Digitizing Operations for a Digital World

The way to be a supplier in this market is through using a digital platform (building blocks) that is tied in with a strong ecosystem.
functions (VNFs) and interconnects—and gateway technologies at the edge and at the consumer.

There is an incredible amount of emerging communications technology being consistently improved that allows telecoms to reshape their network environments, establish new revenue streams, and expand their loyal customer base. Options abound to make the digital transformation. Embracing some or all these innovations opens a more promising future for telecoms, and it will ultimately benefit their end customers.

Meeting customer expectations in any industry is a constant challenge: the bar rises ever higher, and the goalposts constantly move. The telecommunication industry has and continues to experience this truth, and even more acutely with the emergence of commoditization that has impacted every facet of the business.

The demands for more speed, reliability, and user-friendliness are a reality that telcos cannot avert. Minor fluctuations in service quality can impact even longstanding customer relationships. The telecom customer experience is paramount, and telcos must continue to enhance it at every level from the direct consumer level to SMB to enterprise clientele. The pressure to do so is genuine and can realistically only be met by providing a robust platform of services and products.

Get smart about network resources

Amid the pressures, there is positive news that can be the seed for telcos’ future growth. Accenture also reports the encouraging statistic that eight in ten consumers surveyed reported being satisfied with both their home broadband and mobile service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 60 percent reported having trust in their CSP, almost three times the percentage that trust their social media provider.

How might this translate to success for CSPs? It means that the time is ripe for telcos to branch off from their essential service of connectivity and seek to capitalize on the trust as we move forward into a post-pandemic landscape. This is where the aforementioned services such as personal healthcare and remote working capabilities may come into play, and all things related to creative digital services.

The way to be a supplier in this market is through using a digital platform (building blocks) that is tied in with a strong ecosystem.  Software-defined networking provides the path for telcos to rapidly respond to customer requests and meet service quality expectations. SDN and SD-WAN allow CSPs to meet these demands even when they exceed the service provider’s normal capabilities. This can be achieved case-by-case through a manual operator or automatically based upon priority lists.

A few years ago, SDN and SD-WAN were perceived as the new disruptor in the technology arena. Now it is the bulwark that CSPs can use against the disruptor of continuous commoditization.  Telcos must embrace a strategy centered on a robust platform and vigorous digital ecosystem to continue to meet customer expectations and protect the relationships they’ve invested in over the years.

Creating loyalty through customer experience

Preserving existing customer relationships is another task layered with complexity in today’s environment. Customers want results, but at the same time they desire more control and insight into their accounts. They crave and expect an expanded palette of self-service tools. Both Gartner and Deloitte have touted surveys and research for a number of years now that indicate that the vast majority of business relationships, while vitally important, will be conducted with little to no direct interaction between customers and a human enterprise representative. People have become so adept at communicating with companies online rather than by phone that the latter is an increasingly diminutive piece of the customer support toolbox. Customers are not in this situation because they are without options. To the contrary, research definitively shows that they prefer online communication.

The only viable solution is creating and maintaining a vibrant self-service portal essential to meeting telecom customer expectations and giving clients increased awareness into the details of their account. Cloud-based platforms enable customers to access and make changes to their account from anywhere and at any time.

A robust self-service portal should allow users to address any number of issues from a single location. These may include billing and invoice management, help desk requests and service provisioning to scale up network capabilities on an as-needed basis.

Live chat is an additional key feature that should be included in any customer-facing telecom portal. When something goes wrong, a significant number of people still want more options for outreach, beyond interacting with their service provider via phone or email. All efforts and approaches that make communication with your company easier and enable customers to engage on their own terms are key elements in enhancing the overall experience.

As much as any factor, the key to customer experience success is usability. Any self-service platform needs to be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provide the correct data at the right time. Employing a cloud-based digital platform with this philosophy in mind will put you on the right track to meet and exceed customer expectations.


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