Differentiating through digital customer experience in telecoms

Startek Editorial
Startek Editorial

Mar 12, 2024 | 4 min read

As a mature industry, telecom is a space where there is high competition. In this environment, where the cost of switching is low for the consumer and brands must constantly compete to retain their customers, the need to differentiate is high. Seventy-two percent of customers switch brands because of poor customer experience (CX) and an earlier survey found that 86% of customers will turn to competitors against the brand they trust after only two instances of poor CX! It’s increasingly clear that brands must focus on elevating their digital customer experience (CX) to stand out from the competition. Providing a superb digital customer experience is the surest way to make that happen. 

Digital challenges for legacy telecoms providers

Many leading telecom operators were founded well before the digital era, creating challenges with outdated technology, inflexibility and difficulty leveraging data for insights. Successful over decades, these operators’ internal processes and systems often include technologies that can make it challenging to keep pace with customer expectations and the offerings of newer providers. 

Difficulty leveraging data to reveal insights 
With siloed data, organizations often find it difficult to uncover the insights hidden in their customer data, making it slower to identify customers’ needs and deliver new products and services to meet them. 

With a flood of digital-native players in the telecom space, legacy providers must drive digital transformation across their CX to compete. 

Suggested Readings: Discover the latest customer experience trends shaping the telecom industry in 2024.

The rise of digital-first mobile virtual network operators

The world's first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile UK, launched in 1999 and MVNOs subsequently began operating in the U.S. in 2011. Since then, the market is estimated to reach US$ 81.42 billion in 2024 and grow to approximately $167.7B by 2034. 

While the major telecom players still dominate the market, they must deliver an excellent experience to consumers to retain their market share, especially as their audience increasingly expects a digital-first approach. Low-cost carriers are often an entry point for consumers, for example, offering niche products to cost-conscious customers or international travelers, and more established players must be well-positioned to attract these consumers as their needs become more complex. These MVNOs are disrupting the market by providing attractive digital customer experiences and self-service options, forcing established telecoms to adapt. 

Also Read: Gain insights into emerging digital customer experience trends to stay competitive in the market.

Leveraging AI and data analytics to improve digital customer experience in telecom

Whether a legacy provider or a new entrant to the market, telecom providers have a wealth of customer data and collect more on an ongoing basis.

Brands that make good use of this data have the opportunity to overtake their competitors through the delivery of a unique customer experience.

Leveraging AI and data analytics to improve digital customer experience in telecom

Here’s how: 

  • Personalization 
    Digital solutions, including data analytics and machine learning, are leveraged to seamlessly gather data about customer preferences and behavior which can be used to personalize customer experience. Telecom providers use this data to offer personalized promotions and plans to customers based on usage patterns, encouraging additional purchases and upsells and driving customer satisfaction. 
  • Automation 
    Automation improves CX in telecom by reducing wait times and eliminating errors. For example, automating the process of activating or deactivating services reduces the need for customers to wait on hold or repeat their information multiple times and deflects calls from live agents, improving the customers’ experience and driving cost efficiencies. Automation supports teams in responding to customer queries. By automating routine contact center tasks, agents focus more attention on the consumer and deliver better CX. 
  • Self-service  
    Digital solutions such as chatbots and AI-powered virtual assistants provide customers with instant support and assistance, 24/7. By supporting customers with routine queries and tasks, such as checking data usage or answering service questions, simple queries are deflected away from more costly live channels. Self-service portals offer similar benefits, enabling customers to manage their accounts, view usage, pay bills and troubleshoot any issues, all without the need to speak to a customer service representative. 
  • Predictive analytics 
    Data analytics reviews past interactions and is a reliable tool to predict customer behavior, such as when an upgrade or upsell might be appropriate or when a customer is likely to churn. This insight enables telecom operators to proactively address potential issues and improve customer retention. 
  • Insights 
    Data analytics is analyzed to understand the customer journey, gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, and identify pain points. This enables telecom companies to improve services, develop new products and retain customers longer. 

Building an effective omnichannel CX approach

From virtual assistants to social media interactions, the rapid growth, preference and reliance upon digital solutions produced a wide variety of new venues where customers interact with their telecom provider. While brands may consider these channels separate entities, for the consumer, each interaction is with your brand and they expect you to recognize and treat them as the same person, regardless of channel. To meet these expectations, brands must bring data together into a single customer view and create a seamless customer experience combining automated and live interactions. 

A well-planned omnichannel approach leverages insights to determine which touch points can be automated and identifies instances that require the support of live agents, then directs customers to the channel that works best for them. Whether through a mobile app, live chat, social media or telephone, agents need a 360-degree view of the customer’s interactions with the brand, enabling them to continue a seamless conversation with the customer that resolves issues, directs them to new products and services or whatever else is required. Digitalization enables seamless personalization in a format that customers find efficient and easy to use, driving customer satisfaction. 

As a global CX solutions provider with more than 30 years of experience supporting some of the world’s leading telecom operators, Startek offers traditional voice-based and non-traditional digital contact center services.

To learn more about how we can support your brand, contact us

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