The telecommunications marketplace is a difficult place to be. Retaining and gaining new customers can be a huge challenge, especially in a saturated market. TM Forum reveals up to “67% of total revenue from 5G use cases beyond eMBB and FWA is dependent on OSS/BSS transformation.” Knowing what technology investments can grow your customer base and leverage the potential of 5G are vital.
Here are the areas we believe you should invest in to ensure you are giving your users and customers the extraordinary experiences they are looking for:
Connected intelligence: Consolidating customer and network data in a single pane of glass provides not only a central point for a deluge of data that was previously stuck in silos, it also puts the data to work finding connections and relationships to provide much needed context. When applied to business processes and managed in a secure way that respects regulatory requirements, network information containing customer usage details combined with contractual and social information can provide greater insight about customer behavior. Things like the propensity to spend more for greater perceived value or an increased potential to churn when needs aren’t met can be identified and acted upon. With new capabilities to attract and retain customer attention, service providers can ensure they have the right information to respond to customers’ needs in the moments that matter.
Automation and predictive analytics: Once data is centralized it can be leveraged using analytics and machine learning to provide global visibility across an entire set of critical business metrics, unify operations by monitoring multiple events simultaneously, predict machine failures, simulate alternative choices, measure utilization and performance, capture learnings, and automate highly engaging experiences. IDC forecasts that “by 2022, consumers across all industries will use artificial intelligence (AI)–powered bots to programmatically control approximately 12% of online purchases,” leading to increased brand loyalty and market share for brands with the best bot marketing.
With the ability to automate, predict and target more effectively—providing better near-human interactions—companies can off-load tremendous amounts of simplified transactions, allowing employees to tackle more complex tasks that yield big dividends with customers looking for next-level service. With the dynamism that 5G brings to the table, more and more automation and intelligence must be introduced across the board to not only keep services up and running, but to also provide experiences that are frictionless, engaging and still cost effective for the service provider.
What do you get from investing in these areas that helps your marketing and sales teams create extraordinary experiences?
Shifting away from models where underlying legacy systems typically support a single-company, single-channel end-to-end process of selling, delivering, assuring and monetizing towards future-minded companies that are deciding to make strategic bets in both technologies and ways of operating. Creating a more agile multi-channel, multiparty and multipurpose service offering is the end goal—critical in supporting real-time business and revenue management.
With “84% of customers saying that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services,” according to State of the Connected Customer Report, published by Salesforce, now is the time for companies to go all-in on their decision to modernize their infrastructure, systems and databases to compete and win—giving your sales and marketing team the competitive edge and flexibility it needs to respond to the market. The report also states that “57% have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience,”—the cost of getting it right can make all the difference to your business.
The customer experience of tomorrow's digital business implies a new level of complexity and requires an operational strategy to adjust its marketing approach, modify its internal processes, and enhance its systems to deliver more customer-centric experiences. Leveraging the investments described above, the following capabilities can be enabled:
Analytics tied to aggregated customer insight: Customers expect you to pay attention to their needs, even if it means a machine is doing it for you. Now, with advanced customer analytics, you can ensure your systems are always on and always listening. Creating a proper feedback loop at scale that responds at the speed of business requires customer analytics aggregation across the whole journey. This allows you to build proper insights that can then be applied to ensure a more personalized and attentive approach to customer engagement.
Improved analytics also means successfully launching new services that reach your target audience’s expectations. Companies recognize that consumers have a real say in what drives the market and therefore are willing to follow their lead. So much so that IDC suggests that “by 2021, 30% of enterprises will exploit AI and advanced customer analytics” for calculating next best actions with improved accuracy when applied not only to an individual consumer but also to segments or persona profiles.
Creating a contextual and automated experience: Creating more personalized and contextual offers and the ability to automate the precise delivery and timing of those offers to best reflect the buyer journey are what delights customers. Pinpointing the optimal moments that will capture the customer’s attention and resonate with them requires a more holistic view of customers. This can be done by integrating internal functional data silos to improve business processes and reduce friction, resulting in more seamless buying experiences while increasing average revenue per user (ARPU).
Salesforce has statistics for B2B as well. Eighty two percent of business buyers say they want the same experience as when they are buying for themselves, but only 27% of companies excel at meeting those standards for B2B. As companies continue to enhance business development strategies to meet high consumer standards, now rapidly influencing business expectations, their ability to work across a growing partner ecosystem to further fuel competitive advantage will greatly depend on the capacity to manage a growing number of complex interactions and business rules to maintain the agility and flexibility required to continually develop, test and launch, and monetize joint solutions and services.
Driving growth with a sustainable open partner ecosystem: Partner management has a role at both the operations level and the business level. From a customer experience perspective, both are important, but an open ecosystem is strategic to drive superior engagement. Enabling digital business management concepts that help each partner directly onboard and manage its services while also enabling it to source services from other partners for resale to its customers is a must.
Empowering partners to sell offers directly to end-users, and to sell services to other partners in the ecosystem is another strategic need as partner interactions increase from the call for more enhanced services to satisfy growing customer needs. The most challenging requirement is to compensate each partner based on their relative added value for each provided service, which will often vary from one service offering to another. To address these needs, organizations require a new kind of IT platform that not only meets these requirements but also uses open interfaces to deliver end-to-end services.
Collectively enabling commercial accountability: How customers are charged is important and often is a way for them to compare organizations offering the same types of services or products. In some cases, this means enabling partners to offer your services as part of their offerings. In all cases, usage need to be accounted for so that collected revenue can be allocated between partners. In doing so, new revenue streams are opened to each participating organization.
New business models on the horizon
Preparing for the race to profitability requires a strong commitment to break free from inflexible systems that hinder your business, allowing the flexibility, agility, and visibility it needs to run at high speed. Imagine knowing what you need to know about a customer, business, even sensor, and leveraging that information at the speed of 5G, to provide next-level personalization that is needed to complete in a digital marketplace. In a world where customers are won or lost in a moment, ensure you can respond in an instant, means you not only have the right tools but measurement to go the distance and deliver extraordinary customer experiences.
Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G #CustomerExperience #CSP