Customer Centricity

Customers at the heart of transformation

For most CSPs, restructuring the businesses to become customer-centric is the primary reason for digital transformation. Two-thirds of survey respondents to our Digital Transformation Tracker report said it’s a ‘very important’ driver.

Phil Jordan, Group CIO of Telefónica at the time of our report’s publication, now Group CIO at Sainsbury’s, stated “We have chosen to compete in this aggressive telco market and not become a commodity, but to be able to compete, we need to transform Telefónica into a digital telco that provides the best customer experience.

“To do so, we need to change the way we operate; the products and services and how we offer them; the information and insights of our customers; and finally, the way we interact with them.

“This necessity is more and more urgent – we cannot afford the risk of being left behind. This is not an option.”

How is BSS changing?

Customer centricity is largely the domain of business support systems (BSS), so we asked respondents about their progress in deploying advanced technologies and digital BSS. We wanted to know where they are on their journeys to improve customer engagement.

We asked CSPs whether their companies are have already completed or are considering, planning or implementing several initiatives such as social media, analyzing customer journeys, OTT services, machine learning, etc. ‘Don’t know’ and ‘not applicable’ were also options.


Focus on the customer

Despite the fact that customer experience has been a strong focus for CSPs for five years or more, most of them have not completed these key initiatives, which are not necessarily contingent upon a company-wide transformation.

For example, using social media channels for commerce and care, mapping customer journeys and omnichannel engagement are all strategies that CSPs have been developing for several years. Yet, a quarter to a third of respondents said they’re only planning or considering these initiatives.

Analytics and AI

A large and growing number of consumers prefer to manage their relationships with CSPs via the mobile channel, and CSPs are looking to analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve this experience.

Many operators are developing chatbots that leverage machine learning and AI. One of the most ambitious projects is Aura, a voice-based service designed by Telefónica and which aspires to become the interface for the entire customer-CSP relationship.

Watch Telefónica’s introduction of Aura from Mobile World Congress:

This is an excerpt from our Digital Transformation tracker report. Click here to view the full report, and here for the executive summary which contain a comprehensive infographic.


    About The Author

    Chief Analyst

    Mark Newman is an analyst with 25 years of experience delivering insights on the future of the telecoms sector to senior level executives and audiences. Mark’s recent research has focussed on telecoms operator business models, digital transformation, service provider diversification, and the intersection between Internet and telecoms. He delivers analysis, presentations, strategy sessions and workshops to global audiences, helping them to plan for the changes that technology and disruptive new business models that will fundamentally transform their businesses. Mark was Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media and Ovum before leaving to set up his own research firm, ConnectivityX, in 2016. He joined the TM Forum as Chief Analyst in February 2017.

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