There is no doubt that the internet-enabled ‘smart’ age has transformed consumer behaviour. With a multitude of options available to them, as many as 70% of Indian consumers do not use products to differentiate between brands. In this context, offering a great consumer experience (CX) is key to a modern brand success.
In telecom, users have multiple opportunities to interact with the operator. It varies from discovering offerings to requesting support for ending a contract. However, Ericsson IndustryLab’s figures indicate that an average consumer takes 2.2 attempts and 4.1 days to successfully complete an interaction.
More than half of the consumers surveyed in the report expect telecom service providers to match the sleek, feedback driven experiences of leading digital brands. Telecos should look to implement CX strategies where there is least effort on the consumer’s part. This could include AI and analytics powered, ‘zero touch’ methods.
AI and Other Things..
Using AI, mobile service providers could use data from earlier interactions. This can help predict what the consumer wants and offer a more personalised experience. For instance, network activity and content usage data would provide telcos with an opportunity to offer packages tailored to individual subscribers.
In India where data reliability is low, AI could help consumers with special data packs when they are close to running out. At the front-end, AI could be deployed as automated chatbots in service providers’ apps. These assistants could then be integrated with smart devices such as Amazon’s Alexa to allow consumers to interface through voice.
Finding the Right Balance..
The perfect consumer experience would mean a synergy between AI and human operators. For instance, a promotion or offer could be detailed by an AI, while the bargaining aspect could be automatically routed to a human.
Another significant area for AI application is self-healing networks. Intelligent precision algorithms would be able to optimise operation and maintenance, creating a network that could automatically detect and handle technical issues. Such networks could potentially negate the need to contact customer care.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) set to place greater stress on existing infrastructure and the increasing focus on software-based networks in telecom, AI-assisted networks may have a vital role to play in delivering a superlative consumer experience. Airtel has already partnered with Korea’s SK Telecom to explore this opportunity.
Several private players have set up research centres focusing on AI applications. The government’s National Digital Communications Policy indicates strong regulatory support. It will be exciting to see how artificial intelligence – as opposed to a human touch – improves the customer experience.