CSPs are hard-pressed to meet shifting customer expectations while adding value that differentiates them in a competitive market. ZIRA’s Product Manager, Mirza Mujanović, examines how they can do so easily and cost-effectively.
One of the biggest challenges for CSPs is shifting customer expectations. What were once unique selling points, such as flexibility, multiple billing models, and accuracy, are now considered basic requirements by customers. At the same time, delivering these elements to customers is becoming more and more challenging, mainly due to the growing complexity of the available services.
CSPs need to be able to meet customer demand easily and cost-effectively, so that they can focus on new ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. In this blog, ZIRA’s Product Manager, Mirza Mujanović, examines how that is possible.
Walking the tightrope of customer expectations
The importance of customer satisfaction cannot be overstated for CSPs looking to protect their bottom line. Nothing is holding unhappy customers back from taking their business elsewhere: recent research has found that one-third of customers are considering switching providers. With churn rates at such a high, CSPs cannot afford to deliver a subpar customer experience.
But that is, of course, easier said than done. Some needs simply have to be met and are rarely seen as a value-add. Customers expect billing or fulfilment accuracy in the same way they expect a kettle to boil water or a coffee shop to sell coffee. But these “basic” requirements are anything but: achieving them requires a high level of complexity behind the scenes. And it’s only getting more difficult.
There are three main reasons why it is harder for CSPs to meet basic expectations:
- CSPs offer more services than before, each with their distinct IT requirements (traditional services, digital services, IoT, roaming). These, in turn, are also often bundled, posing additional challenges.
- From retail, wholesale, B2B2X, and more, selling models have increased in complexity by frequently involving multiple partners with different roles.
- Technological advancements, such as network slicing, contribute to the complexity, making billing and service delivery more challenging.
Telco switching behavior: Rising willingness to churn highlights importance of customer satisfaction
To address the consequent challenges, Business Support Systems (BSS) must play a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations.
However, this pressure to constantly evolve is difficult to sustain for most BSS services. For instance, as the scope for multi-play telecom bundles increases, BSS complexity must evolve to match it. As a result, some operators choose to simplify their portfolios to manage expectations more efficiently, for example by avoiding bundling mobile with fixed services. Flexibility is often sacrificed, with operators opting for streamlined ordering channels or limiting customization options to handle the intricacies more effectively.
From manual to modern
Using a fit-for-purpose, agile BSS solution can be transformative in every business domain. Let’s take the example of order management, which is known for its complexity as it directly relates to the ecosystem evolution described above.
Imagine a scenario where CSP A still relies on its outdated, first-generation BSS while CSP B has migrated its business onto a friction-free platform.
Research by McKinsey shows that improving customer satisfaction by just 1% can lead to a revenue increase as high as 15% – an attractive figure that should inspire CSPs. It is time to consider the impact that a modern order management solution can have not just on the customer’s experiences, but consequently, on the business’ financial future.
Learn more about ZIRA Order Management
Beyond the basics
The role of an Order Management product extends beyond operational efficiency. With the “basics” taken care of, CSPs can redirect their focus towards delivering additional services and new omnichannel experiences that go above and beyond.
An omnichannel experience, enabled by Order Management tools, delivers three distinct advantages:
- One-touch experience: streamlining the customer journey by enabling them to order any service or product through any channel while receiving accurate and consistent information across all touchpoints.
- Flexibility to match evolving market demands: the focus can extend to supporting product offerings, bundling services, and ensuring a swift time-to-market for new solutions.
- Exceed customer expectations: with offers tailored precisely to individual needs.
A solution like ZIRA’s Unified Order Management (UOM) enables all the above without increasing the strain on resources. The solution easily integrates with legacy systems and existing CRM to liberate CSPs from the risk of a total digital overturn. The freedom of mind achieved by this convergence allows them to redirect their focus to other critical areas. This shift towards a more proactive approach, rather than troubleshooting issues stemming from manual workarounds and information kept in individual Excel sheets, underscores the transformative impact of prioritizing new services and omnichannel experiences in the dynamic landscape of service provision.
The primary focus for CSPs should be to initially fulfill the basic expectations of their customers. Once this foundational step is accomplished, the next imperative is to explore avenues for delivering additional value.
By aligning with a BSS partner that is innovation-centric, CSPs can guarantee their capacity to adapt to shifting expectations and stay agile in a dynamic telecommunications landscape.
ZIRA actively participates in the future of Order Management through its efforts to extend the TM Forum ODA and Open APIs adoptions. This contribution is instrumental for CSPs striving to not only meet but exceed customer expectations. The incorporation of innovative practices, such as those advocated by ZIRA, enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of Order Management, allowing CSPs to go above and beyond for their partners and customers. Read more about our commitment here.