Three steps to customer experience leadership

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This article was originally published to the Nokia blog by Puneet Dhar on April 25, 2019.

Delivering a better customer experience translates directly into better business results. The proof is in the numbers — and some pretty bold numbers, at that.

Communication service providers (CSPs) who meet subscribers’ needs for frictionless, personalized digital experiences perform 120 percent better in the market than those who do not. Those same leaders have also cut costs by up to 25 percent and have 14 percent higher revenue growth. Why? Because customers who have better experiences are more likely to stay with their CSP and recommend them to others.

So what exactly are the market leaders in customer experience doing differently?

For all those reasons, it’s not surprising to learn that 89 percent of companies now compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, up from just 36 percent in 2010.

Convergence, intelligence and seeing the whole customer journey

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Our research suggests there are three common pillars of success for CSPs leading the way on customer experience:

1They’re creating a convergence culture, where all systems and processes work together to create a great customer experience. By eliminating organizational and system silos, these CSPs get a streamlined, holistic, real-time view of what’s happening with a customer to determine the next best action to take. The ability to connect domains and automate actions in the moments that matter enables them to deliver the right service at the right time through the right channel.

2They’re adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics. For example, AI can improve real-time analysis of customer data to instantaneously identify and predict satisfaction levels — critical to anticipating and reacting to customer needs. In customer care, AI can power chatbots or virtual assistants to address requests for support and enhance self-care activities. It can also be used to automate the resolution of network and service issues — and even prevent them by continuously analyzing network health and triggering preventive actions, like recommending the use of an extender to improve a customer’s home Wi-Fi signal.

3They’re building a single view of the customer journey. That means looking at the sum of all touchpoints, not just self-care or call center activity, and linking them through insights derived from business, network and device applications. This allows CSPs to deliver meaningful, hyper-personalized messages and offers that improve overall satisfaction scores, reduce churn and generate new revenue opportunities.

Better customer experience, optimized business results

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At Nokia, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits that CSPs gain when they leverage these three pillars to improve the customer experience. For example, when one of our customers simplified and streamlined its siloed customer care applications by adopting a common service platform, it was able to define one process for any device and any type of customer — and greatly reduce training time and costs for call center agents and technicians.

Another successfully used AI and advanced analytics to deliver real-time, personalized offers that activated 33,000 “sleeping” subscribers in their prepaid customer base — and increased ARPU by eight percent in just three months.

And by gaining centralized visibility into customer interactions across customer care, marketing, operations and its mobile payments subsidiary, a third customer was able to obtain satisfaction scores in real time rather than 30 days — and determine root causes of service degradations in just four clicks, leading to a 30 percent reduction in customer complaints.

Clearly, there’s an opportunity here for CSPs to use customer experience to create a considerable business advantage. So how do they go about capitalizing on that business advantage? In the next article in this series, Rich Crowe, Head of Digital Experience Marketing at Nokia, will look at how CSPs are connecting touch points across marketing, sales and service channels to drive brand loyalty and revenue growth across the entire customer experience journey.

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