections – delivering unmatched customer experiences requires telcos to focus on the right solutions and platforms. Here are some tips:
- Build a robust customer experience strategy: The first step in delivering seamless customer experiences is by building a robust customer experience strategy that takes into account consumption patterns. Understanding how consumers engage with telecom providers and how they consume services can help in charting out a plan for how and where they should be engaged for maximum satisfaction.
- Invest in a modern customer data platform: Investing in a modern customer data platform that brings offline and online data from different sources into a unified location can aid in meeting telecom service expectations. Since all customer data is easily accessible, telcos can have a single and updated view of the customer journey and curate solutions and bundles that best meet their needs and preferences.
- Enable seamless customer journeys: Constantly collecting customer data across the lifecycle and analysing it to offer the best products that match unique preferences is a great way to enable seamless customer journey experiences. Using this data, telcos can engage with customers in the most personalized manner and deliver services that are modern, relevant, and up-to-date.
- Leverage AI innovations: Modern AI-based systems offer capabilities that can be leveraged to further optimize customer experiences. By measuring emotional and behavioural customer responses to product experiences, these systems can aid in turning emotions into actionable insights that can then be used by telcos to solve problems and drive better results.
In today’s digital era, it is not the number or variety of telecom services offered that matter; customer experience is gradually becoming the only competitive differentiator – as the demand for high-quality, high-speed internet connections surges. As telcos look to disrupt the extremely competitive marketplace, providing an exceptional customer experience across a variety of systems and customer touchpoints is a top business priority.
To deliver superior telecom customer experiences that aid in the consumption of more services, telcos must invest in the right solutions and platforms. This will not only help them in delivering services quickly but also in cross-selling and upselling new services – as and when they are launched. They can adjust to new trends, keep up with the pace of the competition, and continue to serve customers with the same speed and efficiency.