Automating customer care – the key to becoming a digital service provider

Automating customer care – the key to becoming a digital service provider


Neven Stipcevic, chief technology officer at Bulb Technologies, examines how customer care automation is critical to enable communication service providers to transform digitally.

A new era for communication service providers

With the rise of 3G, 4G and OTT applications, there has been a significant change over the past five years in the way that people communicate and use mobile telecom services. Like electricity and water, consumers expect their landline, broadband and mobile connection to be ‘always on’. Consumers want their products and services to perform consistency at an impeccable level, whether that’s fast broadband or clean and uninterrupted calls. 

With the rise of these new expectations, communication service providers (CSPs) are coming to the realisation that a whole new business model is critical to the survival and growth in the digital marketplace. To stay ahead of the curve, CSPs have to plot a course towards becoming digital service providers (DSPs). But this shift is creating great debate within the industry, as it is still unclear as to what this term really means and what needs to be done to become more digital. 

Digital services and customer empowerment

According to analyst house Ovum, DSPs provide the technologies and services that bring digital content and services to consumer and enterprise end users. This means, CSPs need to move away from the traditional offering and the network-centric organisation to become customer-centric businesses. Customers now need to be placed at the forefront of everything, as they are the ones who decide whether or not a brand will succeed, depending on the service they get. 

Developing customer experience management is the primary objective for most businesses today and CSPs are no exception. To be able to provide an effective customer experience that is not only extensive, but memorable, CSPs must provide not only the best quality of network, but also a personalised, 24/7 customer service as to be in constant interaction with their customers. 

However, traditional approaches, such as overbuilding the network or supporting expansive engineering, aren’t economically sustainable. CSPs need to innovate and take new personalised services to market whilst dealing with legacy equipment, processes and ever growing data volumes.

The bigger question is how best to go through this transition without disrupting ongoing operations. One of the biggest bottlenecks in a CSP's digital transformation journey is its existing systems and architecture frameworks. Most CSPs are weighed down by legacy infrastructure and proprietary hardware systems, which severely restrict their ability to extract value from the deployment of new software systems. CSPs therefore need to adopt modern methods of application development, architecture frameworks and deployment models in order to transform into software-powered entities. 

Automating customer care for premium customer experience

Operators must automate quality of experience (QoE) assurance to ensure they raise the bar for the broadest range of customers without increasing costs by relying on manual, people-dependent processes. The delivery of software solutions must turn to automation for complex telco service management processes as they cover various aspects of the service lifecycle.

Once CSPs make that leap and provide a software platform that provides customer support process that includes automation and knowledge management across self-care and chatbot channels through automated diagnostics, troubleshooting will help towards problem solving on all types of telecom services. A customer experience management platform that collects, processes and analyses relevant data to generate actionable insights and trigger proactive actions to improve overall customer experience level is regenerating the automation process. By analysing a customer’s data, service providers can also respond more accurately and quickly to their customer’s problems, as the data will enable them to know all the previous interactions they had with this customer, as well as their previous issues, needs and usage.  

In order to fully automate processes, a scalable big data solution that constantly processes data from customer devices, network elements, service delivery platforms and OSS/BSS systems will generate the insights for driving of technical operations, customer care and marketing actions.

Offering a personalised, flawless, omni-channel customer experience is now considered to be part and parcel of the digital experience and this is why businesses are looking towards an eco-system that is automated. Organisations must provide a customer experience that follows the digital trend of automation, in which responses are in real time and effective. This will enable CSPs to provide a positive experience to the customer, which will act as a reinforcement for their image, resulting in a domino effect of success and lead to the path of becoming DSPs. 

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