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The advent of digital transformation not only brought about a change in the technological world, it also changed the lives of the people, how they lived, worked and interacted with each other. As this digital revolution unfolds around us, it leaves the customers exposed to access, interconnectivity and mobile applications – the three building blocks enabling the drastic change. In a recent survey, almost 20% of the customers answered that they don’t care who provides them with communication services as long as it meets their needs. The customer now is well informed, well connected and has a variety of products & services to choose from. One of the implications of access and interconnectivity is the increased flow of information. The customer now has access to information which is readily available and easily accessible. He judges the quality of the products & services being offered to him and knows what value a certain product delivers. This new customer is called Customer 3.0.

Keeping in consideration customers of telecom operators (subscribers), on one hand, digital transformation has changed their lives for the better, on the flipside, the industry itself has suffered from decline in profits as a result. An established truth is that the telecom industry was not able to protect its traditional voice and message revenue streams from digital businesses.

The profits percentage of telecom operators declined from 58% in 2010 to 47% in 2015 and will continue to do so until it reaches a minimum of 45% in 2018. Click To Tweet

With these numbers, not only is it important for the operators to retain their existing customers but gaining new ones is also a priority.

To win over this Customer 3.0, the telecom operators need to deliver features, tools and products that enhance customer engagement. It is important for the operator to adopt strategies and combine technologies to innovate and produce products that meet the needs of the new digital customer. For this it is imperative that they understand what Customer 3.0 wants.

What does Customer 3.0 want?

The answer to this question is quite simple:
1. Personalized products
2. On demand access
3. Seamless experience across channels

The new customer wants telecom operators to provide services that are tangible, give more control to them and at the same time adhere to all the requirements that allow them to establish a safe and secure connection with their peers. These will become increasingly important for the telecom operators as customer expectations are evolving at a faster rate than the ability to meet them. The customer seeks more flexible engagement and freedom; however, telecom operators are still offering a limited number of resources over a limited number of channels which restricts the customer’s connectivity and disrupts their social upholding. It is important for the industry to understand the customer and provide the right set of products which meet the expectations.

As discussed before, a number of essential attributes characterize customer expectations in today’s world. With time, these expectations are becoming more exacting.

1. Personalized products

A recent survey indicated that almost 70% of telecom operators consider customer service and personalized customer experience as the most important initiatives to improve customer engagement (White Paper by World Economic Forum: Digital Transformation Initiative, Telecommunications Industry).
Today’s customer wants to feel empowered and own the services that he pays for. Telecom operators need to shift their focus on these individualistic demands. Customers across the industries are now demanding a greater control of the products and services being provided to them. Customization of products is one of these added benefits that the telecom operator needs to offer to its customers. Telecom operators now need to transfer an increasing amount of control to the end-user. To do this, many tools and product features come in handy. One of this is Seamless Distribution System’s (SDS) “Build Your Own Plan”.

Build Your Own Plan empowers and allows subscribers to create customized packages based on their needs. Subscribers can build, choose and pay for only what they need for a varying validity period.

Since customers demand a need driven model, this enables the customer to purchase flexible amounts of voice minutes, text messages and data mbs. Subscriber empowerment through ownership of the product results in customer loyalty towards the operator.


2. On demand access

The customer demand of real time access to information about a product or service has shifted to the product itself. Customer 3.0 now expect a product to be readily available when they need it, where they need it. To satisfy the customer, telecom operators have now shifted their focus towards providing electronic topup instead of the traditional scratch cards. SDS took the opportunity and set out to help telecom operators in enabling this product for its subscribers by providing eTopup to enable the distribution of digital value. With SDS “Airtime Credit, Anytime, anywhere!”, customers get their prepaid accounts recharged with any amount by approaching resellers. It is a cost-effective, easily accessible and convenient means for the customer to ensure service continuation.


3. Seamless experience across channels

From awareness to first trial to repeat purchase, customers value the channels through which telecom operators deliver their services. They demand a service that works through a diverse range of channels and does not limit their usability. The added advantages of convenience and accessibility 24/7 play a pivotal role in enhancing customer engagement.
Telecom operators need to use a mix of speed, personalization and collaboration to offer customers new ways to interact with their offerings. The customers now do not want to feel limited when carrying out their day to day tasks. Their lives demand flexibility across channels that are provided to them to use the services that the telecom operator offers. In order to distribute this value and maintain interaction with the customer at all times, SDS offers a vast range of channel that the telecom operators can leverage to build an ever-new customer engagement for its end-users. These channels include: Mobile applications, the Web, USSD, SMS and WiPOS. These channels separately add value to the overall customer experience. Read how Seamless creates an Omni-channel user experience for the end-users.

Telecom operators are increasingly shifting their abilities towards delivering outcomes that make the customer in control of what is being offered.

Better customer engagement results in a more satisfied customer which eventually creates value for telecom operators, not only in the form of growing revenue streams, but also with the benefit of reduced costs. Click To Tweet

It is estimated that telecom operators can generate up to $9 billion per annum with the right customer engagement tools in place that are used to target the right customer at the right time.

Author Mahwish Ilyas

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