Offering reliable services is a must for CSPs, but it is not the only way to generate value. Read on to find out how offering exceptional customer and partner experience can unlock a breadth of revenue opportunities.
There are no two ways about it: CSPs have spent, and are continuing to spend, substantial funds on infrastructure to offer new services to customers and remain competitive. But is that the right approach?
In this blog, Željka Senji, Product Manager at ZIRA will explore whether simply offering certain products and services is sufficient for CSPs to stand out in the current market – or if they need to do more to unlock the full ROI potential of their investment.
Standing out in an increasingly competitive market
In recent years, CSPs made significant CAPEX investments in communications infrastructure needed to keep pace in the current climate.
McKinsey’s analysis suggests that in addition to the €900 billion already spent on fiber networks across 87 countries, at least another €400 billion is needed to connect all households in those same countries. What’s more, between 2023 and 2030, mobile operators are expected to spend $1.5 trillion on their networks, with 92% of operators’ CAPEX set to be focused on 5G network deployment, according to the GSMA.
The roll-out of new services like 5G and fiber has been an inevitability for CSPs. From customer demand to government mandates across the world, there has been an unavoidable pressure to deliver next-generation communications services.
Fiber opportunity: Four deal types for investors to consider
Of course, there is value for CSPs in offering these products. The market is hungry for more data and applications that need greater capacity. But how can CSPs stand out in a market where most competitors have already made similar investments?
The products and services CSPs offer are a given. The value-add lies in the way they deliver these services. This presents a significant and underestimated opportunity to gain a competitive edge.
Outstanding service that is flexible, reliable, and seamless is central to unlocking the full ROI potential of CSP investments. By enhancing the experience of interacting with customers and partners, CSPs have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition.
The foundation of exceptional partner and customer experience is a strong BSS solution and, in particular, a powerful Customer Partner Management (CPM) system. Let’s explore why.
The power of CPM
Offering great service sounds straightforward. However, the complexity of the communications ecosystem has evolved greatly in recent years. That makes delivering new services with outstanding service more of a challenge.
A strong CPM system offers a way to overcome this complexity by combining Partner Management, Customer Management, and Agreement Management into a single resource that manages the entire lifecycle of customers and partners.
A CPM system doesn’t just focus on improving the onboarding process. It also supports ordering, fulfillment, and billing, with integration across the entire ecosystem for a smooth and streamlined service. It gives CSPs the tools needed to document, track, and enhance customer-partner relationships, facilitating consistent and personalized experiences across every touchpoint.
Offering an elevated level of service across every interaction between CSPs, partners, and customers creates an opportunity to reduce churn, drive organic growth, and build customer loyalty. It provides a way to enhance the customer and partner experience and gives CSPs a much-needed opportunity to differentiate.
Finding the hidden ROI opportunities
A strong CPM system not only allows CSPs to elevate their offerings with exceptional service but is also a way to unlock additional revenue opportunities. It offers a way to help CSPs realize the full revenue potential of their CAPEX investments.
However, not all CPM systems are created equal. To fully capitalize on the potential of BSS components to deliver wider ROI benefits, CSPs must ensure their CPM system is capable of the following:
Overcoming complexity in agreements
As CSPs offer a greater number of products and services, the complexity of the ecosystem increases significantly. Managing this is essential to ensuring they can make the most of every opportunity. Onboarding can be a significant stumbling block for new customers if complex agreements cannot be managed.
A strong CPM can generate custom business contracts, managing multi-level hierarchies linked directly to the product catalog for easy ordering and billing integration. This ensures CSPs are not losing out on revenue due to the inability to draw up and manage complex agreements.
Offering self-service and automation
Self-service capabilities streamline customer service and remove barriers to collaboration. In practice, this means offering options for automatic partner registration via self-service or using eligibility rules to activate partners faster.
Customers gravitate towards easy-to-use interfaces. For CSPs, this means that fewer resources are needed to onboard customers after the initial investment in an enhanced BSS solution, reducing the OPEX costs of customer management.
Reducing churn through loyalty management
Selecting a CPM tool with built-in capabilities dedicated to reducing churn is a major advantage for CSPs. This can include trouble ticket management to resolve customer issues quickly for higher satisfaction or incentivizing customers with loyalty schemes to drive retention.
This is an opportunity to increase organic growth through customer satisfaction and avoid eating into hard-earned revenue through waste in customer acquisition costs.
The revenue opportunities for next-generation communication offerings do not only lie in the services themselves, but in the way they are delivered. CSPs that identify this and focus on managing service delivery in a customer-partner-centric way have an opportunity to sharpen their competitive edge.
Along with improving customer-partner service, a strong CPM system offers an opportunity to support CSPs in much-needed diversification efforts. As Jonathan Doran, principal analyst at Omdia, puts it, CSPs are under increasing pressure to “look beyond data and diversify into adjacent digital markets to enable continued growth of their telco consumer businesses.” Recent research from the analyst house estimates that digital consumer services will provide CSPs with a revenue opportunity of around $513 billion by 2027. As a result, finding a way to tap into the benefits of diversification must be a priority.
CPM tools are central to supporting CSPs with bundling multiple services and selling proprietary and partner services in different ways.
CSPs under pressure to diversify to enable consumer business growth
CPM systems can assist CSPs in three key areas:
- Facilitating partnerships with other players: Partnerships play an important role in margin protection for CSPs. With BSS tools that streamline partner management, CSPs open the door to a wider number of collaborators, extending the ways in which they can diversify.
- 360 customer visibility: This allows CSPs to identify opportunities to sell additional services and grow revenues from existing customers.
- Complexity management: With a CPM tool that takes on the heavy lifting of managing complex agreements, it becomes easier to add new services and offer a broader portfolio to customers.
We are already seeing big players like Telefonica offering a broader range of products, including financial and insurance services. As more service providers follow their lead, it becomes imperative for all CSPs to look at the need for diversification across their own portfolios.
Investing in infrastructure alone, although essential, is not enough for CSPs to stand out in the current climate. As they continue to invest in disruptive technologies, CSPs also need to focus on putting in place powerful BSS tools that support partner and customer lifecycle management. This is vital to fully unlocking the revenue possibilities of their investments.
There is a need to differentiate and diversify to remain competitive, and strong CPM capabilities are foundational to achieving this. It’s not just about what CSPs offer but how they offer it that sets them apart. Those who focus on combining their next-gen services with next-level customer service will reap the greatest rewards, squeezing maximum ROI from their portfolio.