With more and more service providers around the globe moving toward digital transformation, creating a consistent digital experience for customers across all touchpoints, applications, and devices can be a key differentiator.
But in order for service providers to enable a superior digital experience and gain clarity for what they want to achieve going forward, it is important that they first assess where they currently are in their journey and how interconnected the experiences are.
Why the digital experience?
The industry is changing fast with disruptors consistently emerging, often looking to seize market share by drastically lowering prices. In many cases, these competitors bring innovative offers to the market, delivering additional value to their customers. These types of players are currently the fastest growing in the industry.
Another disruptive component is the superb customer experience that the internet giants are consistently delivering, all in order to increase usage of their products and services and capture more attention. This deep and enhanced relationship empowers the giants to continually learn more about their customers, enhance their own services and create monetization opportunities, such as through advertising.
Today’s service providers need to exist and flourish in a new state of mind. They need to adapt to the fast-changing needs of their customers and deliver an excellent customer experience. As the industry becomes more mature and organic growth becomes more difficult, they also need these new technologies to support their adoption of new business models and growth domains, while at the same time lowering operational costs.
Understanding the customer needs
From a customer’s point of view, being available in the right channel at the right time can make or break a relationship. Interacting with customers wherever and whenever they choose is an immediate key battleground for service providers. Customers increasingly prefer to interact with their service provider outside of the traditional service provider channels by using 3rd party platforms. Service providers can view this trend as an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction while also creating additional interaction opportunities that can lead to the purchase of more services. Amdocs’ Digital Experience solution provides an open ecosystem of telecom-specific partners that come pre-integrated to enable customer interactions delivered across different, modes of communication, such as messaging apps.
According to Gartner, customer service interactions using phone-based communication will drop from 41% to 12% over the next 5 years, while the use of emerging technologies such as machine-learning applications, chatbots and mobile messaging will grow from 11% to 72%. This change is driving the need for service providers to invest in superior self-service capabilities and cutting-edge technologies to support the future methods of customer engagements. One example of a service provider’s investment is Vodafone’s AI chatbot “TOBi”, already in use by 30% of customers. The use of a voice-assisted channel is also being adopted by DISH and Everything Everywhere, who have both enabled Amazon’s Alexa assistant to support their customer experience by integrating Alexa to help change the channel, discover new content and enrich the overall TV experience for their customers.
Another example is Three Ireland, who became Ireland’s largest mobile operator after acquiring O2 Ireland. Three was looking to launch a digital experience transformation to deliver a digitally differentiated, omni-channel experience for their retail, self-service and mobile channels. To achieve these goals, Three selected Amdocs in order to help remove friction from customers via digital engagements, while enabling the delivery of personalized experiences, offerings and rate plans.
While some may have already written off the need for retail, service providers around the world are investing in the next generation of telecom retail. While having an almost omni-present retail footprint was once upon a time an important answer to this challenge, providing the right experience within the retail store has become the crux for many service providers. One example is T-Mobile US’ plans to open 3,000 retail stores during 2017, including the expansion of their MetroPCS branded stores. And by 2018, Orange will open 40 megastores in France, while Vodafone is upgrading 8,000 stores to enable customers to interact in a more engaging way. Many service providers have already begun introducing a tablet-based approach within their stores in order to create an enhanced interaction for agents with customers. Enabling the retail agents to have a full understanding of customers as they enter the store is another key element to successfully bringing digital to life in the retail segment.
As Orange Belgium was looking to deliver a better experience in their retail stores, they looked to reduce their customer handling times, while also simplifying the agent experience. Orange Belgium worked with Amdocs to provide agents with a dashboard that gives a 360° view of customers in a retail tablet-based application. The solution provides a simple, prepaid top-up process with a real-time view of the customer and their journey.
Digital maturity assessment
Service providers have a major challenge ahead of them. According to TM Forum, 52% of service providers are just starting implementation, but it’s still early. Most of them will not be able to transform their entire business overnight and therefore need to prioritize investment based on a determined corporate strategy detailing the most urgent specific needs of the business. Creating an understanding of where the company sits in relation to the industry can be a great tool to outline the attention needed for such digital experience investments. TM Forum’s Digital Maturity Model is one such tool that is a practical approach to understanding the service provider’s current positioning.
Making use of TM Forum’s Digital Maturity Model, Amdocs runs workshops for service providers to provide a fast and efficient way to measure their digital maturity and to help find the right path to move forward. The methodology of TM Forum is to assess where a service provider currently sits, while also measuring where the service provider wants to be, by the use of scoring of a detailed questionnaire.
When Amdocs delivers a workshop, we combine the TM Forum model’s dimensions together with our market research and digital assessments, industry trends and telecom experience to provide a holistic view of a service provider’s digital positioning. The workshop outcomes are quantifiable with clears outputs that highlight both the primary areas of focus needed as well as the domains with largest discrepancies amoung counterparts.
While pinpointing domains where investment in new digital technologies is worthwhile, a digital assessment also gives the opportunity to enhance the culture of digital and innovation around the organization. For example, the workshop can address differing views on the company’s strategy and provide recommendations for cross-unit alignment based on best practices used by other Amdocs customers.
Amdocs approach for the digital service provider
Amdocs has played a pivotal role in some of the biggest digital transformations in the communications industry, partnering with countless service providers around the world. In our experience, three variations towards digital maturity have stood out.
Amdocs digital & intelligence solutions
To help service providers transform to digital service providers, Amdocs has put together a menu that empowers transformation in 4 key areas:
- Providing the customer with a great experience and immersive engagements, while meeting them in their channel of choice
- Reaching new customers and expanding beyond the core in order to access new revenue streams
- Embedding intelligence across the business and the customer lifecycle to deliver a personalized and contextual experience
- Creating service agility to deliver on the business and customer promise based on digital technologies