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How Self-Service Platforms are Revolutionising Customer Experience in the Telecommunications Industry

As technology evolves and develops, industries, including the telecommunications industry, face many new challenges. One such challenge is answering customer needs, expectations, and wants by maintaining Excellent Customer Service and creating a Great Customer Experience. The telecommunication industry is already turning to advanced technology, specifically Self-Service platforms, to answer to these challenges and the changing needs of customers. These platforms answer customers’ specific needs for more control, access, flexibility, and convenience.

We examine how Self-Service solutions and platforms ARE Revolutionising Customer Service and Experience within this dynamic industry.

customer experience

Customer Service vs Customer Experience

To understand HOW Self-Service platforms impact Customer Experience, we first need to understand and unpack WHAT Customer Experience IS. Many use the words customer service and customer experience interchangeably, but these are two different terms.

Customer Service provides your customers with assistance and support relating to the services, offerings, or solutions they have purchased from you. This includes information on how to effectively use the solution, get the most out of it, and troubleshoot any problems. The goal of Customer Service is to increase Customer Satisfaction which leads to a positive Customer Experience.

Customer Experience, which is often referred to as CX, is your customer’s entire holistic perception and view of their service experience across all touchpoints during the Customer Journey. Customer experience fosters customer loyalty, profitability, engagement, and a connection with your customers. Therefore, Customer Service has a significant role in creating an Excellent Customer Experience.

From the above, it is clear that both Customer Service and Customer Experience are critical to a Telcos bottom line, as they ultimately enhance customer retention, acquisition, and profitability. But to create a great Customer Experience, it is essential for Telcos to understand the changing needs and expectations of customers.

How has digital transformation changed customer needs and expectations?

Over the years, the telecommunications industry has become increasingly competitive. This is largely due to digital transformation, which has accelerated at a fast pace, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, customers have had to adapt to the new normal. This, for many, has meant a drastic change in the way they work and live. This has seen every aspect of human life go online, from work, education, entertainment, healthcare, shopping, and the list goes on. This has created a need for connectivity as well as the development of various digital services and offerings.

The new world we live and work in is focused on instant gratification. Customers are used to getting what they want and need at a click of a button. This has had a knock-on effect on customer expectations. Customers are no longer settling for sub-par services and experiences. They now want more control, access, flexibility, and convenience.

This has posed a challenge for Telcos, who have had to develop and create new services and technologies, over a short period of time, to meet the market demand for enhanced connectivity and to provide an exceptional customer experience. One such technology is the development of User-Friendly Self-Service platforms.  

Self-Service platforms have become an essential tool used to give customers immediate control and answers to questions in real-time. These platforms have proven more effective than call centres by enabling customers to instantly find the information they need instead of relying on someone to do it for them. The result is that customers have less frustration and have more control and visibility over elements related to their usage, spend, connectivity, account information, billings, and more. For Telcos, this enhances customer experience and satisfaction and saves time and money by reducing administrative burdens.

There are several examples of essential benefits that B2B and B2C customers, as well as Operators, can experience when utilising Self-Service platforms. 

Benefits for the B2B customer:

  • Insight and understanding of the real usage and cost of all Telco services.
  • Consolidated accurate view of IT environment and real-time access to IT information.
  • Gain insight into the disparities between actual cost and business needs.
  • Predict trends and the impact they have on the bottom line and overall business.
  • Gain insight into Voice, SMS and Data spend and identify and eliminate abuses.
  • Have valuable financial budgeting and forecasting conversations around IT technology.
  • Less frustration due to faster access to information and problem ticketing.
  • Secure access at any time and from anywhere.
  • Direct access to billing.
  • Ability to integrate and operate at the network operator level.

Benefits for the B2C Customer

  • Gain easy access to insights around billings vs usage.
  • Measure and manage connectivity.
  • Take advantage of new value-added services, offerings, and promotions.
  • Gain control over IT assets with the ability to change numbers, do SIM swaps and sign up for new services and offerings.
  • Take advantage of third-party offerings that include the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, online shopping, entertainment services and more.
  • Have a single consolidated point of access for all services, offerings and products purchased.

Benefits for the Operator (Telecommunication)

  • Increase customer retention by providing more control, access and flexibility over services and offerings.
  • Provide one single consolidated point of access for all products, offerings and solutions, including third-party applications.
  • Reduce administrative burden and queries.
  • Allows for the optimisation of bundle allocation and purchases directly on the platform.
  • Provides better insight into tailored products and the ability to be more responsive.
  • Creates simplicity for the customers to engage with the operator, thereby increasing brand loyalty.
  • Access anytime, anywhere for true workforce mobility.
  • Gain a 360-degree view of customer segments and behaviour for better targeting

A Self-Service Platform is not just an avenue for customers to receive help, but more importantly, it is also a way to cater to their needs and wants while giving them the power to manage them. It puts customers in charge and in control. Now we know what you are thinking, this sounds like the perfect solution, and in the perfect WORLD  it is, but a large GAP still needs to be filled.

Customer experience

Where is the GAP, and what do Telcos need to fill this gap?

We mentioned earlier that several different and new telecommunications services, offerings, and products had been developed over a short period of time to answer consumers’ changing needs. Although this has worked well and been incredibly successful, Telcos are now faced with the growing complexity of catering to and managing these different and new customer services, offerings, products, and solutions. One of the biggest challenges in this space is having a Self-Service solution that provides one single consolidated point of access and control for customers to manage their IT ecosystems, billings, and data management.

For a Self-Service platform to answer to the need and expectations of consumers, it needs to provide a consolidated view of all business information, data, third-party applications and more. With this holistic view of information, customers can make informed decisions about their connectivity and IT ecosystem. A fully consolidated Self-Service platform can create a great customer experience which ultimately impacts customer acquisition, efficiency, growth, and profitability.  

Filling the GAP and answering the need for a consolidated platform

From the above, it is clear that Self-Service solutions fulfil a vital role within the telecommunications industry, especially where customer experience is concerned. For this kind of technology to be genuinely beneficial, it needs to provide a consolidated view of all IT-related information, which has been a challenge for Telcos.

On a daily basis, Adapt IT engages with our partners and utilises 38 years of industry experience to investigate and develop new ways to answer to the challenges facing the industry. This means examining ways to innovate the current Self-Service platforms on the market and how to improve and cater them to the changing needs of customers.

The ideal Self-Service platform would have both cloud and on-premise capabilities, be highly customisable, consolidated and user friendly with the aim of providing Telco customers with more visibility and control of their IT ecosystems. This Self-Service platform of the future will enable customers to manage items that include mobile spend, bills, cloud, data, asset inventory, and unified communications. It would also be able to integrate or interface with any third-party application that the Telco delivers to its customers. The focus in the future will be to use this technology to help Telcos create a truly immersive, single-user experience that enhances customer experience.  

Contact our team today to discuss our current Self-Service platform capabilities and how we can work together to develop a Self-Service platform that talks to your customer needs.

Conclusion

Customer needs, wants, and expectations have changed over the years, this has resulted in Telcos developing various new offerings, products and services. One of the biggest challenges relating to this is the ability to manage all these new services. The solution to this challenge is the development and implementation of Self-Service platforms. These Self-Service platforms and solutions have revolutionised customer experience by providing customers with more control, convenience, and ways to effectively manage their IT ecosystem. There is still a large gap in the Self-Service platform space that Telcos need to fill to remain competitive within the market. The Self-Service solutions of the future will need to provide a fully immersive and consolidated user experience that incorporates all operator and third-party products, offerings and solutions. Telcos are continuously being challenged to adapt their current Self-Service solutions to stay relevant, making this an exciting space to watch. For Self-Service solutions of the future, the sky’s the limit.

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