When the competitive landscape shifts, companies either adapt, or they go out of business. Few industries have seen landscape shifts like the telecommunications industry.
In 1997, Netflix was born. Nobody could have imagined, except maybe Reed Hastings, that the DVD movie rental business would one day lead the cord cutting revolution, hitting telcoms right where it hurts. Today, we are seeing a dramatic acceleration of people dropping their TV subscriptions. According to eMarketer, 50 million people will have dropped the traditional subscription model by 2021, “almost 10 million more than researchers estimated for 2021 just last year.”
In this type of environment, keeping valuable customers satisfied is essential to staying competitive. The cost of acquiring a net new customer is far more expensive than simply keeping the customers you have happy.
The entire notion of customer service has changed. The desire for self-service is on the rise and the comfort-level with chatbots and automation has reached the mainstream. To maintain competitiveness going forward, leading telcos are acting, applying lessons learned from their birth in the cloud competition and shifting from a voice-driven to digital-driven support model.
Using AI to Power Your People
An automation-first customer service strategy can save your customer service organization. AI technology has advanced greatly, and for CX teams and customers, AI chatbots have leapt from answering basic questions to conversational platforms that can handle complex inquiries by anticipating the customer’s question and proactively offering related topics to reduce customer effort. When today’s AI chatbots do not have an answer to a customer’s question they can search an existing knowledge base and provide relevant articles within the chat interface to promote self-service.
At a time when competition means more questions, leaving customers on hold when they could easily choose two or three or five competing services is not an option. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 63% of customers will leave a company after just one poor experience, and almost two-thirds will no longer wait more than two minutes for assistance.
An automation-first strategy that uses conversational AI fundamentally flips the well intentioned, but expensive and inflexible, agent-first strategy on its head.
Conversational AI becomes the frontline of customer communications, solving most inquiries, easing the burden on existing staff to focus on the most important valuable customers and complex inquiries.
Be careful! Not all chatbots are created equal. Some are part of large CRM platforms, and have little behind them in the way of features today or on the roadmap. However, a leading edge, purpose-built, automation-first AI chatbot will come with a level of automation, analytics, language capabilities, and flexibility that are required to fully leverage automation across the CX organization. It pays to work with a specialist!
A leading automation-first AI chatbot solution should be able to deliver results fast,
30 days to deflect 30% of inquiries
Up to 98% reduction of customer wait time
With the right partner, an automation first strategy improves satisfaction across the board. Personalized customer service automation lets every customer feel special, giving agents time to prioritize complex, high-value inquiries that require a human touch. This is a much more rewarding experience for both customers and for agents.
Telus: Ready to meet this moment
Those utilizing an automation first strategy, like Telus, were ready to meet this moment.
“Many service providers are experiencing a steep rise in demand for digital services as brands seek to meet their customers’ rapidly growing and evolving expectations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its profound ripple effects across industries. TELUS International has boosted its digital capabilities with the development of innovation labs, Cloud Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions, and an intelligent bot platform while also offering value-added services beyond technology, such as consulting services, customer journey mapping and process implementation and improvement that together enable the company to better serve its clients,” said Skand Bhargava, Practice Director, Everest Group.
According to Everest Group, TELUS “has managed to perform better than their peers across both new-age and traditional KPIs, been able to develop more sophisticated digital solutions and have garnered greater success in implementation across their client base.”
Jeff Puritt, President and CEO, TELUS International commented, “These accolades also recognize the significant progress we have made on our digital transformation journey, leveraging innovative next-gen technologies and our remarkable organizational agility to constantly realign to market demand, and evolving consumer sentiment and behaviour to always provide value at every stage of the customer journey and client lifecycle.”
Next-Level CX Automation: Revenue Generation & Improving Operations
Today’s leading-edge telecoms are taking CX to the next level by leveraging the power of an automation first customer service strategy and extending it to revenue-generation and operational efficiency use cases. Because of the breadth of their businesses and service offerings, telecoms are ideally positioned to automate upselling and cross-selling. Revenue-generating opportunities that can be automated include:
- Upgrade devices and plans
- Top-up data
- Make account payments
- Long-distance packages
- Pay Per View channel purchases
- Internet/TV/landline packages
Today’s digital-first CX teams are generating millions of dollars in revenue by leveraging conversational AI powered chatbots.
In addition to revenue generation, automation is becoming an increasingly important part of operational efficiency. For example, have you called about spotty home wifi performance during COVID-19? Telecoms who have transitioned to a digital-first customer service model no longer need to send a technician to your location. Instead, they can automate the testing of your router using simple voice commands. No expensive truck roll required, the customer leverages self-service to fix their problem quickly, and conveniently. Gone are days of spotty service and the dreaded four-hour window to wait for the service call.
Today’s telecom leaders are leveraging automation across their business, including their customer service organization. The benefits are immediate and profound.
Conversational AI chatbots can reduce agent call volume by up to 80%, increasing CSAT and the agents job satisfaction. That alone is a win-win. But wait, there is more.