The lifetime value of customers is the most important success indicator for any company, and telecoms are no exception. There’s just one problem: our increasingly digital world has left telecom businesses vulnerable to disruption, steady revenue declines, and increased competition from startups.
In recent years, however, telecoms have enhanced their agility by leveraging automated services and improving their relationships with customers in the process. Below are a few examples of the positive effects automation has had on the industry:
Generating targeted promotions from automated data analytics
Positive LTV is only possible when a company can implement successful user acquisition strategies. Today, that means using comprehensive data analytics tools to better target and engage potential customers. Telecom companies already had access to big data, but its massive scale quickly rendered automated systems essential to streamlining actionable analysis.
One prime example comes from Globe Telecom, one of the largest telecommunications providers operating in the Philippines. When the company needed to emphasize agility in their promotional services, it partnered with IBM and Nokia to design an SOA-based service creation and delivery platform. As outlined in a case study, automation was a primary goal — the participating companies hoped to create cost-effective promotional offers through reusable service components.
After implementation, Globe Telecom reported a 600% increase in promotional effectiveness, alongside a 95% reduction in development time and costs. Globe was even able to associate the delivery platform’s launch with increases in revenue and market share. What’s more, these first-party tools were completed in a three-month development period in 2010. One can only imagine the refined potential and cost-effectiveness of the third-party tools that will roll out in 2019.
Analyzing customer behavior using high volumes of data
Automated systems are often far more effective than human-managed processes at detecting and analyzing patterns. These benefits have not been lost on telecom providers, where data analysis is a crucial part of enhancing individual services.
As a mobile services provider in Pakistan, Ufone experienced these benefits first-hand. Using a combination of software services and enterprise systems, the company deployed advanced analytics tools to automatically parse customer data for actionable insights. This analysis allowed them to design more effective marketing campaigns, reduce churn rates, and improve public perception of its brand. The reports were so detailed that Ufone used them to target both consumer groups and individual customers.
Beyond marketing campaigns, these results also improved Ufone’s customer support operations. When responding to users experiencing difficulties, the company had access to more detailed behavioral data that allowed staff to review customer interactions with a high degree of accuracy.
Better customer service through consolidated IT processes
Resolving inefficiencies in IT departments might yield the most immediate results for telecom companies. At one time, the industry was criticized for using legacy IT software with limited functionality and features that barely considered mobile customers.
Thankfully for telecom businesses, significant progress has been made in this area. One McKinsey benchmarking study found that 80 major companies had removed out-of-date platforms, automated core processes, and consolidated any overlapping features. Not only did this reduce costs and improve load volumes, it had measurable benefits on consumers as well. One unnamed South American company was able to offer a unified view of customer billing, resolve customer issues faster, and reduce the rate of service errors.
Minimizing production and delivery costs
At its core, telecoms are built around the delivery of a specialized product and service, and companies want these deliveries to proceed smoothly. Automation can help by consolidating the processes that direct how these services reach customers and markets.
In one example from Worksoft, telecom companies can take several non-wireless ERP business processes and consolidate them into a single SAP solution. These processes include project systems, business intelligence, asset management, and more. Worksoft’s case study client reduced execution time by 95% without any reduction in service delivery, increasing the efficiency of over 160 business processes.
Not only does this make production more efficient, but automated systems can also detect defects sooner than non-automated processes. When a telecom company serves large volumes of customers, correcting those issues earlier is a significant benefit.
Automated fraud detection lets companies focus on customer service initiatives
Addressing fraud is a necessary expense for any industry, both in the digital and physical retail spheres. This remains a time-consuming task that often flags genuine customers as fraudsters, inconveniencing everyone involved. Even worse, fraudsters tend to be technologically sophisticated, making it more difficult to combat their operations.
Automated processes can flag genuinely fraudulent interactions with a high degree of accuracy, even in the telecom space. One case study noted that telecom data is too complex for humans to understand and respond to, which prompted Vodafone and Argyle Data to test run a data-focused fraud detection solution. The automated platform was able to identify previously undetectable fraud instances and reduce verification time from 24 hours to less than five minutes. Even better, this solution can be scaled to telecom organizations of any size, freeing up representatives to focus on other customer-centered initiatives.
Automation alone doesn’t fix everything for telecom businesses. For optimal effectiveness, automated systems need to be implemented prescriptively, as opposed to replacing all processes within an organization at once. Regardless, the potential benefits of revitalizing telecom operations — and creating stronger relationships with consumers — cannot be ignored.