Personalisation is the key to success for MNOs and MVNOs
According to recent data, 84% of consumers say being treated like an individual, not a number, is critical to preventing customer attrition. In the hypercompetitive telecoms industry, this ethos is even more important. So how can telcos make their services personal and prevent churn? Here, Hamish White, CEO of telecommunications software provider Mobilise, explains.
Customer demands and expectations are becoming increasingly specific. The ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report carried out by SalesForce highlighted that 80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services. Superb service for one customer could be sub-par to another, so having the ability to cater to different preferences and requirements is key to standing out.
Say hello to chat bots
We’ve all suffered the frustration of trying to get through to a customer service line, and hearing nothing but an automated voice message. “I just want to speak to a human,” is something that’s commonly uttered. Today’s consumers want more choice for how they interact with brands, so telcos must find ways of making customers feel they are talking to a trusted advisor, rather than a robot.
Engagement tools such as chat bots are essential for any telco and they’re more needed than ever. Recently, an industry watchdog warned that telcos must go further in tackling customer service problems, after it was revealed that customers waited more than double the time to speak to an adviser in 2020 than they did in 2019. But increasingly, consumers are less likely to pick up the phone and talk about their concerns and are more likely to favour a chat or messaging platform instead, particularly across the younger demographic.
Chat bots can make user experience easier, but they also hold purchasing power. IBM found that 56% of telecom customers use self-service options to choose the best plan. This demonstrates that self-service options have a higher chance of resonating with customers and improving the way they view a provider. Besides this, chat bots can also help telcos reduce costs by 48%, as there isn’t the expense associated with hiring a whole fleet of customer service staff.
Personalisation can be as simple as addressing someone by their first name. But for telcos that want to go above and beyond, they should look at hyper-personalisation. Hyper-personalisation involves using data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics to understand individual customer behaviours to make interactions more relevant to the individual. Real-time recommendations on products and services based on a user’s network behaviour or interactions with a chat bot, presents telcos not only with new revenue opportunities but also a means to engage customers in a more relevant and personalised way, driving increased loyalty and reduced churn.
However, executing this level of personalisation is only possible through data analytics. In this instance, data goes beyond basic demographics like age and gender. It’s used to analyse the customer journey by unifying data from social media, mobile network, customer service, mobile browsing and purchase history.
Often, telcos’ data is trapped in silos, which makes it difficult to see a full view of customer behaviour that allows for personalisation. To deliver a scalable personalisation service, telcos need to invest in Customer Data Management (CDM) tools, which use AI and ML technologies. CDM tools create and maintain a full customer data set, which provides the performance required to deliver hyper-personalisation, in real-time and at scale.
Personalisation offers a win-win for both customer and provider. Accenture found that 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more a personalised experience, providing telcos with a great opportunity to deliver new revenue opportunities through hyper-personalisation.
Personalised plans and platforms
To simplify how personalisation is executed, telcos should invest in a solution that enables easy creation and management of customer experiences through digital channels. Mobilise’s M-Connect is a fully customisable digital-first platform that allows telcos to develop bespoke user interfaces, using business specific modules.
The Self-Care Environment permits users the control to buy and manage service subscriptions without the help of a call centre agent, using a personalised chat bot instead.
Besides providing more flexibility, the platform’s Data Analytics Dashboard feature enables geo-location tagging and device data tracking to provide operators with insights including traffic volumes, network usage and device types. This enables telcos to analyse customer needs and optimise user experience to support a personalised service.
Customer expectations are changing, and telcos must make their services more personal. However, understanding customer behaviour to provide a thorough, personalised service relies on new ways of managing and actioning data. Implementing a solution that enables this is key to ensuring customers feel like a person, not a number.