Digitalised DSP operations: Customer care evolution to a brand management platform
There are three journeys that today’s Communications Service Providers (CSPs) must make to become modern Digital Service Providers (DSPs):
- Operations innovation – “digitalising” the operations to be more on-line and automated for consumers
- Service innovation – providing new digital services
- Network innovation – supporting the business with an agile, virtualised next generation network.
In the first BLOG post of this series, I outlined the overall focus changes necessary in the current Operations Support Systems/Business Support Systems (BSS/OSS) to support the digitalisation of the CSP’s operations. In this second of the series, I will drill down into the customer care area.
Customer Care has evolved from its early days of only having one choice of help with orders, problems, and questions – a person on the other side of a voice phone call. But a desire to reduce costs drove the implementation of self-service, starting with integrated voice response systems (IVRs).
The options have moved to on-line systems available through a number of channels. Figure 1 describes the transition. Self-care was the next step, as customers could order their own services and change features autonomously. Most CSPs are at this state, with separate operations for their various services – voice, data, content, and advanced digital economy services.
As the CSPs attempt to look more like a single entity to their customers, they are increasing the number of major services they offer – from double, to triple-play and beyond into the realm of smart home, smart car, and smart city. As they have implemented omni-channel customer service, they also have been attempting to integrate the customer care of all of the services – into multi-play customer care.
But as the number of products that the DSPs sells expands to include the new cloud services, SaaS, and digital services provided by both the operator and, increasingly, third parties, the nature of customer care will change again. As this happens, customer care, long thought of as a cost centre dedicated to keeping customers satisfied at the lowest cost, will become more important in managing the overall brand of the DSP – establishing and maintaining the DSP’s brand perception, whatever it chooses to be (low cost, high-service, or in between).
This brand management platform will provide features for the customer and the DSP’s agents and product managers to manage an increasingly rich set of services, most of which are provided by third parties. We have already seen movement in this direction, as product lifecycle management features are being offered by several vendors in the customer care area. Add the features and functions of Cloud Service Brokers and apply it to all of the goods and services of the DSP, add a dash of advanced self-care – and a Brand Management Platform will be born.
It should be fun to watch.
The author of this blog is Mark H Mortensen, practice head, Analysys Mason.
About the author
Dr. Mark H Mortensen, research director, Analysys Mason Mark is research director for Analysys Mason’s BSS systems, which are part of the Telecoms Software and Networks research stream. His interest areas include customer omni-channel self-service, operations systems enabling new CSP businesses in the digital economy value chain, and creation and support of differentiated services aimed at high-value customers.
Mark was Chief Scientist of Management Systems at Bell Labs, and has also been president of his own OSS strategy consulting company, CMO at the inventory specialist Granite Systems, VP of Product Strategy at Telcordia Technologies, and an professor of strategic management at UMass Lowell.
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