A recent study by Forrester Research, commissioned by Experian, has identified the critical challenges for Telecommunication Operators (Telcos) in the face of the pandemic and growing digitisation of customer interaction. It appears that most Telcos have a clear understanding of what these challenges are and which measures they would like to take to tackle them. They are aiming to use new technologies and alternative sets of data to ensure a smooth customer journey, prevent fraud and improve efficiency. However, they may be unsure as to how they can apply advanced software and new technologies like machine learning and AI to drive operational excellence and customer acquisition & engagement and which priorities to set for their digital transformation.
The BTN was recently delighted to partner with Experian for an interactive and open session which looked at specific challenges and addressed key topics that help companies unlock new growth potential to build more business from their data. The session was hosted by Kai Kalchthaler (CEO, DACH at Experian), who spoke with representatives of leading European Telcos about the challenges facing the industry and the opportunities to overcome them. It focused on four main topics that are all inextricably linked:
- The relationship between revenue and costs
- The priorities for further growth
- The role of digitalization
- The use of new technologies
The topics above brought about the following takeaways:
Having a customer-first mindset is key in this data-driven revolution
As data starts to sit at the heart of the majority of organisations, personalised customer experiences are now paramount to Telcos transformation and therefore will require a customer-first mindset. Many Telcos have made digitalization and the use of new technologies such as machine learning and advanced analytics a priority in order to achieve further growth and improve the cost-to-revenue ratio.
However, Telcos are still struggling with the fact that their increasing profits from customer business are being eaten up by increased operational costs. These challenges stem from changing customer interests which have been accelerated by the pandemic and the need for growing digitalisation for customer interaction within tech companies. For example, there has been a significant increase in total operating costs. Despite this, there has been an overly positive situation with regards to the growth of existing customers and winning new customers over.
Digitalization is an integral part of the growth strategy
It is indisputable that great advances have been made in technology over the last 10 years. Digitalisation in business has proven to be almost essential for business success, using digital technologies to change business models and provide new value-producing opportunities that assist with organisational growth.
Telcos see the greater potential for improving their processes through digitalization and new technologies in customer contact. Digitization and new technologies should help them improve the customer experience and transform the role of fraud prevention from bouncer to revenue generator. Machine learning can help in fraud prevention to stop misclassifying good customers as suspicious and contribute to a significant increase in revenue by reducing false positives. Smoother processes will also reduce “Time to Yes” and thus avoid purchasing abortions.
So what is the priority of digitalization and what goals can be associated with it? The point was raised that there are two main goals. One is the topic of efficiency and the direct impact this can have on cost-saving. The second is that digitalization should be an integral part of the growth strategy which makes the entire onboarding process for new customers as seamless as possible.
However, Telcos have various obstacles to overcome when digitalizing and introducing new technologies. Participants compared digitization with changing a tire on a Formula 1 racing car in motion. No easy undertaking. Particularly when participants also confirmed that competence problems and friction between different departments as well as the shortage of competent specialists felt on all sides further exacerbate the problem.
Telcos' core business is gaining importance again
Beyond the issues, there are signs of a turnaround in the Telcos market where the traditional business of Telcos is gaining importance again. Telcos affect how people connect and do business on a global scale and the role of a truly global business has never been more important. For businesses, in particular, reliable and timely communication is the lifeblood of your company’s brand reputation, productivity, and overall success.
In the B2B sector, the demand for networks with enormously low latency to enable teleconferencing with avatars, for example, will lead to a revival of private enterprise networks with corresponding quality-of-service guarantees. In the B2C sector, this trend is driven by Web 3.0, especially the metaverse.
So how can external companies help here? At Experian, they can unlock the power of data to create opportunities for consumers, businesses and society. Working in a culture of collaboration, achievement and respect Experian will give you the support and encouragement you need to develop your skills and talents and progress your career.
To conclude, Telcos have completely transformed how people communicate and navigate their personal and professional lives. With an ever-present need for humans to connect and communicate, this industry will continue its upward growth.
Experian is the global market leader in information services. Experian helps its clients use data with confidence and to take control of their financial affairs and access financial services. For businesses, Experian helps them make smart, growth-enhancing decisions. Borrowers are guided by the company to manage credit responsibly. Organizations are given the tools they need to protect themselves against identity fraud and crime.
In 2020, the company acquired a majority stake in Arvato Financial Solutions' Risk Management business, reestablishing Experian DACH as the region's leading risk, fraud and identity management service provider.
Experian DACH offers companies of all sizes and industries, such as e-commerce operators, insurance companies, financial service providers and telecommunications companies, the best basis in each case for their risk, fraud and identity management. If required, Experian DACH develops customized, company-specific solutions, especially for large customers.
Experian employs around 20,600 people in 43 countries worldwide. The company continuously invests in technology, innovation and people to deliver the best possible output to customers. Experian is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.