The business of telecommunications is changing. As the physical and digital worlds continue to merge, telecommunication companies (telcos) are having to diversify their services away from solely dealing with connectivity.
To satisfy customers and grow their businesses, telcos should increasingly focus on creating distinct, memorable and useful experiences. We describe it in our Future of Telcos report as ‘seamless customer experiences.’
Practically speaking, what does one look like?
A seamless experience
Imagine Jane Doe leaves her office to visit a client. In the car park, she unlocks a shared autonomous car using her smartphone. When she’s seated, the car (which she has granted access to her diary data) asks her to confirm she’s going to the client’s address.
After telling her the journey will take 20 minutes – given current traffic conditions – the car asks if she wants to work or resume the TV programme that she was watching the night before.
Doe decides to watch TV and when she arrives at the destination, Doe gets out of the car, with the cost of the ride and the downloaded show to appear on her monthly telephone bill.
That journey was made possible by her telco, working in partnership with a mobility services provider, a media company and Doe’s bank.
Telcos and hassle-free lives
A seamless experience thanks to a customer’s mobile financial services plugging in to platforms that deliver content and data. And at the heart of this hassle-free scenario: her telco.
Whether it’s Uber and on-demand transport or Amazon Go and wallet-free shopping, we have already taken our first steps into the seamless experience era.
What stands before telcos today is a once-in-a-generation commercial opportunity to shape, brand and own those experiences, and the new ones on the horizon.
More than three billion smartphone users
Why telcos? Their devices are already in everyone’s pockets. More than three billion people worldwide own smartphones, with that number forecast to grow by several hundred million in the next few years (Newzoo.com, September 2018.)
By tapping into mobile financial services, telcos will be able to make the most of new growth opportunities at the same time as making customers’ lives easier. Three ways in which they could do so are: straightforward customer identification; smart recommendations; and reward and loyalty.
1. Straightforward customer identification.
Existing phone numbers can be used as customers’ ID – a secure, memorable way to log-in and complete transactions without having to fill out endless forms.
2. Smart recommendations.
Combining 5G IoT, big data and AI, means telcos can deliver timely, relevant advice. A smartphone could remind the customer they have a discount on their next purchase, for example, or an algorithm could suggest someone saves their money when the financial situation allows it.
3. Reward and loyalty.
Long-standing customers want to be treated differently to first-timers, but no one wants to manage a wallet full of loyalty cards. By digitising loyalty programmes, telcos can deliver hassle-free rewards and help brands build allegiance.
The customer experience battle
Telcos are in an enviable position. They can lead the way on the delivery of seamless experiences because they are part of the backbone that makes them possible: 5G, broadband, data collection and digital security.
Now they must use that position to stay ahead of competitors – banks, big tech and start-ups – who are all vying for a piece of the action.
To find out more about the future of telcos and the battle for the customer experience, download our report below.