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In an age of disruption, it's imperative that telcos get their customer communications right

Digitizing Customer Communications Is A Great First Step In Digital Transformation For Telcos Online

For decades, telecommunications companies have enjoyed unfettered growth and incredible profits. As with so many other industries, however, the telco space is facing the spectre of digital disruption.

The old order is under threat and if established telcos are to avoid being consigned to the history books, they need to embrace digital transformation.

Looking at the wider business space, Gartner predicts that digital business will represent 36% of a business’s overall revenue by 2020. IDC meanwhile predict that 80% of revenue growth will depend on digital offerings and operations by 2022.

The telco space isn’t immune to those trends, making digital transformation vital for business continuity.

And when it comes to pushing that transformation, there are serious benefits to starting with customer communications.

Facing industry challenges

Digitizing customer communications can go a long way in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the telecommunications space today.

According to a report from EY, leading up to 2020, those challenges include digital business models, customer experience and cost control.

Digital customer communications can provide benefits that include hyper-personalization, relevant and contextual content, increased loyalty and better conversion rates. Add in operational cost savings, a reduction in errors, increased efficiency, as well as improved compliance, and digital transformation is a no-brainer.

Easier for the upstarts

It is definitely easier for disruptive upstarts to reap these benefits. Being digital from the start means that they can handle everything — from billing to customer inquiries and payments — online.

Digital makes it easier for their customer communications to be well timed, engaging, and relevant.

More established telcos often have legacy systems that make achieving a good customer experience difficult. Even if an organization wants to overhaul those legacy systems, they may get resistance both internally and from customers who are averse to change.

Even in the face of that resistance, however, established telcos still stand to benefit from digitally transforming their customer communications.

For starters, it’s most likely what the majority of their customers want. Research shows that more than three quarters of customers would rather communicate with brands digitally than anywhere else. Some 60%, meanwhile, report switching contact channels, depending on activity and location.

No matter how resistant some customers and staff might be to change, any organization that fails to meet the needs of the majority of its customers, is asking for trouble.

Embracing digital transformation

With digital transformation a clear imperative, how should organizations in the telco space go about achieving it?

The first port of call should be to map out the customer journey. Doing so, goes a long way in illustrating the importance of moving customer communications to digital. It will also demonstrate the possibility of quick wins for the organization. We’ve got some great insights and guidelines into customer journey mapping here.

Once everyone sees how providing a good customer experience through interactive, relevant, useful communications results in increased customer loyalty and lower expenses, they’re far more likely to get onboard with digital transformation.

With the telco space increasingly crowded and ripe for disruption, that kind of buy-in is truly vital.

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Stergios Saltas

Stergios Saltas

Operations Director, Africa

Stergios Saltas is Operations Director at Striata, with a focus on the Africa region.

With 20 years’ experience in the ICT industry, Stergios is responsible for guiding the strategic direction and daily operations of the African business. During his career at Striata, Stergios mastered a wide range of roles where he oversaw the management and delivery of messaging solutions.

Stergios is dedicated to understanding client needs and executing solutions with precision; ensuring that Striata products meet the highest standards of quality and functionality; while promoting the wellbeing of Striata’s valuable resources.

Read more of Sterg's blog posts here or connect with Stergios on the following social channels: