With increasing customer expectations driven by Big Techs like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc., consumers want a similar experience from their telecom providers. To differentiate their services, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are offering innovative strategies to woo customers through improved experience and better engagement. They closely measure and track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as NPS (Net Promoter Score) to constantly improve customer experiences.
As per the TM Forum Global report in 2018, Telecom has an NPS of 27 while average of all industries is 44. There is significant scope for improvement and CSPs are moving fast. Many are reinventing themselves through digital transformation initiatives with the intent to offer better customer experience along with improved ARPU & Retention.
Customers, now have a few fundamental expectations from Telcos:
CSPs are implementing strong Customer Experience Management (CXM) strategies to meet these expectations. CXM is a collection of processes that help an Organization to track and optimize every customer interaction throughout the life cycle of a customer. The goal is to improve customer centricity and loyalty. CSPs with a strong CXM strategy are rewarded with loyal customers who not only buy more and stay longer but are also brand advocates spreading positivity and generating referrals.
The road to implement CXM and provide better engagements is fraught with challenges such as:
- Customer’s expectations are changing too fast
- Too many new access channels have increased complexities
- Slow onboarding of new channels
- Slow time to market for new changes
- Consistency in brand experience across channels
To address these challenges, CSPs use a robust strategy for digital transformation and typically start with customer journeys. An effective approach to reinvent customer journeys is by establishing API led connectivity through an API management solution and an API Gateway. Such an approach helps to decouple the front end and back end applications, internal and external enterprise assets for seamless onboarding of new channels and quicker time to market. It also ensures ease of customer transition across channels and proactive engagement with customers based on predictive analytics. Digitization of customer journeys enables quicker launch of Minimal Viable Products (MVPs) which disrupts the industry with quick innovation cycles.
DTT 1 - Digital Transformation Tracker 1: Sep, 2017
DTT 2 - Digital Transformation Tracker 2: May, 2018
TM Forum, 2018
An API led integration approach also helps the creation of a platform business model for a more robust digital ecosystem that can better the end customer experience. APIs enable quick integration with partners to offer an integrated experience to customers. By building such digital ecosystems, CSPs are now able to move beyond mobile and provide industry mashup services like insurance, e-wallets, education, entertainment, healthcare services and much more.
CSPs offering cross-domain services is not a new concept, but a few examples stand out. Some CSPs are offering services such as “bill to pay”, where a customer can watch a movie or even pay for parking using their current subscription. The customer gets a notification at parking to add the parking fee to the next bill instead of paying now. This reduces the time taken and the hassles of parking, resulting in customer delight. Certain other CSPs facilitate customer purchases from partner companies using their Loyalty points. Such an arrangement strengthens their Loyalty program and improves customer loyalty. Some CSPs are encouraging customers to use their Operator login credentials for logging into other sites. Such integrations increase activity on the CSP’s digital channels, which in turn gives a boost to their Sales & service through Digital channels.
Such initiatives are possible through the creation of digital ecosystems with partners and customers, enabling more and better services and experiences to end-customers. Customers are enjoying these rapid innovations and are ready to spend more for excellence in customer experience.
About the Author
Account Manager, Torry Harris