The 3 Pillars of Stellar Service Provider Customer Experience

Would you be surprised to learn that recent studies show 89 percent of companies today compete primarily on customer experience, more than doubling since 2010?

Digital service providers who meet subscribers' needs for frictionless, personalized digital experiences perform 120 percent better in the market than those who do not, according to Watermark's CX ROI Study. Those same leaders have also cut costs by up to 25 percent and have 14 percent higher revenue growth, per McKinsey research.

Why? Because customers who have better experiences are more likely to stay with their service providers and recommend them to others. Delivering a better customer experience translates directly into better business results. The proof is in the numbers, and those are some pretty bold numbers at that.

So what exactly are the market leaders in customer experience doing differently? Research suggests there are three common pillars of success for digital service providers leading the way on customer experience:

First, they're creating a convergence culture, where all systems and processes work together to create a great customer experience. By eliminating organizational and system silos, service providers gain a streamlined, holistic, real-time view of what's happening with customers that can help in determining the next best action to take. With the ability to connect domains and automate actions in the moments that matter, these service providers can deliver the right service at the right time through the right channel.

Second, they're adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics. In customer care, AI can power chatbots or virtual assistants to address requests for support and enhance self-care activities. AI improves real-time analysis of customer data to instantaneously identify and predict satisfaction levels—critical to anticipating and reacting to customer needs. It can also be used to automate the resolution of network and service issues and even prevent them from happening in the first place 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.

Third, customer experience leaders are 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 service providers to deliver meaningful, hyper-personalized messages and offers that improve overall satisfaction scores, reduce churn, and generate new revenue opportunities.

Optimizing Business Results with Better Customer Experience

Following these three simple steps, service providers can begin optimizing their customer experience solutions in a way that drives business results.

There are plenty of ways companies can take action, including by simplifying and streamlining siloed customer care applications by adopting a common service platform. This allows them to define one process for any device and any type of customer, greatly reducing training time and costs for call center agents and technicians.

Another way to change course might be to use AI and advanced analytics to deliver real-time, personalized offers aimed at activating sleeping subscribers in their pre-paid customer base and increasing revenue per user significantly.

By gaining centralized visibility into customer interactions across customer care, marketing, operations, and mobile payments, companies can improve satisfaction scores in real time and determine root causes of service degradations faster than ever before, leading to a major reduction in complaints.

Clearly, there's an opportunity for digital service providers to use customer experience to their considerable business advantage. In fact, many companies are already investing in the tools to bring their customer experience and overall business to the next level. It's time to face the numbers and recognize the significant impact customer satisfaction has on your business' bottom line.

Puneet Dhar is head of product management for Nokia's Customer Care solutions. He has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunication software industry. In various R&D and product leadership roles, Dhar has helped Nokia customers achieve operational excellence in the areas of network management, device management, analytics, and artificial intelligence.