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. With as many as 48% of consumers opting to switch brands in search of better service, telecoms providers must focus on their customer experience (CX) delivery to stand apart.
Many leading telecom operators were founded long before the advent of digital solutions. Successful over decades, these operators’ internal processes and systems often include older technologies which can make it difficult to keep pace with customer expectations and the offerings of newer providers.
Older technology may not provide the same level of service or functionality as newer technologies. Technologies may have been added over time creating standalone tools with restricted accessibility and disparate data sets.
Legacy providers may have rigid processes and systems in place that make it difficult to adapt to changing customer needs or preferences. In addition, being larger organizations decision-making processes may be more complex than those of smaller competitors.
Difficulty leveraging data to reveal insights
With siloed data, organizations can find it hard to uncover the insights hidden in their customer data, making them 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.
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 has grown rapidly to become a $70.3B market in 2022 and is expected to reach $147.7B by 2032.
Purchasing wholesale network access from one or more of the major mobile network operators, such as AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile and reselling this access to consumers under their own brand, MVNOs often offer lower price points than the major mobile network operators. And, with more modern systems and technologies, MVNOs offer consumers attractive digital-first experiences.
While the major telecom players still dominate the market, they must deliver a comparable experience to consumers to retain their market share, especially as their audience becomes increasingly familiar with 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 need to be well-positioned to attract these consumers as their needs become more complex.
Whether a legacy provider or new entrant to the market, telecom providers have a wealth of customer information within their business. Brands that make good use of this data have the opportunity to get ahead of their competitors through the delivery of a unique customer experience:
From an interaction with a virtual assistant to comments posted on social media, the rapid growth of digital solutions has created a wide variety of spaces in which customers can interact with their telecom provider. While brands may consider these channels independently, for the consumer each interaction is with your brand and they expect you to know them as a single customer across channels.
To meet customer expectations, brands must bring data together into a single customer view and create a seamless customer experience combining both automated and live interactions.
Customers value effortless digital solutions to answer simple queries and perform routine tasks. In these low emotional effort interactions, such as checking available minutes or data usage, automation gives customers the fast, 24/7 solution they prefer. But in situations where emotional effort is higher, customers need easy access to an empathetic live agent.
A well-planned omnichannel approach leverages insights to determine which touch points can be automated and which require the support of live agents and directs customers to the channel that works best for them. Whether it be through a mobile app, live chat, social media or telephone, agents must have a 360-degree view of the customer’s interaction with the brand, enabling them to continue a seamless conversation with the customer.
Digital solutions offer telecoms providers the opportunity to enhance their CX while also deflecting contacts away from voice-based channels, creating cost efficiencies. Digitalization enables seamless personalization in a format that customers find efficient and easy to use, driving customer satisfaction.