Over the past year, interest in digital transformation has significantly escalated. This transformation is jump starting businesses and enabling them to connect with consumers like never before. There may be more than one way to define digital transformation, but for telcos in particular, true transformation requires delivering precise information to customers through all channels in a way that is simple, fast, personalized and available at any point in time.
On-demand leaders such as Netflix or Amazon make the customer experience seamless, and the ability to get what we want, when and how we want it, seems incredibly easy. As I shared in a recent Telecoms Tech article, to deliver this level of engagement requires complex interactions, a stunning amount of data, and integrated systems that are carefully designed and precisely crafted to deliver a set of defined services. With digital upstarts setting the bar, it is vital mobile providers keep pace.
The good news is, it’s well worth the investment. McKinsey & Company research shows telecom companies with robust digital capabilities boast a profit margin of 43 percent, compared to their counterparts whose margins hover around 21 percent. And CSPs have a set of unique capabilities that give them an edge, including: existing billing relationships with millions of customers; the ability to deliver services at a level of scale and security few can rival; network control – they are best positioned to ensure quality and reliability, and to let customers know if there are issues around connectivity; and finally, they are sitting on a gold mine of customer behavior and location data.
So what tricks are they missing? Digital transformation must provide for end-to-end, multi-channel experiences for customers, while at the same time, changing the infrastructure and business processes to support the three pillars of digital experience: availability, precision and agility.
Availability: Gartner predicts by 2017, U.S. customers’ mobile engagement will drive mobile commerce revenue up 50 percent. While this is an enormous opportunity, it is also a challenge. To scale, CSPs need to consider how they can be more transactional to better serve the way people today like to buy, pay and consume services.
Precision: Digital companies such as Shyp and Uber have set the bar high when it comes to tracking, processing and making large amounts of data available directly to consumers. The CSP must also deliver, in real-time, the precise level of information that drives an empowered customer experience.
Agility: Digital transformation is as much about the technology as it is about the consumer experience. To be truly digital requires you meet the demands of your consumers while offering targeted, personalized services in real-time.
The opportunity digital transformation holds is undeniable. Telecoms and mobile network operators must embrace the new digital age if they wish to be at the forefront of delivering value, and the time to do it is now.