RP Sanjiv Goenka Group

The CX Hot Six for Telecoms

A guide to customer experience technology that delivers on business KPIs

How technology can help retain the telco customers

Of all the telco challenges of recent years – cybersecurity, sustainability, the network, etc – one isn’t going away: the challenge of retaining the switch-happy customer.

And so, in a bid to deliver an experience that gives customers no reason to abandon their current providers, businesses are scrambling to adopt capabilities that will delight users, ensure loyalty, and reduce churn for instance:

Simplification

De-mystifying their offerings and comms; making it easier for customers to understand what they are buying

Personalization

Information and offers tailored to the individual and the situation they’re in

Self-Service

Enabling customers to find answers quickly, without needing to get in touch

Omni-Channel Support

Giving customers channel choice, including phone, email, chat, social media, and text message

Proactive Support

Improving customer satisfaction and reducing churn by solving issues before they even arise

This roundup is for all those of you who are now thinking “That sounds great, but how do I do it?”. We’ve written it to give you an overview of tech solutions – some established, some emerging – that can help telcos with the challenges listed above; alongside a realistic view of what you can expect from each.

Let’s dive in.

What
they
are:

Digital assistants are helping hands – or rather, automated learning solutions (or bots, as some like to call them) – that can take repetitive tasks off the hands of agents and increasingly automate them.
digital Assistance

What
they
do:

They solve standard customer requests quickly, without the need for human intervention

They free your people up to deal with more complex customer needs that require empathy and human understanding

They reduce dependency on technical associates

KPIs
impacted:

Good
to know:

Digital assistants are great at handling standard requests (e.g. processing refunds; removing services from an account; number porting), not so good at complex interactions involving several processes and systems.

Maturity:

Digital assistants are quite established by now, with more and more CX organisations are adopting them. To learn more, take a look at this case study, in which a telecom realised significant cost savings ($4M in their case) and reduced call handling times by 40%, among other things.

What
it is:

It’s a conversational AI platform that helps improve every single interaction and boost the performance of your customer service team overall. Think of it as your most experienced, best-performing agent listening in on customer interactions and whispering advice to the colleague handling them, with bespoke recommendations using Natural language and ML algorithms.

Agent Assist

What
it
does:

It identifies best practices in customer interactions. It learns from your top performers and integrates calibrations from customers
It analyses conversations and digital interactions in real time (speech to text), performs a sentiment analysis on them and extracts key information.

 It draws on the insights it has gathered and its wealth of knowledge to provide agents with recommendations for next best actions, tools and pathways for their customers in real time

It helps with post-call task efficiency (such as pre-populating key information, summaries etc.)
The tool can also help with automated QA of content and soft skills, improving contact sampling to 100% and automating feedback

Good
to know:

Agent assist supports omnichannel operations – it works across chat, voice (speech-to-text), social media, or other channels
It can support individual interactions but also serve as a training and coaching tool: by combining the aggregate knowledge of all your organisation’s best customer interactions, agent assist is a powerful tool to train agents on best practice and help managers identify training opportunities and priorities.

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

Established agent assist solutions have been implemented across many organisations’ agent consoles now – and delivered tangible business outcomes. Take a look at this case study in which a UK telecom reduced AHT by 15 % and achieved 10% in retention rate.

What
it is:

A work-from-home technology that helps telcos expand and scale customer contact centers very quickly and flexibly manage spikes in demand by providing a secure working environment for “gig agents” working part-time, or doing flexible hours.

gig CX

What
it
does:

The technology distributes customer enquiries to a crowd of knowledgeable agents working from home, usually on a part-time basis.
It turns the agent’s device into a secure engagement tool (data protection and industry standard compliance are built in so that customer data remains safe)

This helps telcos meet demand during busy times: they can employ agents looking to work flexible, irregular hours. It also helps them efficiently deal with busy times without the need to employ FTEs and be left with stranded costs

Good
to know:

Gig CX works best on low to medium complexity issues (as gig workers may not always have had full training). Smart triage and routing can ensure that enquiries always end up with an agent well-equipped to deal with them

It allows telcos to recruit agents from a much wider geographic pool and eg tap into language speakers from across the country

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

Gig CX is still emerging, but is showing great promise

What
it is:

An Augmented Reality (AR) solution that helps agents fully immerse themselves in their customers’ world. It creates simulations that mimic an actual customer environment or scenario as closely as possible – driving empathy and a much better understanding of a service request and how it’s impacting a customers’ life and experience.
metaverse

What
it
does:

It’s a tool to create 3D worlds and 360 degree panoramas
It allows CX organisations to build fully immersive simulations (e.g. the layout of a typical UK home for a support agent based in India). This helps them talk customers through a problem or identify solutions in their environment.

Good
to know:

If done well, this can have a positive impact beyond the contact center and e.g. help avoid field service callouts
It’s not just for customer scenarios. AR can also be used for remote employee onboarding and training

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

AR simulations aren’t that widely used yet, but more and more use cases are emerging. We think it’s one to explore – maybe with this case study for an onboarding scenario in which an organisation achieved a 60% increase in engagement scores

What
it is:

A solution that helps deflect customers from voice to asynchronous messaging (such as Whatsapp, SMS, Facebook Messenger) to free up agent capacity and solve customer queries quickly and conveniently for them.
metaverse messaging

What
it
does:

It analyses inbound calls to identify what type of query a customer has
It offers the customers a choice: they can continue to hold for an agent or opt for support through SMS, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger instead
Their request is routed to an agent who can investigate the issue and get back in touch with the outcome via text

Good
to know:

Messaging works best on standard use cases (think billing queries, or charge disputes), not so well on highly complex issues

Customers increasingly prefer text over voice. This is especially true for younger demographics who can be quite call-averse, and people contacting their telco during their own working hours

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

A well-established solution that is seeing high levels of adoption.

What
it is:

A customer analytics platform that mines customer behaviours and interactions (such as social listening) for insight. It builds up a nuanced picture of common behaviours, requests and support requirements for each segment (such as age, geography, lifetime value, product they’re using). This helps anticipate issues (such as their likelihood to cancel a contract) and allows telcos to proactively counteract them with measures that drive loyalty and avoid churn.

active user personalities

What
it
does:

It helps you actively avoid churn by running “save campaigns” targeting potential leavers with personalized offers
It improves engagement. Social listening combined with e.g. gig workers (see above) following up with high-value customers can be a powerful loyalty driver
It reduces passive churn. Risk analytics on customers with missed payments can trigger a response (such as card update prompts or real-time payment processing retries)
It supports “winback campaigns” that leverage analytics in conjunction with market scans to offer customers strong incentives

Good
to know:

Analytics are powerful in combination with agent assist technology mentioned above, helping your team tailor conversations to the exact customer segment and renewal situation

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

Analytics and segmentation are established mechanisms in CX, but not all organisations leverage their full potential. Here’s a case study for a video streaming provider (a revenue model very similar to a telco’s)  that managed to retain 6x more users after a billing failure and managed to make $11m incremental revenue in 12 months from reduced passive churn.

0101Digital Assistants

What
they
are:

Digital assistants are helping hands – or rather, automated learning solutions (or bots, as some like to call them) – that can take repetitive tasks off the hands of agents and increasingly automate them.
digital Assistance

What
they
do:

They solve standard customer requests quickly, without the need for human intervention

They free your people up to deal with more complex customer needs that require empathy and human understanding

They reduce dependency on technical associates

KPIs
impacted:

Good
to know:

Digital assistants are great at handling standard requests (e.g. processing refunds; removing services from an account; number porting), not so good at complex interactions involving several processes and systems.

Maturity:

Digital assistants are quite established by now, with more and more CX organisations are adopting them. To learn more, take a look at this case study, in which a telecom realised significant cost savings ($4M in their case) and reduced call handling times by 40%, among other things.

0202Agent Assist

What
it is:

It’s a conversational AI platform that helps improve every single interaction and boost the performance of your customer service team overall. Think of it as your most experienced, best-performing agent listening in on customer interactions and whispering advice to the colleague handling them, with bespoke recommendations using Natural language and ML algorithms.

Agent Assist

What
it
does:

It identifies best practices in customer interactions. It learns from your top performers and integrates calibrations from customers
It analyses conversations and digital interactions in real time (speech to text), performs a sentiment analysis on them and extracts key information.

 It draws on the insights it has gathered and its wealth of knowledge to provide agents with recommendations for next best actions, tools and pathways for their customers in real time

It helps with post-call task efficiency (such as pre-populating key information, summaries etc.)
The tool can also help with automated QA of content and soft skills, improving contact sampling to 100% and automating feedback

Good
to know:

Agent assist supports omnichannel operations – it works across chat, voice (speech-to-text), social media, or other channels
It can support individual interactions but also serve as a training and coaching tool: by combining the aggregate knowledge of all your organisation’s best customer interactions, agent assist is a powerful tool to train agents on best practice and help managers identify training opportunities and priorities.

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

Established agent assist solutions have been implemented across many organisations’ agent consoles now – and delivered tangible business outcomes. Take a look at this case study in which a UK telecom reduced AHT by 15 % and achieved 10% in retention rate.

0303Gig CX

What
it is:

A work-from-home technology that helps telcos expand and scale customer contact centers very quickly and flexibly manage spikes in demand by providing a secure working environment for “gig agents” working part-time, or doing flexible hours.

gig CX

What
it
does:

The technology distributes customer enquiries to a crowd of knowledgeable agents working from home, usually on a part-time basis.
It turns the agent’s device into a secure engagement tool (data protection and industry standard compliance are built in so that customer data remains safe)

This helps telcos meet demand during busy times: they can employ agents looking to work flexible, irregular hours. It also helps them efficiently deal with busy times without the need to employ FTEs and be left with stranded costs

Good
to know:

Gig CX works best on low to medium complexity issues (as gig workers may not always have had full training). Smart triage and routing can ensure that enquiries always end up with an agent well-equipped to deal with them

It allows telcos to recruit agents from a much wider geographic pool and eg tap into language speakers from across the country

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

Gig CX is still emerging, but is showing great promise
0404Metaverse

What
it is:

An Augmented Reality (AR) solution that helps agents fully immerse themselves in their customers’ world. It creates simulations that mimic an actual customer environment or scenario as closely as possible – driving empathy and a much better understanding of a service request and how it’s impacting a customers’ life and experience.
metaverse

What
it
does:

It’s a tool to create 3D worlds and 360 degree panoramas
It allows CX organisations to build fully immersive simulations (e.g. the layout of a typical UK home for a support agent based in India). This helps them talk customers through a problem or identify solutions in their environment.

Good
to know:

If done well, this can have a positive impact beyond the contact center and e.g. help avoid field service callouts
It’s not just for customer scenarios. AR can also be used for remote employee onboarding and training

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

AR simulations aren’t that widely used yet, but more and more use cases are emerging. We think it’s one to explore – maybe with this case study for an onboarding scenario in which an organisation achieved a 60% increase in engagement scores

0505Messaging

What
it is:

A solution that helps deflect customers from voice to asynchronous messaging (such as Whatsapp, SMS, Facebook Messenger) to free up agent capacity and solve customer queries quickly and conveniently for them.
metaverse messaging

What
it
does:

It analyses inbound calls to identify what type of query a customer has
It offers the customers a choice: they can continue to hold for an agent or opt for support through SMS, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger instead
Their request is routed to an agent who can investigate the issue and get back in touch with the outcome via text

Good
to know:

Messaging works best on standard use cases (think billing queries, or charge disputes), not so well on highly complex issues

Customers increasingly prefer text over voice. This is especially true for younger demographics who can be quite call-averse, and people contacting their telco during their own working hours

KPIs
impacted:

Maturity:

A well-established solution that is seeing high levels of adoption.
0606Active user personalisation

What
it is: