The mass market approach of telecommunication companies has historically driven profitable revenue growth. Technology has been their major focus to improve the speed and quality of their networks. Yet, today, people are looking for individual experiences. Under pressure from customers as well as competitors, Telcos have had to broaden their products and services. They’ve launched dedicated websites, apps and tools via PCs, smartphones, TVs and wearables—all in an effort to improve and expand customer interactions.
So far, however, this “multi-channel” approach hasn’t brought the financial and business rewards that many Telcos anticipated. Why? Because expanding product offerings is only half the battle. Telcos also need to refocus their entire business on understanding what customers want and make every effort to meet their ever-changing demands.
This customer-centric—or “outside-in”—approach means that the front, middle and back offices all have to work together to provide a personalized and seamless customer experience. Customer-focused Telcos need specific business capabilities in order to understand and deliver against changing customer expectations.
Learn about the eight critical capabilities of a Connected Customer Enterprise.
In order to do so, Telcos need to do more than interact with their customer. They need to understand the customers’ behaviors, and they need to deliver on what those customers really want.
How? They must start by understanding their best customers and then build the business around them. That means aligning core operations, supply chain, financial management and other back-office and support functions to create the best experience for those customers.
There are, of course, a number of difficult issues to resolve in order to meet this goal. Regulatory compliance, data security and privacy concerns are among the biggest concerns at the C-level. But the way Telcos are structured – both in their technology and staffing – should support the customer-centric operation.
Telcos should embrace a multi-tiered approach for a connected customer enterprise transformation. Here are some key ways these companies can move toward the customer-centric model:
Prioritize investments. Focus on what will provide a connected customer experience. To avoid disjointed initiatives and wasted investment, assess your capabilities in the eight key areas and identify where you’re lacking. Then focus on bridging those gaps.
Change the culture. Create a customer-centric culture within the organization by breaking down silos and realigning operations to help employees engage with customers. Meet shortages in staffing and skills head-on by bringing in qualified people.
Coordinate customer support. To provide a seamless customer experience, every part of the company’s customer support operation–from front-end to back-end–needs to work together. Make sure your IT system allows different functions to share information and coordinate on helping customers.
Rethink how you do things. Creating a completely new approach to customer service could help you leapfrog the competition. Telcos are so accustomed to serving a mass market that they’re not structured to provide individual experiences. Be willing to jettison how you’ve always done things and explore a more agile strategy to connect with customers.
Get partners and suppliers on board. Creating a seamless customer experience means you have to get partners, suppliers and vendors aligned with your strategy. Work on those relationships and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Creating good customer experiences isn’t just about marketing. It’s about delivering what your customers want from every part of the organization. Get the strategy and execution right, and you’ll see strong gains in revenue, efficiency, retention, and lifetime value.
Read our full report on how Telcos can best compete in today’s climate.
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