Michael Smolan, Chief Development and Innovation Officer, Smolan (https://smollan.com) looks at how the customer experience in the telecommunications industry has changed and what brands can do to offer a differentiated experience.

Even before the “big shock” that affected everything in every way, the telecommunications industry was already changing as the boundaries between previously separate consumer channels began to blur, creating new synergies for brands and retailers to optimize customer experience. However, things were to change at a speed no one could have predicted as the pandemic accelerated the transformation. By comparison, the proportion of employees who worked from home before the pandemic was just 4% – fast forward to April 2020 with a full-scale lockdown, that proportion has risen to around 30%. [www.Applause.com]

The need to work from home has changed things, as around-the-clock demand has meant that the productivity of telcos will now be at the center of attention, no more so than the customer experience (CX) from the level of service to how well the products fit into their lives. With these changing expectations and behaviors, target posts have had to change to identify what brands and retailers need to do differently in 2022 and beyond to have a meaningful connection with customers.

Doxy, experts in innovative customer relationships, believe that there are two directions that will evolve around the customer experience in the telecommunications industry – human and technological. Placing at the center of the customer with their specific needs and requirements and promoting digital innovation so that the offer is broad; interaction is satisfying and choice is as “human-centered” as possible.

Telco Trends 2022 (https://bit.ly/3bDB3cA) suggests that achieving what matters will win the hearts of consumers in the Telco space as they don’t just consider every interaction they have with a company when deciding who to choose – they also consider how the brand portrays itself, what it means and how seriously the brand takes cybersecurity. With the development of 5G, telcos must consider new services and revenue streams, as well as genuine partnerships with customers, which is called the “great brand equalizer”.

Meanwhile, 82% of telecom consumers consider alternatives when they experience a bad customer journey, and 27% of them abandon the purchase process entirely [source: US Telecom Report] focusing on solving customer pain points and providing products and services to alleviate these friction areas is a must. Today, consumers want personalized offers and want to control their personal data. 22% of consumers are happy to share data in exchange for a more personalized service or product [source: Rise of Mass Personalisation]. Businesses need this data to facilitate this experience.

“It also allows service excellence should be part of the customer experience for brands and retailers in the telecom space from the moment a customer searches for a product. It should be part of the brand’s DNA. In my opinion, it’s more than the price, and some might even argue, the product itself. Service must be the primary driver of customer loyalty every time to create a highly differentiated experience,” said Michael Smolan, Chief Development and Innovation Officer, Smolan.

The very last South African Telecommunications Index in partnership with Deloitte Africa, ranked the telecommunications sector last in terms of consumer sentiment compared to the banking, insurance and food industries. Despite load shedding, which increases operating costs and the scramble for additional broadband spectrum, telcos must close the gaps. Understanding customer expectations, engaging with all channels, addressing unhappy customers, and harnessing the power of big data and analytics will work to improve customer service as a critical outcome. Changing the customer experience for good.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Smollan.

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