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We live in a very competitive world. Your customers are constantly looking for new products and services, and telecom vendors are falling over each other to capture new and willing customers. There is a small window of opportunity to achieve your launch targets before your competitors follow.

In the telecom sector, new services bring new customers. This is a fact. From cheaper roaming charges to combining mobile services with home broadband entertainment services to the rollout of 5G, the overall aim is to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Make them buy again and again by providing that extra customer experience, your competitors can't.

At IST, you have four tools at your disposal when launching a new service to drive up sales and take a commanding lead over your competitors:
OmiCloud, powered by Genesys:
Provide adequate customer engagement agents so customers can buy your product
Sentiment Analysis:
Understand the customer sentiment of your new service
Enterprise Workload Distribution:
Ensuring your NEW customers take priority through optimized workload distribution
Cisco Interactive Experience:
Consistent in branch capability with online customer experience

Cloud CX platform: Flexibility and scalability for new product launch
This may seem obvious, but how many times have you had to wait to be connected to an agent to buy a new product? The customer is ready to commit to your brand, but the vendor is not ready to commit to the customer. This is very wrong and troubling.

We understand why this is the case: increasing the number of contact center agents is expensive and demand is only temporary. Licence costs alone would heavily weigh on the ongoing costs. The finance team would usually object.

There is a solution. OmniCloud, powered by Genesys, is an IST cloud customer experience platform that has the flexibility to scale up when you need to and scale back down when demand subsides. By operating your digital CX interactions in the cloud, your agents have the flexibility to work remotely, without the need for extra premises costs.

Your customer engagement team can then respond quickly to customer requests to ensure customers are happy. As the entire Digital CX platform is in the cloud, on one platform, the usual bottlenecks of operating in silos are resolved. Your CX engagement team for the launch will have one reporting engine, one routing engine and one agent view of your customer's CX interactions. They will provide consolidated and accurate reports and will vastly reduce the cost involved in managing different silos.

Customer sentiment: What they think about your new launch
It has been a long time coming, but understanding what your customers think about you is vital to your business strategy. More and more mature organizations are starting to take this very seriously. The impact of negative sentiment can be very damaging and the news can now spread across the world in a matter of minutes.

IST's sentiment analysis provides you a cloud-based platform to listen in Arabic and English to what your customers think about you on social media. Using advanced natural language processing across the many different Arabic dialects and the ability to learn new phrases and detect sarcasm, IST's sentiment analysis engine is your tool to listen and act on customer sentiment.

Often, customer sentiment will include additional information, such as what your competitors are offering. For example, "I'm not taking up the upgrade offer from [xxx], because [xxx] offered me this even better deal." This is a vital market research your marketing department would relish.

Customer sentiment across social media is classed into four groups and each are handled differently:
Positive sentiment
Negative sentiment
Neutral sentiment
Question

Positive sentiment
Positive sentiment is used to understand if your current marketing messages are working when launching a new service. It lets you know, through honest customer feedback, what you are doing right and whether you should continue. This form of feedback is much more accurate than consumer focus groups, which is now outdated and expensive.

Negative sentiment
These interactions require action. Your aim is to turn negative into positive as quickly as possible. Negative sentiments are routed directly to the customer engagement agent for them to act upon. Quick responses are key here, as the negative sentiment is still in the customer's mind. When the issue is solved, the customer's sentiment will become positive. This affects your net emotional value which in turn will increase your C-Sat scores and net promoter score.

Neutral sentiment
These customer social interactions generally provide valuable feedback and opinions. Usually, these are comments from customers that have not yet bought into your brand and its values, providing you the opportunity to understand their concerns more.

Questions
Questions are again routed directly to your customer engagement agent. Often, questions are sales opportunities and if dealt with promptly, will lead to a new sale.

Organizing your resources ready for the new launch
Getting the most out of your employees is the aim of all organizations, but achieving this is extremely challenging. Typically, within the telecoms industry, you will have three back office employees to one customer engagement agent. This means, a 500-agent contact center will have 1,500 employees working on customer tasks.

The question is, how efficient these 1,500 employees are. Are they ‘cherry picking' the easiest tasks and leaving harder tasks later? Are they prioritizing tasks based on customer value and do they know what the current goals of the entire organization are?

A solution is available. Enterprise workload distribution (EWD) by Genesys and integrated by IST. EWD is effectively a single brain that is constantly evolving and changing to react to your organization's goals and objectives. This means, when you are launching a new service, you tell EWD to distribute new customer tasks as a priority to a select group of employees that has the skill set required. You can even include employees in branch or in other locations.

This level of employee optimization can increase efficiency by up to 50%, meaning hiring new resources may not be required after all.

Consistent product launch: Online and in-branch
Your customers see your organization as one entity. When they walk into the store, they expect the same message and the same level of interaction. While your experts may only be in a few stores, with Cisco interactive experience platform, they can be in every store.

The Cisco interactive experience platform integrated by IST allows in-branch customers' access to your experts via smart kiosks. This means, customers can complete their applications as if they did it online, further capturing impulse customers.

Conclusion
Launching new products and services is risky. The high costs involved and your competitors watching you closely can make or break your organization. IST can help your organization mitigate many of these risks by ensuring you have the right amount of resources to cater to the new demand, you have the tools to understand what your customers think about your product and what they don't like about it, you can distribute high priority tasks to the right employee with the right skills at the right time, and you are providing a consistent launch both in-branch and online.

Let IST help you with your next product launch. After all, we are the leaders in customer experience technology in the telecoms industry within the Middle East.

By Norman Liu, IST marketing director