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Telecommunication, by far, is one of the most exciting and challenging sectors with insatiable need for continuous innovation. Operators cannot afford to rest while serving superior customer experience to their users. Operators have no other option but to innovate and differentiate by creating a win-win situation for both - telco and the customer. In the growing digital era, internet has fundamentally changed the way we live, work and communicates. Nowadays, we do everything over the internet, be it ordering a burger, buying a mobile, chatting with friends, sharing videos or pictures, watching movies… the list is exhaustive.

According to internet statistics 2016, there are 3.26 billion internet users as of December 2015; that's over 40% of the world population.

Hence, it is imperative for CSPs to embrace the digital world. By doing this, CSPs product and services automatically become accessible over multiple devices, and changes the way operators do business and customers consume their services.

According to Total Retail Survey 2016 conducted by PWC, 54% of the respondents buy products online. A study conducted by Forrester Research states 64% of shoppers research their purchases online before buying offline. Another study states - 1 in 3 smartphone users have purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because of information provided in the moment and they needed it. Telco is a segment where both online and offline channels combined help reach a decision. Even if the purchase is not made online, digital platform plays a key role, where customers get to see a comprehensive array of products and services, price comparison tools, customer feedback information, etc. The impact of digital channels on customer buying behavior is eminently demonstrated.

Evidently, it is not about 'clicks' replacing 'bricks'; rather, online channels should be seen as a complementary platform where the customer is able to self service themselves without any human intervention. The digital store front offers customers greater control of their day to day activities like signing up for operator services, plan selection, access to product images and description, check data usage, set data threshold limits, know pricing information, compare products, add goods to cart, make online bill payments, chat with customer care, upload KYC documents and resolve service issues and more.

It is all about empowering the customers with the flexibility on what they want, when they want and how they want to access products and services. However, it is one of those things that are easier said than done. CSPs now have to think differently. They need to invest time and money to design products and services in a manner that could be sold and serviced through innovative digital channels. They need to simplify their processes to deliver an enhanced user experience, enter into a partnership agreement with other domain experts.

Benefits of digital commerce and digital customer management
Customers can access CSPs products and services 24/7 from any location (anywhere, anytime access)
• Higher customer reach
• Raises brand awareness and sales
• Increase business volume without increasing staff or cost
• Higher client retention ratio and satisfaction index
• Personalized and targeted online campaigns based on customer buying behavior
• Low capex
• Low inventory
• Simplify sales process with automated sales assistants
• Bundling of digital services, results in increasing ARPU
• Products and services can be modified quickly based on market feedbacks

CSPs can take a giant leap forward in comparison to their competition as they build an exciting new level of customer experience if they leave their legacy systems behind to embrace the digital platforms, such as Elitecore's digital commerce and customer management platform that is tailored specifically for telco operators with complete selling, marketing, monetization, revenue management, billing and self-care capabilities. With customers at the heart of the development, it offers a completely new way to interact and engage with CSPs - customers and partners, enabling them to monetize their services via every touch point, channel and device.

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