Posted: July 1st, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: News | Tags: Comptel, customer experience, CXO Study, Operation Nexterday, Vanson Bourne | Comments Off on New Comptel Telco CXO Study: When Consumers Talk, Do Operators Listen?
To reach their customers, digital and communications services providers need to be able to speak the language of today’s digitally savvy consumers, or “Generation Cloud.” Our new study, released earlier this week, suggests that communications between both parties – mobile operators and their customers – could stand to further improve to the benefit of an enhanced digital buying experience.
Comptel commissioned independent research house Vanson Bourne to survey marketing and technology executives at 50 communications and mobile operators across APAC, EMEA and Latin America. Respondents were asked for their perspectives on sales, marketing and technology investment strategies in the era of Generation Cloud.
According to the results, 70 percent of CMOs and CTO/CIOs are investing in improved customer service capabilities, while 68 percent are focusing on expanding digital service offerings this year. By pointing to these two areas of investment, mobile operators are recognising the rapid change in the way end users – both individuals and businesses – buy, the type of digital services these buyers want, and how they prefer to be served.
Generation Cloud, after all, knows it has all the power in the buyer/seller relationship. These digital natives are eager to research, compare and shop around for highly personalised services that meet their terms.
However, mobile operators also recognise that their current ways of working limit how effectively they can reach and intrigue increasingly demanding consumers. As the survey revealed, some operators (22 percent) feel they lack an adequate understanding of their potential customers, and the wide majority (84 percent) feels current sales models have become irrelevant in a time when customers want personalised, instantaneous offers.
In short, mobile operators aren’t necessarily confident that the way they communicate and serve their customers actually addresses buyers’ most pressing needs. The solution is to shift toward the type of sales, marketing and service playbook we advocate in our book, Operation Nexterday – one that puts the customer at the centre of a new, flexible and intelligent service experience.
It was encouraging, then, to see the majority of respondents agree that investing in next-generation technology is a top priority. One such technology is virtualised and cloud-based infrastructure (cited by 88 percent of respondents), which empower digital and communications service providers with the optimised network architecture they need to bring new and creative services to market faster.
Machine learning and process automation was another technology priority for 84 percent of survey respondents, which is a positive sign that telco CXOs see the analytical value these capabilities provide. With intelligent fast data, operators will be able to draw instant insight from the mountains of data they collect from customers, and immediately refine, enhance and act on that information with in-the-moment personalised offers. Each digital moment is a monetisation opportunity, and operators merely need the technology to maximise each one.
Far from dwelling on telco shortcomings, the survey ultimately underscored that digital and communications services providers know what it will take to succeed in this new market. The question is, do operators have the tools, flexibility and creativity to make the right moves faster than their competitors?
Our 2015 Telco Executive Survey includes additional insights on operator investments and sales and marketing strategies. Download the full study to learn more.
Posted: April 22nd, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: News | Tags: customer experience, Generation Cloud, Operation Nexterday | Comments Off on Sprint’s ‘Direct 2 You’ Service Tailor-Made for Generation Cloud
From the milkmen who delivered dairy in the early 1900s, to the earliest pizza delivery services of the 1960s, to the shipments of furniture, mail and much more straight to your door, home delivery is nothing new to consumers.
However, sometimes taking a proven concept and applying it with a new context is all it takes to create fresh buzz.
That’s what U.S. mobile operator Sprint hopes to do with its new Direct 2 You service. Announced last week, Direct 2 You aims to “bring the store experience” to customers, who buy or upgrade their Sprint mobile phones, according to the company.
A Sprint customer service specialist – driving a Sprint-branded van, of course – will hand-deliver the new phone wherever the customer wants, whether at home, the workplace or even the local Starbucks. Once on-site, the Sprint specialist can help the customer set up the new device, transfer files and data from an old phone, initiate backups and walk through features.
Sprint also offers to buy your old phone as part of its trade-in program, and representatives will be able to value the old device on the spot during the in-person visit, the company said.
At the same time, customers won’t be pressured into buying other Sprint services. In comments to The Verge, Sprint vice president Rod Millar claims its representatives will not be pursuing upsells during their visits, instead focusing solely on ensuring customers are “happy and delighted.”
Though the entire program may seem old-fashioned at first glance, Sprint is actually demonstrating its savvy regarding modern consumer demands. This personal touch is the exact right approach for operators trying to appeal to Generation Cloud, who, as we explain in our new book Operation Nexterday, prefer to shop on their own terms.
Our recent survey of consumer digital buying preferences reveal 65 percent prefer to purchase digital content and services at their convenience, while 60 percent are influenced to buy by tailored recommendations from their operators.
Sprint’s home delivery service addresses several of these preferences. Customers are empowered to set the terms of their delivery and aren’t pressured to buy add-ons they don’t want. Our survey made it clear that consumers today are highly resistant to any service experiences that feel forced, and that they won’t hesitate to switch away from digital and communications service providers they feel are too aggressive with offers.
A personal support experience also matches customers’ desire for tailored service. Best of all, the entire service makes it faster and easier for consumers to purchase the latest technology. They know exactly when and where their new phone will arrive, and if Sprint is able to meet its delivery times consistently, that should limit customer frustration and increase their speed-to-satisfaction.
Direct 2 You is a step in the right direction for Sprint, which is showing it won’t stand idly by as its closest competitors try to win market share through other customer-first service offerings. And the program is a prime example of the type of creative thinking other operators will need to embrace if they hope to win customers’ hearts and minds—and wallets—in the era of Generation Cloud.
Learn more about the factors influencing Generation Cloud’s purchasing habits—and the strategies operators must embrace to succeed—in our new book, Operation Nexterday.
Posted: March 5th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Events | Tags: big data, customer experience, LTE, mobile, Mobile World Congress | Comments Off on Mobile World Congress Recap: 3 Key Takeaways on the Future of Mobile Communications
Comptel is in the trenches in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, where the theme this year is all about living on the “Edge of Innovation.” Tens of thousands of attendees are here, all striving to explore how evolving mobile communications technology is changing the way we live, work and play.
We made our mark on MWC by launching our book Operation Nexterday at a special launch party Monday evening, and we were thrilled to share our game plan for the future of digital communications with a large crowd that turned out for drinks, tapas, and free copies of the book!
Some of the communications industry’s leading innovators and visionaries are in attendance for MWC, which is a big benefit to attendees who want to get a sense for how the industry is changing and where it is headed in the coming months and years. Here are three key takeaways we gathered from conference keynotes and sessions we attended:
1. Mobile Consumers Need Digital Confidence
In the event’s opening keynote on Monday morning, the chief executives from four of the world’s top operators – Telefónica, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telenor – shared their thoughts on how mobile will need to evolve to meet the demands of the future.
Panellist César Alierta, executive chairman and CEO of Telefónica, explained that nearly 43 percent of the world’s population – around 3 billion people – are connected to the Internet, and 90 percent of the world’s population is expected to have a mobile phone by 2020!
Each of these consumers will need to have “digital confidence,” or better control over their digital lives and privacy, explained Alierta. The industry will also need to support up to 50 billion new connected devices that make up the Internet of Things and the ‘industrial Internet.’
As a result, operators will need to embrace efficiencies that will enable millions of new customers to connect to the Internet and engage with new digital services. Alierta identified network quality, affordability and service attractiveness as potential areas of improvement for operators who anticipate a surge of new consumers.
2. Data Drives Context, Which Drives Mobile Opportunity
As we have discussed before, targeted marketing is one effective way to reach the digitally savvy Generation Cloud – but only 4 percent of enterprises have the resources, budget and promise to deliver on context and better serve customers, according to Andrew Harrison of Dixons Carphone. Harrison was one of eight panellists in a conference session that explored how businesses could gain the context needed to deliver engaging, personalised content to the right customer at the right time.
Panellist Peter Fitzgerald of Google UK described why context is so critical to the buying experience. Mobile means purchase opportunities arise regardless of location and situation, whether a consumer is at work, home or even sitting on a train checking their phone. Forty-two percent of consumers use their phone in a retail store to compare prices for a product they see on the shelf – a practice known as “showrooming” – but savvy retailers are taking the opportunity to reach these connected buyers by pushing relevant, in-the-moment offers to their devices right in the store, said Fitzgerald.
Businesses today can leverage contextual data to propel instantaneous, personalised offers, and mobile devices are the perfect starting point to find that data. Smartphones and tablets are at the centre of our digital worlds, and as a result, they’re an ideal resource for contextual consumer data.
3. It’s Mobile’s Moment. How Will You Connect Consumers?
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products at Google, described Google’s efforts to enable Internet connectivity for consumers around the world. As Pichai explained, consumers in the developed and emerging world may take connectivity for granted, but 4 billion people around the world currently lack access to the Internet.
Google’s efforts to expand connectivity include bringing Google Fibre to urban areas in Africa, and its Project Loon initiative, which uses a network of high-altitude balloons traveling in the Earth’s stratosphere to bring LTE speeds to rural areas around the world. Pichai also discussed the drone company Titan, a recent Google acquisition that designs lightweight solar-powered airplanes which act as “floating cell phone towers,” bringing connectivity to consumers below.
Pichai added that Google will work with operators to build services to deliver to newly connected consumers, but when asked how Google could justify its lofty infrastructure investments, he explained that “it’s mobile’s moment right now.” The bottom line? In the age of affordable connected devices, operators need to follow Google’s lead and embrace innovative ways of reimagining service infrastructure. Better-connected consumers present bigger business opportunities for the savvy service providers who can innovate in the new era of Generation Cloud.
Posted: February 27th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: digital buying experience, Generation Cloud, Nexterday | 3 Comments »
Today’s digital natives are setting a new standard for digital and communications service delivery. They make up “Generation Cloud,” characterised as independent, preferring to shop on their own terms, among a variety of options, and to make purchasing decisions in real time. They value personalisation and tailored recommendations over traditional marketing and sales tactics. And they’re primarily mobile, on-demand buyers, with 65 percent increasingly shopping on mobile devices versus at brick-and-mortar stores.
Naturally, the majority of users in today’s post-digital era will gravitate toward operators that recognize these values. The question, then, is how can operators create a digital buying experience rooted in those values? In January 2015, Comptel conducted a global consumer survey to shed some light on this.
Based on our findings, to win over Generation Cloud, operators need to act like less of a service provider, and more like a social companion. Sixty-five percent of consumers said they look to social circles to influence their buying decisions, and when youthink about the way we interact with our social circles, a very telling theme emerges. Our social interactions are incredibly personal and unique from person to person. Operators, take note.
Among social circles, we’re most strongly influenced by recommendations from others that truly know us, and our personalwants and needs. The way operators interact with their customers should be no different, and the numbers support that. Sixty percent reported that their buying decisions are directly influenced by tailored recommendations from their operators, and 62 percent are more likely to prefer an operator that makes personalised and relevant product recommendations as opposed to those that target them through mass promotions.
One example of how operators can offer this level of personalisation is the way they charge for data usage. We found that customers were fairly split on their pricing preferences across data plans, with about a third wanting to be billed by the amount of data used, while nearly the same number prefer pricing plans that are based on the amount of time spent using data. About a quarter would like to be billed on specific apps they use, and 10 percent think a combination of all three would be best.
Operators should be offering these options – recommending them, in fact – before customers even have a chance to ask for them, which means transforming business models to operate in Nexterday – the day after tomorrow.
Customers are independent – they don’t need an operator to tell them what to do. They do need an operator to give options. Not just any options, and especially not generalised or impersonal options, but ones that are the right fit for them as individuals. Consumers crave personalisation to guide their decision-making, and if operators are to get ahead (and stay ahead), they must put the power of dictating the buying experience in the hands of the consumer.
Download the complete findings of our 2015 global consumer research here:
Posted: February 25th, 2015 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: Comptel, customer experience, Mobile World Congress, Operation Nexterday | 2 Comments »
Life is full of digital moments. Comptel strongly believes that digital and communications service providers who perfect these moments have a unique opportunity to rise above the competition and thrive today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow – namely, Nexterday. In fact, we wrote a book on it.
In Operation Nexterday, we describe the perfect storm currently changing the way operators serve customers and drive revenue, securing their future in the digital and communications industry. It all starts with Generation Cloud, digitally savvy group of consumers and businesses who are setting a new standard for service in today’s highly connected digital world.
These buyers make real-time purchasing decisions and shop on their own terms. They don’t want to play by the old rules of engagement, and if your products and services are too restrictive or slow for their needs, they won’t hesitate to switch to one of your competitors.
The numbers back this up – a recent consumer survey we conducted in January 2015 revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers prefer to purchase digital content when and how it is convenient for them.
And these pressures aren’t restricted to B2C buyers. As our book explains, the trends of hyper-personalised marketing, multi-channel purchasing and instant gratification extend to B2B buyers as well. Instead of separating B2C and B2B channels, we need to start thinking of a unified business-to-human approach.
How do operators adapt to this new landscape?
By embracing Operation Nexterday to help rewrite your playbooks for approaching sales, marketing, technology and service in the age of Generation Cloud consumers and prosumers. Our book describes those who are pioneering the market, offers industry research and features third-party expert insight, offering the strategies you need to transform your business. More specifically, it includes:
- Examples from operators like T-Mobile and Telefonica, who are successfully turning the industry on its head with new service, sales and marketing, and technology strategies
- Research and insights from leading industry voices such as Fredrik Jungermann of tefficient, Dr. Mark Mortensen and Anil Rao of Analysys Mason, and Nancee Ruzicka of ICT Intuition
- Thoughts on transformation through strategic innovation from Professor Neo Boon Siong, Chairman of the Nanyang Executive Education and former Dean of the Nanyang Business School at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University
Operation Nexterday, which will be available in hard and soft copies, will be officially released at a special launch party on Monday, 2 March at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The party will be held at 5 p.m. CET at our stand, #5G40. We invite you to join us to pick up a copy of the book and learn more about our suggested framework for guiding operators’ future in the digital and communications industry.
If you are not attending Mobile World Congress but would like a hard or digital copy of Operation Nexterday, please contact our team at email@example.com.
We urge all like-minded telco professionals and businesses to join the Operation Nexterday movement by getting the book and spreading the word, which you can do with the #operationnexterday Twitter hashtag.
Posted: December 5th, 2014 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: News | Tags: automation, Comptel Fulfillment, fulfillment, order management, Telenor Norway | Comments Off on Comptel Deepens the Telenor Customer Relationship with a New Fulfillment Solution and Services Deal
Comptel today announced a major order from Telenor in Norway. The four-year contract is a continuation of the long relationship between the companies. The deal amounting to eight million euros comprises Comptel Fulfillment software licenses and services.
The Comptel Fulfillment suite of products is specifically targeted to reduce the time it takes from the first customer contact until the billable service is delivered. If the network is pre-built, which often is the case for modern DSL and FTTx networks, service delivery can be done in a matter of seconds instead of hours and days.
Automation Is the Key
Comptel Fulfillment offers a combination of automated features, which can reduce most, if not all, of the back-office work, leaving only the field work as manual:
Order Management automates the process of capturing order information and distributing the tasks to systems and involved personnel.
Catalog automates the decomposition of products and services into reusable tasks for fast creation and delivery.
Resource Inventory and Number Management automate the allocation of the required resources, such as network device ports and IP addresses.
Activation automates the interaction with the network, pushing commands to network elements and service delivery platforms.
“We are really pleased to continue our customer relationship with Telenor in Norway. It is a privilege to be part of the Telenor Norway fulfillment transformation project for their fixed network,” said Juhani Hintikka, president and CEO, Comptel.
“Comptel Fulfillment has an important role in our long-term efforts to modernise and simplify products, processes and IT systems,” says Terje Foyn Johannessen, director of telephony & Internet, Telenor Norway. “We aim to significantly reduce operational expenditure and offer our customers improved experience with better quality and faster time-to-market for new services.”
Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: Ari Vänttinen | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: APAC, big data, customer experience, Events, LOOP14 | Comments Off on How Telcos are Planning to Revolutionise Customer Experience in 2015
Prior to our LOOP14 APAC conference, taking place this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we had the chance to survey a number of our communications service provider (CSP) attendees about what’s on the horizon for telecommunications in 2015. Last year, there was growing awareness about how marketing and sales can be improved through Big Data initiatives, but only 16 percent of CSPs surveyed said that they had launched a Big Data project.
This year, there’s a big focus on how to ensure that every bit of data is collected, processed and put to use for the business, most of all, to build new kinds of consumer experiences. Every CSP surveyed recognised that the consumer buying experience will play a greater role in CSPs’ service creation and delivery processes – so in order to improve time-to-market and innovate and target personalised service campaigns in real time, CSPs first have to leverage the organisation’s data.
How are they planning to do it?
Processing Every Bit of Data
As we described in our recent blog post about the need for a data refinery, CSPs are increasingly focusing on ways to make the most out of all of the network, subscriber and other data flowing into their IT systems. Unsurprisingly, our survey revealed that one big focus in the APAC region is Big Data and analytics.
A vast majority (82 percent) of respondents said that Big Data and analytics play a “moderate” or “large role in company operations. Big Data analytics has become a cornerstone in personalising the experience for consumers – 55 percent of respondents said that they were planning to use Big Data analytics to improve product and service sales with targeted marketing.
What’s keeping CSPs from doing it? More than a third (36 percent) of respondents said that they only have a limited internal understanding of how to use Big Data analytics.
This all links back to the broader effect to improve the customer experience. When respondents were asked about consumer journeys:
- 100 percent said that interacting with customers in the right way at the right time and in the right context will help create a frictionless experience.
- 100 percent said that their organisation is consistently working towards improving customers’ journeys.
- 91 percent said that their business depends on the ability to know and understand customers at an individual level
- 82 percent said that customer service is more important than the latest handset or network technology for customer retention.
- 73 percent said that Big Data analytics are vital for prompting responses to customers at ‘moments of truth’ in their journeys.
Big Data and the Customer Journey
CSPs are thinking about breaking out of “telecommunications” as we know it. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said that their businesses were becoming diversified service providers by moving into adjacent markets through expansion, acquisitions, joint ventures and equity investments.
The sample size for the LOOP14 APAC conference was by no means the size of the worldwide telecommunications industry, but the findings still offer valuable insight for CSPs. It’s clear the telecommunications industry is heading in a direction where the customer takes front and centre of all initiatives. The real question becomes whether or not CSPs have the knowledge and technology to leverage the data they need to do it.
Want to see the full findings of our LOOP14 APAC Survey? Download the full report.