In a smartphone driven world, telcos need to develop new business strategies and solutions that answer customer demand and support tech innovation. Alaa Youssef, Managing Director at SAS Middle East, says analytics are one of the key enablers for the future of the industry.
The telco business is becoming supersaturated. Since the variety of offers is on the rise, customers have become increasingly demanding.
About two-thirds of the world’s population is now using mobile devices. Data is exploding, networks are increasing in size and complexity but revenue for communications service providers (CSPs) isn’t growing at the same rate. What can telcos do to survive tough competition, maintain the current and gain new customers?
Nowadays data consumption is quickly overcoming voice consumption. Smartphones have become the main tools for news aggregation and entertainment, creating a unique opportunity for telecoms to take advantage of all the digital tracks users leave behind.
The enormous volume of data that is collected from telco consumers can be used to optimise network performance and the customer experience.
Using analytics CSPs can accurately recognise clients’ needs and expectations, expand services portfolios, make smarter decisions about their complex networks and guide capacity-planning. The conclusion is they can create a superior customer experience.
Commoditisation became a big problem for telecommunication companies. How many offer mixes can one create and how far can one go with lowering the price while still making the business profitable?
Finding the Unique Selling Proposition is very difficult when everything already has been done and all telco offers seem similar. Low price no longer makes a difference. Telcos try to broaden their services to improve and expand customer interactions.
Alaa Youssef, Managing Director at SAS Middle East, said: “Consumption of telecom products has fundamentally changed with the digitisation of services, which has resulted in higher levels of customer satisfaction to take centre stage.
“Telcos have started to apply analytics to their huge volume of data, in order to personalise their services and products, gain customer insights and achieve improved decision making. Advanced analytics allows telcos to unlock new enterprise value, enhance customer experience at every touch point and enable them to proactively offer services and products such as video or audio streaming services or unlimited Internet packages to undecided subscribers who are most likely to buy or respond.”
Applications for infotainment are on the rise and members of the mobile society want to take advantage of different digital devices, such as watching their favourite series on the smartphone while coming back from work and finishing it at home using the same app on the flat screen TV.
The telecommunications industry is made up of different types of companies from satellite, Internet and mobile to cable TV providers offering similar packages.
If CSPs want to stand out from the business crowd and be associated with modern and innovative brands they need analytics to make better decisions about the direction of their business. In the client-centric world customer experience matters more than ever and ensuring customer loyalty is a challenge.
Quality of service becomes the most important KPI (key performance indicator) whether we consider network quality, customer care or quality of content.
Analytics in action
Applying analytics to huge volume of data helps telecom operators to achieve timely and accurate insights about their customers, networks and operations for improved decision making.
Companies use analytics to increase sales, maximise revenue and decrease operational costs, analyse customer loyalty and satisfaction, reduce churn and fraud and improve risk management.
Analytics provide an understanding of customers’ needs, behaviour and journey across channels, as well as their preferences and trends in content consumption. These insights can then be used to improve interactions, optimise shopping paths and prepare valuable premium services.
These can happen in real time, capitalising on customer context, triggering the right action in the right place at the right time. Analytics provide insights into internal processes, core operations and infrastructure upgrades.
It allows estimates of network demand, predictions of service interruptions before they happen, optimisation performance and guiding accurate capacity planning to maintain high service availability.
Analytics offers CSPs an opportunity to develop innovative services and new revenue streams.
What is still to come?
The telco business is constantly evolving. The introduction of a faster 5G network, which is expected to guarantee stabilisation and less latency, will surely create new opportunities for telecommunication companies.
As a result of acceleration of data transmission the demand for additional infotainment services will grow.
Multi-play vendors providing packages of different services will be in a privileged position. SAS experts predict that in the upcoming years we will observe consolidation of telecommunication infrastructure vendors, oriented on widening of the offer portfolio.
Since mobile phones are not only for making phone calls anymore, Internet data packages becomes as important as minute and SMS packages.
Increasing consumption of content from VOD and streaming portals will drive massive Internet usage.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence will enable further automatisation and robotisation of client services, providing personalised content for a specific customer in fully autonomous way.
All those processes will need support from analytics teams. The information coming from massive infotainment environment needs to be processed and analysed in order to create valuable offers for clients and enable the building of long-lasting relationships with the brand.
The information coming from the network needs to be processed in real time in order to prioritise available assets and secure superior customer experience.