Since the first phone call was made 142 years ago, telecom companies have controlled the way people communicate — and the cost.
But the rapid growth of Facebook, Google, Apple, and other tech disruptors has thrust the world of mobile communication into a new, boundaryless paradigm.
For instance, Facebook has gained a foothold in mobile communication via Facebook Messenger and it’s acquisition of WhatsApp. The company has already started testing its own telecommunications product.
Traditional providers must find new ways of differentiating their offerings to improve the customer experience and maintain loyalty.
The need to digitally transform has never been greater.
How do innovation-oriented companies approach the customer experience?
One of the key differences between traditional telecom providers and disruptive tech companies is their approach to the customer experience.
Newer, tech-based entrants have innovation at their core, and this gives them an advantage.
First, it enables them to constantly evolve, add new capabilities, expand into adjacent markets, and increase revenue. Second, ongoing innovation allows these companies to continuously optimize the customer experience.
With billions of user sessions per day, the customer experience must remain a top strategic priority.
Telecom’s old tactics can’t compete in a digital age
Until recently there was no need for telecom companies to make significant changes to their business models or approach to the customer experience.
While competition has always existed between providers, consumers were relatively limited in choice.
In the new paradigm, mobile operators must redefine who their competitors are, and how they can offer a superior experience.
Telecom companies, it’s time to reinvent the customer experience
By adding new digital capabilities and advanced analytics, telecom providers can improve online services, use customer data more effectively, and empower employees to provide an optimal customer experience.
1. Satisfy consumer demands with enhanced online services
More than ever, consumers want self-service options to solve issues or make changes to their plans. For example, telecom companies can make customer support more accessible and effective by introducing artificial intelligence tools like online chatbots.
Beyond support, online services should address every aspect of the customer journey.
The typical customer journey includes many digital touchpoints. Few customers walk into a store and buy something without doing any research first. Telecom providers can fulfill consumers’ desire for accessible information and ultimately increase sales by making it easy for customers to compare products and prices on their websites.
A better online experience translates to a stronger brand, which is invaluable to any company.
2. Integrate advanced analytics to improve personalization
The possibilities to apply advanced analytics within telecom companies are uncapped.
For example, network operators can extract meaningful insights from customer data. They can more accurately forecast demand and network capacity, and learn where upgrades are needed.
Advanced analytics of customer data can also predict churn, and enables reps to prevent it with targeted promotions and savings.
Demographic analytics can support marketing efforts at the individual level to ensure advertising dollars are segmented and spent wisely. It can also help inform revenue cycle management personnel of the most effective ways to remind customers to pay their bills.
Advanced analytics tools like machine learning constantly learn customer preferences, allowing support reps to provide personalized services and improve customer satisfaction.
3. Empower employees to offer better human-to-human interactions
Digital tools may create an infrastructure for customer service improvement, but your employees are the ones who deliver it.
Employees with greater digital capabilities perform at a higher level and provide better customer service.
As part of its digital transformation efforts, the telecom company identified a need to improve usability on its internal and retail technologies. T-Mobile implemented WalkMe on 26 core systems, including Salesforce, human resources platforms, and front-end systems for retail and customer care.
According to Scott Tweedy, VP of Strategic Transformation, the decision to add the WalkMe solution was intended to reduce reliance on employee training. This made a profound difference for the company, which adds 5,000 new employees per year to customer service alone.
With greater proficiency across systems on the back-end and front-end of the business, T-Mobile’s employees are better equipped to provide more efficient and personalized customer support. The end result is a better customer experience, increased employee efficiency, and higher performance.
The time to digitally transform is now
The tools telecom companies need to improve business operations and the customer experience are already available. The time to adopt them is now.
New competitors are emerging, and consumer demand for greater access to more personalized services are on the rise. Network providers that cling to traditional ways of thinking and doing will be unable to to compete in the digital age.