Innovative customer engagement gives people what they want. The questions is, what do subscribers want?
Digitization, it’s no secret, is changing the landscape for Communications Service Provides. Not before time. In the telecommunications industry new subscriber growth has slowed and profits have slowly been eroded as a result of price wars that more often than not end up in the self-destructive commoditization of services.
Monthly ARPU goes down at the same time that the cost to serve and consumer demand for connectivity speeds and volume of data consumption goes up. For the CSP, that’s not a sustainable position
As a result, this reality is clear: No longer can the telecomunnications industry treat or charge customers as they have done historically, at the SIM card level. Today, CSPs must innovate and engage customers at a household level if they want to ensure future profitability.
To do this, innovative approaches to customer enagagement are critical. In an ae of Customer-Centricity, a deeper understanding of user preferences, profiles and requirements in order to capture their interest in relevant products and services and thus to maintain brand loyalty is table stakes. As a result, traditional approaches to customer engagement: batch data-based, below-the-line campaigns and static, transactional points programme-based solutions are being replaced by a set of new, highly engaging, offer and loyalty programs that are built for a generation of demanding, social media-empowered digital natives.
The Four Pillars of Innovative Customer Engagement
We believe that Innovative Customer Engagement is built on the foundation of four key pillars of action that are coming to define how brands drive customer loyalty in the nascent, always-on, connected world. The pillars we’ve identified are:
- Intelligent Customer Engagement –
A focus on customer engagement must now be a priority for any business operating on a digital platform. With particular regard to Loyalty, it is critical in order to keep customers satisfied and maintain long term, active relationships with the brand. The digital channel allows CSPs to engage customers in real-time at the ‘moment of truth’, no matter where they are. Intelligent customer engagement, for example via gamified mechanics, keeps subscribers excited and satisfied.
- Deeper Insight through Analytics –
The amount of data available to brands continues to grow at an exponential pace as consumers use digital channels to interact and transact, thereby leaving digital footprints that provide insight into the entire customer journey from initial awareness through to post-purchase satisfaction. For CVM Campaign and Loyalty programs, this data will form the basis for personalization, reward relevance and designing superior customer experiences and it is therefore critical that CSPS are able to access solutions that fully leverage the insights that data holds.
- More choice through an open partner ecosystem –
The walled garden approach of traditional rewards programs is giving way to a more open ecosystem of partners where loyal customers can ‘spend’ their credits with a host of different partners. The digital channel has opened the opportunity to integrate with physical and digital partners at a global scale. This trend of openness is here to stay, and will remain a key element for brands to remain relevant and secure ongoing customer engagement within their loyalty programs. For CSPs, the technologies required to manage such open relationships with important brand partners is now critical.
Catering to always-on and omni-channel – Customer Value, Retention and Rewards Programs have to adapt to an always-on consumer who is channel agnostic, expecting the brand to engage on email, app, or twitter, or SMS in real-time. This is difficult, but it is also an opportunity to engage with customers in a highly relevant and timely manner. Telcos must find ways to provide meaningful cross-channel experiences at the right level of frequency.