Today, smartphone users interact with telecom operators across multiple touch points for discovering offerings, signing up for services, and requesting support for ending a contract. This takes on average 2.2 attempts and 4.1 days to successfully complete an interaction. This high customer effort impacts negatively on satisfaction levels.
On the other hand, digitally leading brands such offer the minimal effort interaction that consumers prefer. Digital leaders like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google are providing consumers with a better digital experience, both in terms of what they offer and in what they simplify and rationalize. Smartphone users now expect the same hassle-free, one-click digital experience from telecom operators.
According to a recent report from Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson, this is setting consumer expectations for interactions with companies, including telecom service providers. The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics is also set to further disrupt the way consumers interact with companies. Consumers will expect telecom service providers to build more meaningful relationships and improve the customer experience through technology.
Ericsson is of the view that mobile service providers can leapfrog to a zero-touch customer experience by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics. The company asserts that with the help of AI, telecom service providers could use data from earlier interactions and consumer behaviour to predict what consumers need before they even contact them for support.
In its report, Ericsson emphasises that while users have grown accustomed to typing, clicking and swiping on devices, but the new zero-touch methods are emerging based on voice, gestures, and augmented or virtual reality. For example, one in ten households in the US already has a voice-enabled home assistant device such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. As voice assistants become more prominent in consumers' everyday lives, they will expect integration of support interactions over those platforms too.
“Consumer's believe telecom service providers treat touch points like isolated interactions. Siloed focus means they miss the bigger picture. Interestingly, telecom service providers could leapfrog one-click and move from multiple-click to zero-touch by deploying future technologies in their customer offerings. The zero-touch customer experience report shows that zero-touch experiences are now an expectation of their customers,” said Pernilla Jonsson, Head of Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab.