What three key trends do you think will emerge in the telco sector in 2018?
More people want to consume data on-demand and countries like the UK are fast becoming smartphone societies, so 4G and super-fast broadband will grow in 2018 to meet high-speed data consumption needs. Telcos will also prepare for 5G by exploring network sharing arrangements. Another area that telcos will need to manage is customer churn, so they will have to make customer retention a vital business strategy. This will be driven by companies improving their net promoter score, which measures customer experience, as well as bundling services, such as free mobile handsets and Netflix subscriptions.
What will be the three top priorities for telco organisations when it comes to empowering employees, boosting efficiency and reducing costs in 2018
Given the challenges the telco industry has faced following numerous mergers and acquisitions, most customer service agents are forced to use multiple systems to process customer complaints, new orders, upselling opportunities and more. Not only does this mean customers have a lengthy wait before they’re served, but they also have to spend a long time speaking to customer service agents to give them all the information they need. Advancements in robotic process automation (RPA) mean that many mundane processes can now be automated, taking away the immediate need for system rationalisation and accelerating customer experience improvements.
In addition, the sector will simplify its consumer propositions to make it easier for customer service agents to understand, and sell, products and services. Similarly, telcos are developing digital workplaces and gamifying training to help them to attract and retain talent, and create an enjoyable work environment for employees.
What new technologies do you think will have the most impact in this sector over the next year and why?
As the volume of network transactions and virtualisation technologies continue to ramp up, machine learning will gain significant importance when it comes to managing monitoring and self-heal processes. This will help to drive better system availability, leading to improved client experience. Meanwhile, by implementing RPA technologies, telco companies will reduce the amount of time their employees have to spend completing non-productive activities like locating and updating multiple systems of data. This will allow the industry to invest more in the customer experience, including customer conversations and faster response times. CIOs are also driving further cloud uptake to support best-in-class security and system governance.