Mobile Telecomms Image credit Pixabay/GeraltIt’s a scenario many people know all too well – trying to find a sensible way through your operator’s online customer care services and eventually giving up and contacting the call centre.  At the call centre, it is clear that there is no integration between the online services and the human ones – after finally completing your task you hang up irritated, leaving with a poor view of the technical capabilities of mobile operators.  Compared with the increasingly digitalised and integrated services offered by banks in the delivery of customer care, operators are lagging seriously behind.  For example, Nat West’s recent use of Vizolution to ensure a paperless mortgage process proves that end-to-end customer journeys can add value to both customer and company.  Customers used to such integrated solutions in other industries demand seamless integration across all channels.  With an increasing focus on Net Promoter Scores (NPS), now more than ever it is important for operators to be at the forefront of digitising the customer’s journey.

At the same time, there is no doubt that the operator market is under increasing price pressure and tight margins.  Often digitalisation of customer care is viewed as a means to cut costs and increase customer satisfaction, reducing churn and hopefully creating a more engaged workforce. It is often also viewed as a means to create long-term higher value customer relationships.

But what if digitalised customer care journeys were also a stepping stone to greater innovation?

Addressing a disconnect in digital customer care journeys

At its simplest level, digitalising the customer care process in a seamless manner can assist with a common problem for mobile operators: there is a tendency for customers to start digitally but to rapidly move back to call centres when the digital care service does not meet their expectations. As a result, companies can often report a high rate of digital channel usage, but still have an increase in customer calls as well. Digitalised platforms therefore need to be as easy to use as possible to keep the customer returning to that type of remote platform.  The challenge is to ensure that those customers who start digital can do so continue to use that track – and this is where high-quality systems comes into play.

Innovation within easy grasp

When it comes to innovation, operators often seem to have a technology focus.  For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is often discussed in the context of the next step of advanced customer care. But for most companies it is really about a better integrated customer journey and proper information management in a unified platform as demonstrated by NatWest.  AI will not solve any customer care problems unless there is a fully developed cross-company data strategy implemented, especially one that handles quality and cleaning of data across its entire lifecycle.  There is a lot that can be done via digitalising call centres before calling in the AI specialists; much remains to be done with effective business process management as with advanced technology.

A smart approach for operators with an eye on the customer journey

Forward-looking operators could think about using remote journey systems to integrate privacy and security documentation into the customer workflow in a more usable manner. Doing so could allow customers to simply and easily understand the details of their contracts and to opt-in and out of services in a flexible manner.  As privacy and security issues are increasing in scope across society, operators will need a customer-focussed way in which to manage those issues on behalf of the customer.  Moreover, digitalised customer care solutions will be required for the management of many home IoT devices so that customers can feel safe that the device is secure and being properly managed – that can only be achieved by integration into the customer journey.  That’s when customer care starts to become a force for innovation as well.

In short, telecom operators should take a leaf out of banking’s book and start to investigate the role that digitalisation through solutions from providers such as Customer eXperience (CX) Technology provider Vizolution can play in streamlining the customer journeys and providing a seamless and effective end-to-end experience.

Upon such systems, new innovations can be found along with improved customer engagements.

A notable return on investment (ROI) comes from the customer service team at O2, the second largest mobile network operator in the UK. Using Vizolution, O2 were able to increase customer satisfaction by 27% and increase retention rates by 20%, while increasing insurance sales by 37%, improving compliance by 47% and decreasing customer drop off rate by 31%.

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CIC logoCreative Intellect Consulting is an analyst research, advisory and consulting firm founded by Bola Rotibi, an experienced and renowned expert analyst in the field of software development, delivery and lifecycle management processes, technologies and tools.

The blog was written by Cathy Mulligan, Principal Analyst, CiC. It was first published by Creative Intellect Consulting and is reused here with permission.

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Cathy has a broad mix of ‘real world’ and research experience at the intersection of telecommunications, smart cities and blockchain across a variety of countries and research domains. She is currently a Visiting Researcher at Imperial College and was a founding Co-Director of the ICL Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering, which was Europe’s first centre dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrency research. She also holds an Honorary Research position at University College London, where she is Chief Technology Officer of the GovTech Lab and DataNet, which focuses on the potential and application of blockchain, AI and advanced communications technologies as a foundational part of the world’s governments and economy. Cathy is an expert and fellow of the World Economic Forum’s Blockchain council and a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Co-Operation. She holds a PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where she also received her master’s degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development. She is the author of six books on technology covering IoT, EPC and the economics of the emerging digital economy based around information supply chains.

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