All things being equal; developing robust consumer experience (CX) program could help wireless telco carriers differentiate themselves in a democratized 5G era
All carriers will eventually offer 5G… now what?
As wireless telecom carriers gradually roll out their versions of Next Generation Network (5G) towards full commercial deployment; they may also need to prepare for the fact that their competitors will be offering similar 5G network & associated value propositions as well… at some point in time soon
So the billion dollar question is… all things being equal, how could wireless telecom carriers differentiate themselves in a democratized 5G era?
For the most part, competing on price alone would be a race to the bottom; impacting core financials (ARPU / CLV / Operating Margins) in the long run; particularly for carriers who want to highlight their ‘premium-ness’ in an otherwise “Look! I am cheaper” landscape
Enter Customer Experience (CX)
Why CX program?
CX is amongst the best time-tested acquisition, retention & loyalty levers… and when done right; has the potential to set carriers apart from their competitors in the long run
Akin to any other industry & business; exploring, developing a robust holistic CX program is equally important to 5G service providers for a multitude of reasons; 4 key ones being –
Everyone will offer 5G… so what sets you apart?
Avoiding ‘tit-for-tat’ price competition
Staying ahead of customer’s expectation curve
Lock in customer loyalty… today!
Key CX focus areas for 5G service providers
Equally important is to understand what steps should carriers take today to ensure better CX, engagement & loyalty in tomorrow’s democratized 5G world?
There are a multitude of CX initiatives that 5G service providers can explore, innovate & develop; categorized under 4 key CX focus areas –
- Network Experience
- Product Experience
- Provisioning Experience
- Value-Add Experience
Consumers & businesses segments alike already have very high expectations of an always-on and reliable 5G network
In a democratized 5G market, failure to ensure (perceivably consistent) high quality network experience wouldn’t only be detrimental to the brand; but could also result in a subscriber exodus to competitors
Any interruption to their SMB/E/G business customers‘ 5G-reliant services could even cost Tier 1 carriers their lead position in the market
Having dedicated connected 5G/IoT product experience centers in apt formats (e.g. destination stores) that interactively convey their value propositions to end users could go a long way in securing effective subscriber acquisition , retention & promoter scores
In an eSIM-enabled 5G & IoT era; carriers could stand out by offering a simplified multi-device & service provisioning experience for end users
Service providers could further differentiate by simplifying their 5G & connected IoT provisioning experience; particularly as it relates to multi-play services such as bundled family smartphone, fixed wireless internet plans & home automation plans
Initiatives could include optimizing truck rolls, in-store/home multi-device provisioning & setup, faster turnarounds for DOA replacements &a unified insurance + warranty offering
Proliferation of eSIM will coincide with commercial 5G rollout and when done right, could provide Carriers with a useful acquisition, retention & provisioning tool for the said multi-play 5G & connected IoT services
Ensuring apt channel availability for ‘in-demand products’ (5G smartphones, VR/AR, etc.) at the right place & at all times – read: omni-channel CX– could be another CX-focused initiative that 5G service providers could focus on
Value Added Services Experience
3 such CX initiatives:
1. Fulfillment Experience or simply put the time taken from the customer order phase to the (accurate) delivery of products & services (e.g. same day on-site delivery, setup & provisioning & omni-channel fulfillment)
2. Service Experience including post-install ‘education session’ & 24X7 omni-support (think: AI-based chatbots)to keep subscribers engaged & optimize support costs
3. Billing & Notification Experience specifically the simplification thereof in a multi-play IoT offering (e.g. real-time notifications, fraud alerts & even service downtime alerts with estimated time to remedy)
Whilst 5G service providers will continue to differentiate on pure play core value propositions (triple/quad-play, zero-rated content, bundled IoT & cloud, cheaper pricing)…
…consumers & businesses alike are likely to evaluate them on their ability to provide unique CX-centric products and solutions designed to be cost-friendly & engaging in the long run
By exploring, developing & offering robust CX focused services across all of their business operations; 5G wireless telecom carriers would not only be able to exceed their customers’ expectations but also secure their their long-term loyalty… Today!