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For telcos, simplifying convergence is the best way to deliver customer service excellence

Intelligent bundling of services requires back-end delivery expertise


Service convergence is the present and future of telecommunications.

The intelligent bundling of services –– most evident in the quadruple play of broadband access, television, telephony, and mobile –– brings convenience and cost-saving to the customer, and embeds long-term loyalty for the operator. Assuming, that is, you can deliver service excellence across the customer lifecycle.

Before we consider back-end complexity, let’s remind ourselves why convergence is such an attractive proposition in the first place –– not just for businesses and consumers but for telco providers, too.

There are three broad telco opportunities wrapped inside the service bundle.

First, convergence plays to two broad societal shifts –– hybrid working and social purpose. Remote working – born out of COVID-19 lockdown necessity –– has given way to a fusion of home and office. To support mixed working environments, reliable and secure high-speed connections across environments is key.

Social purpose, meanwhile, should be embedded into the mission of every modern organisation by now. Warm words will only take those organisations so far, however. Action is required across environmental, social and governance (ESG) imperatives.

Let’s take just one example: ensuring that everyone has full access to internet-based services. Digital inclusion during a cost of living crisis is not easily resolved. According to one survey, a fifth of UK consumers are struggling to pay their broadband fees. Time-limited, discounted service bundles are a means of meeting social purpose while nurturing customer loyalty and absorbing price fluctuations.

Second, telco operators have the opportunity to build on two technology trends –– 5G rollout and connected devices. The 5G pitch is well known: superfast speeds and lots more capacity paving the way for new services and new applications. 5G, in combination with connected internet of things (IoT) devices, provides operators with an opportunity to create new services that could become part of a future bundle.

Finally, service convergence offers telcos a means of countering market and economic pressures. It is in this realm that most providers share a common frustration. Namely that while the likes of Netflix, Amazon and hundreds of others benefit from delivering high-margin services running over the top of core communications networks, those that provide the networks are operating on much tighter margins.

Meanwhile, customer turnover –– sometimes in the double-digits for telcos –– continues to be the enemy of sustainable profitability. And while 5G networks promise benefits in the medium term, they add a capital expenditure burden in the immediate term. Research shows that converged services, in turn, offer scope for higher margins, stickier customer relationships, and greater share of wallet.

In short, service convergence makes sense for customers and providers alike. The challenge comes in meeting the customer experience promise. Why? Because converged service execution and delivery is complicated. Indeed, it matters little from a complexity point of view whether customers are adopting more than one service. What matters – initially, at least – is the offer of multiple services. Each needs to be managed in isolation and in concert. Multiple services means different systems, different databases, different skills and knowledge.

What is required is domain expertise and experience. The right customer experience management (CXM) specialists with a history of delivering for telcos can help counter the complexity of convergence by applying deep market and domain knowledge. By providing operational insight, a CXM partner can help consolidate understanding to deliver expert service across broadband access, television, telephony, and mobile –– whether customers choose to adopt one, two, three or four of those services.

The bundle represents a well-defined set of offerings that promise ease of access and value for money. It is a compelling prospect for the customer. For the provider, however, countering the complexity of convergence remains the challenge. It should top the 2023 to do list.

To find out more about how an end-to-end CXM solution can deliver more human-centric, connected, omnichannel customer experiences, throughout the entire customer life cycle visit our CXM hub page.