How CSPs can address the cultural shifts imposed by changes in customer behaviour
As communications service providers (CSPs) continue on the path towards digital transformation, they are finding that technology has, without a doubt, become an indispensable tool for driving customer engagement, writes Russell Palmer, the director of Communications & Media Industry Solutions, Europe at Pegasystems.
Effective digital solutions are now the foundation on which to build positive customer relationships, with technology filling in the gaps that manual systems could not. Digitising the processes by which you engage with your customers not only from a service delivery perspective, but also from a customer lifecycle perspective, you see that many of the old ways of thinking about the business need to change radically to keep pace.
For example, it’s no longer workable to think about business lines or products such as mobile, fixed-line or pay-TV; customers only think about the content and services and want to consume them via whatever means are convenient for them at a time of their choice. Consumers are being flooded with new means of communication and we have even seen businesses using photo-messaging services, such as Snapchat, as a means of forging links with customers old and new.
With such rapidly changing customer needs, it can be a struggle for CSPs to ensure consistency and continuity. However, it is increasingly important for a CSP to guarantee its services across every business line, not just to provide a range of ways to communicate, they need to keep up with new technology developments and not get left behind competitors.
Personalisation is another growing trend that must be considered, with the CSP required to predict and customise the journeys using big data and real-time context to deliver precisely what the customer needs or wants, even before the customer knows they need it, and balancing that against their business objectives. At the same time, there is a fine line between anticipating customer requirements and making sure that new technological developments are appropriate and necessary. There is no point in a firm using an English chatbot which has the potential to alienate many individuals if they have a global customer base.
Pegasystems has found that this type of thinking also informs not just the way customers expect to find and purchase these services, but also how they prefer to experience customer service too.
Managing these shifts in behaviour necessitates executive vision, a progression in the way that CSPs measure success and in the way that they think about using their technology to support their transformation. People are creatures of habit and it can be a struggle to let go of certain tasks and depend fully on unfamiliar technologies. Utilising resources including robotic automation, case management and real-time decision management allows humans to do what we do best, concentrate on relationships and customers, so that we can take on feedback and use that information to improve and adapt the latest services.
It is by no means an easy shift but more CSPs are beginning to transform and, despite having to leave a few passengers by the wayside, are making good progress. With the additional challenge of the increase of non-traditional service providers who have the innovative technology and agility to adapt to the changing ecosystem, CSPs who don’t make the decision to change are setting themselves up for failure.