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Advanced digital experience to reduce customer churn rate for telecom service providers

July, 2018

Part 1

Advanced digital experience to reduce customer churn rate for telecom service providers

Business engagement models have been transforming dramatically over the last decade with the advent of multifarious social media platforms. These platforms have allowed consumers to access a plethora of information about various products and services including sharing and gathering experiences, which is accessible to a large audience.

Consequently, organizations have been infused to take an integrated and cross functional strategic imperative, involving analytical dashboards that correlate the unfathomable rich dark data hidden underneath the core business functionalities. The dark data constitutes almost 80% of the data generated from various business operations. These data sets consist of valuable insights into consumer behavioral patterns or demographics.

Evidently, ‘data’ along with a ‘seamless connectivity’ for real-time analytics builds the core platform for establishing synergy between business objectives and customer satisfaction. This process of transition has been more complex than anticipated, as data generated keeps growing exponentially [Source: Cisco February 1, 2018: “Annual global data center IP traffic will reach 20.6 Zettabytes (ZB) (1.7 ZB per month) by the end of 2021, up from 6.8 ZB per year (568 exabytes [EB] per month) in 2016.”]. Integrating and analyzing such huge volumes of data needs robust network infrastructure and network monitoring solutions along with enhanced data center management tools.

Key Note: Tremendous load on networks – “accentuating load balancing/optimization through VNFs”

In the backdrop of a steep increase in the data traffic and consequently the need for high availability of real-time analytics, telecom service providers have been put under a tremendous challenge for upholding growing customer expectations, with provisions for real-time customer support. Additionally, constant enhancements in network infrastructures with agile and scalable systems coupled with predictive tools to reduce possibilities of downtime have become essential. To substantiate these developments, the European telecom sector could be taken as an example, to showcase the undergoing resurgence with strategic imperatives taken up to enhance customer experience – French telco “Orange” recorded the highest quarterly growth in a decade (3rd Qtr. 2017) while Spain’s “Telefónica” raised its revenue projections for 2017 (eventually recording a net profit increases 32.2% in 2017 – Source: Telefonica press release); centered around an irrefutable customer experience provisioned through an exceptional network quality.

Part 2

Prominent trends that are crucial to provide advanced digital experience to telecom customers and curtail customer dissatisfaction –

  • Network visualization platforms: Software defined networks have enabled better visibility in the network infrastructures across datacenters and across WAN. This remote decoupled control over the network functions enables agile/scalable networking architecture. Consequently, the provisioning of a remote network visualization dashboard over the entire networking architecture, has enabled network administrators within enterprises, the flexibility in balancing load across the various nodes within the LAN or WAN. This enhanced capability provisioned by various telco vendors in collaboration with SDN and NFV technology vendors enhances the overall end user experience in managing networking resources, thereby overcoming end users from switching to other ISPs for their network requirements. On a down side, the SDN and NFV ecosystem is still an open source offering and a highly fragmented market with limited standardization to govern the operations.

  • Integrated omnichannel service platform: The key to provide customer-centric solution/services is lost when the channel strategies are developed in silos, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Service offered either directly by customer support executives at a retail outlet/at kiosks or over the phone support, via a web/in-app chat support service or even through other social media platforms used as customer touch points, should all be synced to enable enhanced customer experience. The disconnect between these channels, sometimes referred to as “multichannel syndrome”, can be evaded with centralized and integrated multichannel interface. This ensures that the customers do not feel disconnected while going through different channels of messaging.

  • Digital innovation (process automation): Real-time and efficient customer support is the key mantra to success for any telco provider. However, with mounting pressure to address huge number of requests (customer grievances/concerns) with varying levels of complexities, it becomes quite intriguing to turnaround within a short-stipulated timeframe. Evidently, digital innovations that includes the use of intelligent bots to address and prioritize customer requests in real-time (eventually integrated with emotion analytics) could bolster a new age trend in digital evolution for telco service providers. Consequently, this will enable support executives to focus on core activities and correspondingly more critical functionalities, that may involve resolving complex issues faced by the existing clients, flagged off by a front end intelligent bot.

Shiladitya Chaterji,
Senior Research Analyst(ICT),
Infoholic Research