Never-ending changes in trends in telecommunication companies have forced this industry to adopt a new way of thinking.

In the past few years, there has been a major impact on their traditional business model. Things such as shifting customer behaviour and increased expectations, huge pressure from the competition and new players on the market, such as over-the-top (OTT) service providers and other tech players have made them think in a more innovative way.

Nowadays, customers see connectivity as a basic need, which is represented as a low-cost service where not much thinking is needed before purchasing. We define those type of products as low involvement products. This kind of customer thinking forces telcos to cut their process costs and become leaner, which has a direct impact on their operations. Therefore, client interaction requires advanced analytics to offer in-depth knowledge of customer needs. To generate this type of information, telcos started to implement solutions such as:

  • segmentation based on personalized insights
  • pattern recognition
  • predictive analytics

Since every marketing message has its own cost, especially if it is not targeted well, we can apply different type of solutions that help us to:

  • identify the right audience and offer for each customer. By applying next best action models we are able to estimate the likelihood of such customers taking up the offer,
  • identify the right time and channel solution to demonstrate when customers are more prone to answer calls or messages or whether they prefer calls over messages,
  • identify the right message sent based on pre-defined rules, meaning that marketing executives could scrutinize every word and image in messages and not go with a spam approach.

It is well known that a telecommunication customer often expresses their dissatisfaction with things such as bad customer service, hidden costs, or that they receive far too many marketing materials. All of this leads to increased customer churn rates and an increased number of subscribers who leave and cancel their subscription service, which is higher than in any other industry. It’s known that the retention of existing customers is less expensive than the acquisition of new ones. Therefore, Telcos reduce churn costs by focusing more on retention strategies and preventing customers to cancel their contracts and change providers. 

By applying advanced data analytics telecommunication companies can understand performance from different angles. This helps them make better decisions, which further leads to better business outcomes. Different AI solutions can dig through big sets of data and give management an understanding of what should be changed and what kind of actions they should apply to different aspects of their business to increase the performance of departments that customers relate to. On the other hand, by understanding customer behaviour patterns and predicting, which customers might bail out in the near future, they can take actions and offer them a better price plan or loyalty rewards.  

To transform their business model, telcos are required to optimize the efficiency of their digital commerce in B2B and B2C, which refers to processes from marketing, sales and all the way to networking and customer support.  Such a move reduces related costs up to 70 percent and improves time to market, agility and flexibility. 

Since the B2C market doesn’t bring as much new business as it used to, new opportunities for the telco industry are opening in B2B. Here, telcos leverage their infrastructure advantages combining it with AI and cloud technologies, which helps them to position themselves as the backbone of fast-growing digital ecosystems especially around IoT, security and Industry 4.0. This position spans the categories of network, product and services and offers telecommunication companies the possibility of taking a leading (sometimes exclusive) role in, for example, intelligent networks, solutions in information and communications technology (ICT), cloud services (data sharing), analytics, IoT platforms and security solutions, billing and customer relationship management. 

To apply all these changes, telcos needs to act fast.

But being fast is not enough, it is also important to be accurate when it comes to your actions. This requires playing out different scenarios, setting them in front and seeing the impact on a business as a whole. By apply simulation in their planning tools, telcos can think in scenarios and be prepared for upfront actions. 

By the end of the decade, 5G technology will already be a mature telecommunication standard. It will not be just mobile, but rather a convergence of fixed and wireless standards, involving software-defined networking and network function virtualization. Customer behaviour will be slightly different from today. Many aspects of our lives will be interconnected by remote-controlled gadgets, automatic recorders from fridges and autonomous vehicles – thanks to new 5G technology. All this interaction will once again provide new opportunities for telcos. But the question is, are they prepared? Did they play out all the new scenarios to be ahead of their competition? And, most importantly, do they have a clear vision of how this will impact their business? 

To stay at the top of the tech industry chain, providers need to become innovative in this fast-changing business. Enormous sets of data generated by customers and the network infrastructure, if used properly, can help them achieve all of the above. But in order to transfer data into proper decisions, investments into smart data management and the right intelligence tools, support by experienced advisory and consulting teams have become vital. 

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