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To be extremely customer-centric is to be driven by data and AI

The shift to an experience-focused culture is essential

Customer experience is now the yardstick by which most global brands measure themselves. Driven principally by the methods and successes of digital e-commerce and web-scale brands, the customer experience is now expected to be personalized, omni-channel and holistic. This is great news for consumers and business customers, and it is driving all businesses, including CSPs, to change the way they operate. “Customer experience has always been important. But more so now than in the past, it is the one thing operators can really differentiate themselves with.”

—Justin van der Lande, Analysys Mason.

Digital customers operate in ‘digital time’. They expect immediate gratification, not because they are overindulgent, but simply because that is their everyday experience in the digital world. What this means is that the companies that succeed are those that are the fastest at analyzing the data, identifying their customers’ intent and presenting them with relevant solutions or offers. Not all moments are relevant, so part of the magic of good algorithms is the ability to understand what is the next best action (NBA).

Using data for all the touch points in the customer journey, companies are able to reflect the customer’s preferences in a variety of compelling ways, making the experience more personal. Using a digital twin of the customer’s preferences, companies can also ensure continuity across channels. For instance, a purchase that is half completed on a mobile phone, in store, can be completed on a PC or tablet, when the customer gets home. Cloud-generation customers now expect this frictionless omni-channel experience.

Net promoter score (NPS) as a measure is critical, but it is weak on the “why”. In other words, it doesn’t help anticipate the issues that lead to dissatisfaction. But if you are trying to avoid silently churning customers, you must anticipate what issues lead to customer dissatisfaction and be proactive about solving them before they lead to churn. The trick is to know the relationship between the event and the experience. If you can provide NPS with intelligence based on real-time customer insights, then you can generate proactive actions based on predictive capabilities. The cloud generation of consumers is in the driver’s seat — and they can be very demanding. Winning businesses find a way to keep ahead of them and anticipate what they will want and solve problems before they arise.

Customer Experience Management platform is probably the most powerful tool we implement within our business. It is not just a network tool - It’s a tool that unites all aspects of the business: customer care, commercials, customer experience, networks, and IT.

- Navindran Naidoo, MTN Nigeria  

To be extremely customer-centric is to be driven by data and AI graph

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) are the key technologies for drawing insights and actions out of all this data. This leads to a different measure of satisfaction: the automated, actionable and ML-driven customer experience index (CEI). Based on years of historical data correlating NPS to actual customer experiences, ML algorithms are able to analyze real-time data streams and correlate shifts in customer NPS to specific kinds of incidents. These customer-affecting incidents can include service interruptions, customer-premises equipment (CPE) configuration issues, changes in pricing, bundling changes, application or device issues, security breaches and poor customer care. 

The CEI is an always-on measure of the 360° customer perspective that embeds NPS. It is constantly building on its real-time and historical database of correlations to become better at predicting those incidents that will lead to low or high NPS. It is dynamic and responsive because it is focused on understanding customer happiness. 

To be extremely customer-centric is to be driven by data and AI graph

The advantage that CSPs and other digitally oriented companies enjoy is their ability to collect data on such a wide variety of parameters. For instance, beyond network service, CSPs have a broad contextual and real-time knowledge of the customer’s current experience that they can measure. This encompasses all customer touch points, including customer app performance, location, charging, billing, rate plans, interactions with customer care and value-added services. These touch points can be correlated to sales, network operations, business services, customer care and field operations, as well as measurements of NPS.All of this relies on making the most of all the data your business collects on customers. To make it operationally feasible requires artificial intelligence and machine-learning software that can arrive at actionable insights, including those actions that have the highest probability of meeting your objectives (NBA). The key is to transform your business by putting the customer experience at the center of everything you do.

By 2019, 81% of surveyed marketing leaders expect to compete on the basis of CX

Key Findings From the Gartner Customer Experience Survey


Read more from Customer Experience Whitepaper

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Malla Poikela

About Malla Poikela

Malla oversees the messaging around Nokia Software’s intelligence and operations portfolios, which include analytics/AI, customer- and network-driven insights, service fulfilment and assurance, and end-to-end automated service operations. Malla is very visible at industry events and on social media, where she is a passionate advocate for the customer experience, digital transformation and the future mode of operations.

Tweet me at @MPoikela

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