The Three Pillars: A new way for CSPs to engage effectively with Artificial Intelligence
Having acknowledged the existing threats to Communication Service Providers (CSPs), there has never been a more critical time to treat customers as individuals through the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The timely and personalised transactions AI allows means relationships built up between customers and online retailers have a strong and relevant context.
As a result of AI, says Andres Alvargonzalez, marketing director, Nuance Communications, retailers are remembering their customers’ individual transaction footprints, anticipating future purchasing queries and building lasting relationships. AI enables automated processes for the vast majority of customer interactions, across phone, web, text/SMS, mobile app, social media and messaging channels.
The opportunities at this stage seem bountiful. The sophisticated, new capabilities of AI stand to play a significant role in creating new opportunities and better customer engagement across all channels. With the proliferation of touchpoints such as chatbots, virtual assistants, in-app messaging and two-way SMS, a strong AI ecosystem is being created that is remodelling the communications landscape for CSPs.
How AI helps service providers
There are three distinct ways in which AI is fundamentally altering and helping CSPs with their customer interactions. They can be referred to as The Three Pillars of CSP, and each is explained below:
- First Pillar – Conversational virtual assistants. These digital assistants can engage in two-way dialogue with subscribers, delivering omni-channel engagements. Conversational assistants can be integrated in practically any connected device, including the car, smart TV/set-top-box, mobile app, and smart home technology – like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. They help subscribers with content and control of connected devices through the most familiar of intuitive interfaces – our voice.
- Second Pillar – Knowledge through personalisation. As AI collects more data from CSPs about customer transactions, the opportunities for personalisation become ever more precise and predictive. Utilising AI and Machine Learning, targeted and timely individualised services can be delivered to subscribers at the right time over the appropriate channel. This enables proactive and highly relevant marketing, confirming the service provider as a helpful and trusted partner in the eyes of the subscriber and strengthens their relationship.
- Third Pillar – Better marketing through more accurate data. The use of AI and data analytics can transform marketing activity, delivering detailed information around subscriber profiles, content usage and network activity to accurately create and place offers that are tailored to the individual. An increasing number of subscribers find it more convenient to manage their relationship with service providers through mobile channels and expect to experience a high standard of personalised interaction.
To support this, CSPs are looking to combine AI analytics and machine learning with technologies such as software-defined networking, virtualisation and automation. This fusion delivers excellent customer service while reducing costs and increasing revenue.
Measure your return on investment
Smart, intuitive and efficient processes enhance customer satisfaction and can also achieve a reduction in CSP operating costs. The opportunity is therefore created for more investment to be targeted at product and service innovation. As the implementation of new technology must be built on a strong business case, AI allows the return on investment to be clearly measured.
Many commentators are also noting that AI allowing CSPs to evolve from traditional telcos, wireless providers and cable operators to full-fledged Digital Service Providers (DSPs). Three years ago Ovum noted that more than 82% of CSPs see the digital transformation of their business as an immediate and critical objective.
In tandem with AI, there are now limitless monetisation opportunities through targeted delivery of information and entertainment services. Music and video on demand services, financial services and IoT-powered applications – both in buildings and vehicles – are all increasing in sophistication and number. Add to these the applications and services yet to be invented and the opportunities for CSPs to grow through harnessing AI’s full potential seem boundless.
The author of this blog is Andres Alvargonzalez, marketing director, Nuance Communications.