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Perspectives

3 Ways Telcos Can Reach Digital Maturity

2016-05-19


To refine their operations and better compete with emerging challengers, communication service providers must analyze and monetize their enviable amounts of consumer data.

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Amid consolidation, the decline of landline phones and flagging loyalty, communication service providers (CSPs) find themselves in a difficult spot. With the help of Code Halo thinking, however, they can reenergize their revenue and improve their operations in a big way. 

Telcos already possess a long-term view of customer behavior that most businesses would pay top dollar for; such data can be analyzed to reveal numerous insights, including new product offerings, how consumers prefer to engage and ways to reduce customer churn. 

Here are three actions CSPs can take to improve their competitive stature: 

Learn the value of data. 

Even if they don’t already know it, CSPs are key players in the digital ecosystem. However, many take for granted the decades’ worth of past and current consumer data contained in their systems of record. 

With a newfound interest in analytics, CSPs can unearth new revenue opportunities in every corner of the business — from product and service development, to sales and retention. This requires a new approach to collecting, analyzing and incorporating data from the often siloed parts of the business, as well as a deep understanding and application of the insights contained in customer, device, process and organizational Code Halos. 

In addition to optimizing the revenue possibilities of current business, CSPs can leverage Code Halos to identify new opportunities or even monetize customer data through external partnerships. For example, information on pay TV viewing habits and frequently visited wireless locations is highly valued and often leads to cross-selling and cross-promotional opportunities.  

Just as analytics helps CSPs better understand customer preferences, this technology can also improve sales forecasting and speed-to-market. For example, wireless and pay TV operators have long leveraged customer data to anticipate product usage trends – video streaming chief among them. What else might CSPs learn with this data? Until your organization starts digging, it will never know the true value of data. 

Benchmark digital maturity.

Many CSPs struggle with operational inefficiencies inherited from the days when the majority of their customers used landline phones. Now that customers expect a consistent cross-channel experience, as well as increasingly automated or self-help support from a set-top box or other touchpoint, CSPs need to deliver. To succeed, they must embrace the modern channels consumers demand. That means embracing digital. 

By doing so, CSPs will achieve more than just better customer service – they will also optimize costs and revenue. For example, forward-thinking telcos have experimented with analytics to anticipate churn before it occurs, enabling them to dispatch field technicians preemptively to offer help or promote awareness of digital self-service capabilities. 

With back-office teams that possess more advanced analytics, such as targeting customers at the micro-segment level, CSPs can also reduce costs with the help of automated technology that provides a more holistic view of the customer lifecycle. This more accurate customer view leads to more effective treatment, smarter cross-selling and retention activities, and ultimately higher revenue. 

Before reaching digital maturity, however, CSPs must first benchmark their current digital capabilities. This can be done through a maturity analysis to help identify areas for development, including legacy views of outdated customer-facing engagement and back-end processes. 

Resupply digital expectations.

Until recently, many CSPs treated all their digital customers the same. In reality, these customers vary significantly in terms of expectations. As customers increase their adoption of digital channels for their sales and service needs, CSPs must equally develop social, mobile, cloud and Web analytics that track customer behavior. Based on a combination of product usage and contact patterns, CSPs can identify the most critical moments and channels for targeted interactions. 

For example, a digital customer who increases contact frequency over multiple channels during a sustained period may exhibit higher likelihood to churn. Use of analytics can ensure this risk is identified in time and that the CSP responds with a personal touch via the most effective channel.

Similarly, specific usage behavior may indicate a customer’s preference for a higher-tier product or service. Using analytics to identify purchasing likelihood, a CSP can ensure the customer receives the most accurate offer at an optimal price and moment of interaction.

Digital demand has changed how modern CSPs must define themselves. They can no longer focus on plugs, wires and connections but on adding value to enhance the customer relationship. In a Netflix-inspired environment, where providers are expected to know customer preferences even before they are communicated, mistakes can be costly. Thus, segmentation of digital customers plays a critical role in optimizing satisfaction and minimizing churn. 

Moving Forward

With a forward-thinking team and external help, CSPs can refocus their digital strategy to reflect modern demand, retool their operations to support digital needs, and reinvent their value proposition.

To learn more, read our full report on Digital Game Changers for Communication Providers or visit the communications services section of our website.

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3 Ways Telcos Can Reach Digital Maturity