In highly competitive telco markets, product and price innovation strategies are falling short of the mark. The sort of ‘innovative’ offers designed to attract new customers are often anything but innovative.
This is a problem. Given both the ease of switching between carriers (facilitated by changing regulatory standards around the globe) and the simplicity of one Communications Service Provider (CSP) matching another’s offer, the reality is that traditional marketing Use Cases aren't working.
The question for CSPs is ‘what does work’? How can relationships with customers be reinvented in a way that does deliver the required results of increased ROI, lower churn and more. At Evolving Systems, we believe that the next frontier for strategic differentiation is customer engagement. This is based on the precept that today’s consumers expect service providers to do more than just offer competitively priced, reliable and attractive products; they also expect their providers to be responsive, flexible and to know almost in advance just what they need.
Young people in particular assume they can have a personalized and seamless dialogue with a company across multiple channels at any time that suits them. Meeting these expectations, whereby customer engagement and service innovation become key strategic differentiators in a fast-commoditizing market, represents both a challenge and an opportunity for CSPs.
As one client told us, to achieve this means that the entire customer relationship needs to be rewired with the goal of creating something that, rather than just being remunerative, is emotionally engaging. As the CSP in question itself puts it, this is a move from transactions to emotions.
The key shift in bringing this mindset to life is that brand positioning must be seen as a major component of an emotional customer experience. If marketing programs can utilize the brand effectively, there is evidence that the result will be to create more valuable and enduring customer relationships as well as use cases that are much harder for competitors to copy.
These new and highly desirable relationships also have to extend across entire subscriber bases, ending the perception that CSPs chase new subscribers but pay little attention to existing customers. The goal should be for the CSP to turn its existing subscribers into brand ambassadors.
What’s needed to take this step? How do you interact and engage with a subscriber base in a new way to deliver an innovative personalized experience? Among the requirements are:
- Having the ability to communicate with the right customer at the right time and reward them in the right way. This is easy to say but not easy to do.
- Customer engagement technology that meshes seamlessly with CRM.
- The ability to define the best moment of contact with the customer…..and then execute.
- Ideally, to drive digitization, the ability to run engagement programs through mobile applications. This should drive a significant number of downloads, a vital component of a company’s digital transformation process.
What the CSP wants to realize is something so personalized that it creates an emotional experience rather than the traditional approach that might be described as ‘linear and rational’. Instead of ‘reward’, think ‘surprise and delight’. Evolving Systems' ability and experience helping CSPs to deliver cutting edge, strategic customer engaging and loyalty programs is what sets us apart from our competitors.