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Predictions for Telecom Industry Change

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Ofer Razon, of Pontis explains his predictions to European Reseller

Today’s digital landscape has created fresh challenges and opportunities for telecom service providers to reach their customers.  Mobile operators have seen the rise of a significant barrier that prevents the enhancement of the ever-critical provider/customer relationship and minimises the establishment of true brand loyalty. Providers usually engage when they have something to sell, will answer your calls – after a rather lengthy wait - in case of a major issue, but otherwise all interaction will be based on mass e-mails or texts that organise each customer into a large segment. The individual is lost, and the particular needs that they have are of secondary importance to the ability to squeeze as many customers as possible into easily targeted general categories.

Instead, mobile customers are increasingly demanding that they be seen as individuals, with unique needs and wants. They have a greater demand for a holistic mobile experience, and they want to be engaged throughout the entirety of their customer lifecycles. In short, customers know that they are unique, but they are put off by their provider's inability to recognise this same fact.  To succeed in 2015 service providers will need to make personalisation the central pillar of their customer engagement efforts. Operators that will embrace proactive personal engagement, real-time dynamic conversations, and the power that big data holds to drive customer loyalty and retention will be those that make their mark in the coming year.  The telecom industry will see those three key themes at the forefront in the coming months:

Individual-centred approaches. 

Telecom companies tactics need to be hyper-focused on providing a high level of engagement throughout all digital channels, giving each unique customer a new standard in their experience.  The current lack of engagement throughout a customer’s lifecycle is a void to be filled, as most mobile customers sign their contracts with their operator and only receive sporadic communication from the service provider or messages generated via mass segmentation.  Consistent engagement that maximises a customer’s specific digital context at any given moment is a key part in strengthening the customer relationship and is critical for maintaining customer loyalty. Telecom  approaches will resemble more offensive strategies, as supposed to the reactive methods currently in place, and they’ll apply solutions that effectively engage with mobile consumers. Instead of focusing on reactive or mass segmented strategies, providers must increasingly utilise their big data resources to create the ideal digital experience for customers. Offering 4G upgrades to a customer in the middle of streaming a live football match or allowing for extra data for a travelling customer can make all the difference in developing a fuller, more loyal relationship. When mobile operators put their customers at the center of their approach and begin to tailor their service to each individual, they’ll be able to maintain and gain customers – the cornerstone of their business.

Real-time dynamic interactions.

 The digital environment has propelled the telecom industry forward, but it must maintain its pace. To keep up with the demands of the type of engagement mobile customers’ desire digitally, service providers will need to use agile solutions that are capable of delivering offers in real-time, rather than sitting back and allowing various points in the system to be triggered. Solutions that are end-to-end and streamlined need to be employed to ensure service isn’t staggered and delivery isn’t interrupted. When interactions are driven by context and the particular needs of a given customer, they are far more likely to lead to a positive result. 

Data.

Operators will need to be savvy with their data and use it to drive a deeper understanding of their customers. Data plays a critical part in developing the necessary context for each mobile user. A customer’s contextual experience signifies what will be most relevant for the consumer at a given moment, and will shed light on how the service provider can create personalised offers.  When each consumer’s context is maximised, new sales and monetisation opportunities can be introduced thus generating revenues for operators whilst still providing the end user added value.

The information-rich insights that data captures need to start informing service operator’s actions down to each individual customer, approaching them as individual entities rather than mass segments.  The telecom industry has the capability of having a deep understanding of the needs of each mobile customer, and they can give mobile customers this only when big data is analysed and applied effectively.  Operator proactive actions will need to reflect these information-rich insights, and they’ll need to get smart with their data like never before, not just simply collect and accumulate. 

In the coming months, we’ll see telecoms apply their data more effectively so they can master real-time dynamics, and give mobile customers the personalisation they demand in the digital age.

Ofer Razon, VP Products and Marketing at Pontis