by Pedro van Gaalen
The telecoms CX market is a highly competitive industry. Not only do telecommunication providers (telcos) compete against other telcos, but they’re also battling digital disruption from innovative and nimble startups and other over-the-top (OTT) media and communication services that are eroding traditional voice and messaging revenues.
This shifting usage paradigm is forcing communication service providers (CSPs) to re-look their customer acquisition and retention strategies. To combat customer and revenue churn, CSPs need to embrace digital transformation, moving away from the ‘dumb pipe’ model to deliver seamless omni-channel services and content plays that craft unique and memorable customer experiences (CX) and create new and sustainable revenue streams.
To deliver on this strategy, CSPs need to correlate their telecoms CX data with network performance data to gain more meaningful insights into how quality of service impacts user experiences.
For example, with appropriate analytics tools, CSPs gain insights that help them distinguish the needs of heavy data users, who prefer fast download and upload speeds over optimal voice quality, or a mobile gamer who demands low latency.
This is crucial information, because the way customers experience the network is still a main driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty. A previous Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) Acquisition and Retention study supports the need for network and service quality, as these factors had the greatest influence on customer retention in mature markets, according to the report.
This means that at the top end, customers are willing to pay for good service levels and quality, placing the network at the heart of successful telecoms CX management. As such, network providers and partners will continue to play important roles in enabling CSPs to deliver a superior customer experience by addressing the key components of network quality, namely capacity, latency, coverage and mobility, states NSN.
However, there are other ‘soft’ factors outside of the network that also impact CX. According to the Oliver Wyman Next-Level Customer Experience In Telecommunications report, these are “reducing customer effort, creating benefits from product usage, and satisfying emotional needs.”
The report states: “Telecoms operators … can only improve customer experience in a sustainable way if they improve performance in all these dimensions. Operators who aim to win (with) tomorrow’s customers need to exploit all these elements.”
And getting this strategy right now is crucial, as a new generation of digital natives are about to enter the market as economically active consumers. As the InMoment Telecom Report on Customer Experience in the Telecom Industry highlights, telcos will need to manage a growing customer pool that is technologically savvier than past customers.
According to the report, “digital natives are heightening expectations across all lines of service and prove much harder to please than digital immigrants. Even when younger customers find value in their service provider, their familiarity with this industry and their above-average expectations overshadow positive feelings.”
So, while pricing, speed and coverage can help to differentiate CSPs in this highly competitive market, other supporting elements will also be required to ensure the quality of all-round CX and, as a result, the sustainability and success of CSPs into the future.