Telecom Providers Must Look to Customer Centricity to Succeed

3 min

– Article in partnership with Salesforce –

We are on the threshold of a post-digital era and telecommunications are facing an epochal change. What are the new challenges and opportunities that this change will bring? How can companies in the sector adapt and prosper? Find out by reading this article that explores the evolution of the telecommunications industry and how it is coping with change in a post-digital era.

Change as a fundamental principle: the evolution of the telecommunications sector

According to the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, everything is dynamic and constantly changing. Nothing in life is permanent because the nature of existence is change. As I came to discover throughout my upbringing, this fundamental principle bears as much on the built environment as it does on the natural world.

Growing up in Naples, Italy, there was a state-owned telecom company that was operated by a monopoly regime. Once the sector was liberalized, competitors quickly emerged. In the face of mounting pressures, the monopolistic giant was forced to become more efficient in managing their services. But the change didn’t stop there.

Their evolution into a mobile network unleashed another epochal change, one that was tied to infrastructure. You see, different generations of technologies and standards — from 3G to 5G — have sown the seeds of innovation to keep up with the growing needs of an increasingly connected society.

Adapting to change: the post-digital era

Today, we are standing at the gates of a post-digital era and are calling upon telecommunications service providers to shift their strategies and operational tactics in favor of a multifaceted supply of services, beyond the classic voice-data dichotomy. Simply put, society has changed, and people have become increasingly demanding, and this is perhaps most apparent in their habits and expectations. Against this backdrop, telcos are confronting another change, one that imposes an even more complex development cycle than that of technological innovation.

It is critical that they put people at the center of their business models, embrace environmental and social sustainability, harness intelligent AI-driven automation, and find different ways to monetize their networks. Hardly a matter of personal opinion, these views are backed by a global research study conducted by Salesforce — Trends in the Communications Industry, sourcing insights from 500 industry experts and 6,000 consumers worldwide.
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Customer satisfaction at the center: the importance of a positive telecom experience

The first point I want to focus on is the importance of creating a good customer experience to reduce churn. In a society where 80% of people will abandon a supplier after just three negative experiences, customer satisfaction can no longer be considered optional; it is a must. The cost and speed of service are the main reasons for switching providers. What’s more, the ability to complete online or self-service transactions, bookings, or inquiries is highly desired by both business and consumer customers. Eliminating hidden costs and offering discounts on bundled services, such as over-the-top streaming media, also breed satisfaction and loyalty.

Granted, a network’s modernization and the availability of 5G services and fiber optics are essential elements in the mix. Yet, from an operational and organizational point of view, Salesforce’s research highlights the impact that Digital Transformation has had on improving customer satisfaction and efficiencies — all with a reduction in operating costs, a better value proposition, and a more competitive price.

But the purpose of this article is not to dwell on the research, but to highlight the most compelling aspects — as indicated below in my infographic.

Lessons from the past for the future of telecom

Summing up, Salesforce’s research drew my attention to an important aspect of customer service that often goes unnoticed: the customer’s central role in overcoming the challenges of competition in a society that is increasingly connected, but also increasingly attentive to contractual transparency.

Here, Heraclitus has another thing to teach us; namely, that companies must be more intimately aware of social evolution and of the importance of responding to it (and responding on time). Because even if something appears to be static, it is, to the contrary, in constant motion and must be analyzed, gutted, and used as the fuel that will drive our strategies.


With the post-digital era, it is crucial that telecommunication providers adapt to growing consumer needs and put customer satisfaction at the center of their business models Share on X
  • Original article previously published here