The telecommunications industry has changed beyond recognition in recent years, mirroring society’s need to be reliably connected at all times, regardless of physical location.
As a telco, this has presented both opportunity and challenge in equal measure. Whilst many operators have embraced the journey to becoming a digital service provider, the industry is vulnerable to further shifts in technological change, customer demands and competitor activity.
The very nature of the telecommunications means that all companies operating within the sector have an abundance of data, often from multiple data streams.
The following 5 factors are what we believe to be the biggest challenges facing telco companies this year.
Annual churn rates for telecommunications companies vary between 10 and 67 percent, and whilst factors like price and product are important, most customers choose to leave a provider because they are dissatisfied with the way they are treated.
This can start with something as simple as identifying customers when they make contact with your customer service and bringing up their contact history, or serving them relevant pages based on their past interactions – preempting their demands and requirements.
Being responsive in times of outages or dissatisfactions can often make or break your reputation. With customer touch points in a number of different locations (social media, web, email and phone), it’s important to have an integrated system that tracks and records interactions.
Mitigating cyber security risk
Customers demand rather than expect more proactive protection from their data handlers. This can be a challenge from both a technological and operational standpoint, however it should be looked upon as an opportunity rather than a problem. Data breaches can often be traced back to poor system management, and disparate systems make it harder to keep track of customer data.
Rapid IoT expansion
With the increasing number of devices able to connect to data networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword in the industry for some time now. The main questions are as to how to monetise this additional connectivity and how customer’s desire for this increases.
As always reliability, security and privacy will need to be addressed. In addition to this you’ll need to ensure your systems and applications are robust enough to handle the real time integration of swathes of new data.
5G Adoption and delivery
5G will be able to offer improved data rates, better network slicing and ultra-low latency, opening the gateway for new services, network operations and customer experience. This presents an opportunity for telecoms companies to change their role from being distributors to full-service providers.
Another reason why addressing data storage and ensuring robust systems is a must-have instead of a nice-to-have for telco’s in 2020.
Increased regulatory scrutiny
All of the previous points feed into this. The opportunities that increased data and connectivity provide come at a price, ensuring networks are customer information are kept secure. How is your data being captured in the new AI environment? It’s great if you’ve chosen to improve customer service with chatbots and virtual assistants, but artificial intelligence also collects a lot of information about the users.
Offering personalised experiences are a must, but without compromising how customer data is stored and protected. The data you capture needs to be carefully assessed, analysed and stored – and the guidelines surrounding this will only tighten as time goes on.
Understanding what data you have, where it is stored and how it can be used is going to be the key differentiator that separates the companies that thrive instead of merely surviving.
Throw in the added pressure of customer expectation and increasing regulatory requirement then it’s vital that you take stock of your data now rather than later.
Software Solved can help you get to grips by undertaking a data maturity assessment, finding out at what stage you’re at on your data journey and providing recommendations to unlock the most value from it.