How to Solve the Top CX Challenges in Telecoms
In 2020, when most companies shifted to work-from-home setups, many telecoms operators and media providers found themselves at the centre of a storm. With almost everyone working remotely, the number of users relying on collaboration software, video conferencing and streaming content skyrocketed overnight. This drove significant demands on bandwidth and the underlying networking infrastructure struggled to cope. Audio quality was poor, upload and download speeds dropped and customers were not happy. To say that there was a negative impact on the customer experience (CX) would be an understatement.
Looking back, leaders in the communications and media industry admit that it was a wake-up call to not only accelerate infrastructure upgrades, but also become more aware of changing customer needs, and be able to respond faster. The rapid rise in demand for services became a huge growth opportunity, but failure to meet customer expectations could have been disastrous. In a competitive industry, with little differentiation in products and services offered, there was the realisation that if you’re not meeting your customer’s needs, it could and would likely result in churn.
The responsibility for improving CX could no longer be placed only on the contact centre or customer service staff. Working from home they were experiencing the same challenges and frustrations as customers and there were lessons to be learnt from this. CX optimisation efforts needed to impact every touchpoint in the customer journey starting with digital experiences.
Three key factors emerged. If telecoms operators want to leverage CX as a way to achieve and maintain growth, they need to be able to:
- Gain insights quickly to respond to changing customer needs and preferences
- Experiment more broadly to meet growing expectations for personalisation
- Offer a consistent experience across all channels in all regions
Insights and the need for speed
The pandemic illustrated how rapidly massive change can occur and how broad the impact can be. In this type of environment, historical customer data has little value. Companies need to know what is important to customers right now. Conducting testing campaigns takes several months. By the time insights are generated they’re likely to have lost relevance. The reality is that with most customers searching online, if one website doesn’t have what they’re looking for, they’ll find another website that does. Especially in the competitive industry of telecommunications, where CX is a key differentiating factor.
In 2020, most telecoms operators experienced exponential growth as a result of increased demand for services. Customer expectations have increased too, which means they need to be able to optimise their CX efforts if it is to be a key driver for growth. Already halfway through 2021, most telecoms operators have massive growth targets to reach. To serve up digital experiences that will increase conversions or customer retention, they need to know what customer’s value, today.
Personalisation driven by relevance
Surveys show an increasing demand for more personalisation. In the customer journey, people don’t want to have to search for information, inevitably wasting time discarding what’s confusing or irrelevant. Clear, concise information that speaks to their needs and is presented in an easy-to-understand way leads potential customers further along the customer journey. For existing customers, there is the expectation that the telecoms operator should have some understanding of their needs because they have access to a great deal of customer data through previous transactions.
As companies drive for personalisation, customers sometimes fear an invasion of privacy. But personalisation doesn’t need to cross the privacy line to be effective. Historical data can be used for ideation and incorporated into optimisation strategies. When combined with real-time, AI-driven optimisation efforts, it can help serve up relevant experiences that customers love and adapt as needs shift.
Why creating consistent CX is so important
Marketing messages carry little weight and social proof is everything. This means customers are shopping across different channels and switching between platforms as they seek out information to verify they’re getting the best deal. In this process, brands are identified by the experiences they serve up. If at any point that experience results in anxiety or friction, customers are likely to drop off. If they have to restart the journey each time they switch devices or channels, they’re likely to abandon the process through sheer frustration.
While creating consistent digital experiences is important, the unique attributes of each channel and platform needs to be taken into consideration. Many customers like to use their mobile to browse which makes it an important channel to optimise. But the display on mobile devices is very limited, compared to desktops and tablets. This makes it even more important to serve up only the information that is relevant to orchestrate an efficient journey. How will you know what customers find relevant unless you have the ability to experiment with different ideas across all channels and see which have the most impact, and on which channels?
Creating consistent CX requires an optimisation solution that is flexible, where ideas can be added or removed, mid-experiment. And where different ideas can be efficiently served up in thousands of variations on different channels.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is ideally suited to managing the complex task of optimising hundreds of ideas and thousands of variations, across multiple digital channels to deliver insights quickly. For telecoms operators looking to gain a competitive advantage through improved CX, optimisation is key. AI-driven optimisation is geared towards helping companies achieve ambitious growth targets by consistently serving up the best experiences to visitors and customers, every time.