In the eyes of the consumer, telecoms companies are generally felt to have done an excellent job of adapting to (and driving) changes to how people live, work, learn, and play since the COVID-19 pandemic. By enabling these new modes of communication, telecommunications providers will likely serve as the bedrock of companies’ ability to recover and thrive in 2021 and beyond—across industries.
Telecommunications companies are having an even larger role to play as 5G wireless technology begins to gain traction among enterprises and consumers alike. 5G promises to provide enterprises with real-time visibility, insights, and control over their assets, products and services. It can also provide new opportunities to radically transform how they operate and deliver new products and services.
The demand for reliable internet connection has also accelerated. The increased consumption of high quality, heavy content is critical for many individuals and businesses. The impact of COVID-19 has been an immediate requirement for consumer broadband networks to perform in the same way as corporate networks.
The rate of technology development in this area is extensive as mobile telephony is the prime gateway to digital services. 5G, the internet of things, advanced gaming, and video content are all driving usage of mobile handsets.
The key trends across the Six Pillars are as follows:
Delivering on the core promise, network quality remains an issue. For providers that have both fixed and wireless capability, the ability to move between the two to improve uptime is a significant improvement. As more and more telecom service providers are switching to open and cloud technologies, continued focus will be placed on data integrity and cybersecurity.
Increasing artificial intelligence based chatbots are being used to service simple customer queries. This technology provides scalability and rapid root cause analysis.
Customers now expect to be able to do anything from their mobiles. In fact expectations are escalating every day, requiring greater immediacy and agility from telecoms providers. The large increase in those working from home and the resultant need for a robust and unlimited access to the internet has put telecoms companies under pressure and exposed poor network coverage.
Time and Effort
Increasing use of call deflection – that is, the option to redirect calls to digital channels whenever necessary – is reducing waiting time as well as call volumes to a considerable extent. This will likely enhance the phone experience for customers while making the transition between telephonic transactions and digital channels faster and smoother.
Telcos have set the agenda for Personalization. They can deliver more personalized offers because they have access to clean data sets that include real-time data. Not only does this mean they have detailed information about their customers, but they also understand the context of an individual at any given moment. Understanding whether a customer is at work, shopping, streaming their favorite program etc., means they can deliver a relevant offer at the right time and the right place.
Empathy and authenticity are proven leading indicators of loyalty in the telecoms sector. the leaders in our index demonstrate a deep understanding of their customers emotional as well as physical needs and develop services form a human, solution-oriented place.
The Customer Experience Leaders
Austrian Telecoms company HOT, is a company that goes the extra mile to really understand its customers looking at brand usage and lifestyle whilst examining attitudes, hobbies and interests and life values. Personalized campaigns are the result, with easy access to relevant products and services.1
UK based retailer Tesco mobile shops are housed within the supermarkets stores and available online. It has very high levels of customer satisfaction for its independence and the quality of the interactions it has with customers both face to face and digitally. It attributes its success in part to the systematic collection and interpretation of customer feedback and its ability to take responsive action. Tesco Mobile also collates insight from colleagues, including ‘back to the floor days’ in which senior members of the team spent time side by side with colleagues, understanding the challenges that they face. Their core strategy is centered around the customer ensuring “we do right by each and every one of them.”2
Similarly for Vodafone brand hollandsnieuwe in the Netherlands, it is the singular focus on the customer experience and the systematic collection of customer feedback that has driven improvement of their NPS score. It attributes its success in responding to customer feedback to the establishment of multi-disciplinary teams, all working together towards a common goal - a competitively superior experience for the customer.
Giffgaff in the UK is a very unusual company. Giffgaff works in a different way from most networks. It doesn't offer traditional phone contracts – instead it sells monthly pay-as-you-go Sim cards that you top up with credit or bundles of texts, minutes and data (it calls these 'goodybags'). It is a membership company where users not only get access to low cost SIMs but also participate in a community that exists to help each other. Members can accumulate points for helping others which they can redeem against products and services.3
The telecoms sector, once legendary for poor CX has turned a corner, providing fixed and mobile connectivity that has kept the world turning through the pandemic and providing CX journeys that are genuinely keeping customers happy.
Telecoms industry Hall of Fame 2021