By Jennifer Kyriakakis, Founder & VP Marketing, MATRIXX Software
The on-demand economy has created a paradigm shift, one where customer relationships equal currency.
Digital upstarts have taken the lead in delivering real-time interactions and highly-targeted, personalised engagement.
For this reason, it’s no longer enough for a mobile operator to offer a lightweight UX makeover that doesn’t deliver realtime value to the end user.
There is no question that operators have greater complexities to solve as they manage hundreds of thousands of transactions daily, yet for the customer, these issues take a backseat to the level of timely and highly personalised experiences they have come to expect.
We recently polled mobile users across the UK and the US and discovered a full three-quarters of all respondents identified Amazon as their favourite mobile app.
What’s more, they would switch to Amazon if the company offered mobile services.
It isn’t just Amazon – respondents identified several leading digital brands, including Netflix, PayPal and eBay, as companies they would trust as their mobile carrier.
In fact, most customers would switch to any mobile carrier if it could provide them the same experience they get from their favourite brand.
One of the biggest questions for telcos to understand is why.
What are the unique characteristics of these digital-first giants that resonate most with customers?
What is it customers love, and how can telcos learn from their success?
The most prominent reply from customers is that they want to be charged fairly.
Over 75 percent cited transparency in price, with no hidden fees or charges, as something they would like to see their current telco providers adopt from their favourite digital brand.
Consider the typical Uber or Netflix experience, where the customer knows exactly what they are being charged, is told up front and must commit before moving forward.
Not surprisingly, when given that level of insight, customers rarely decline charges – reinforcing the idea that people equate insight with value.
Another two-thirds highlighted how easy the service should be to use.
Consumers have come to expect a simple and immediate sign up process, and a clear user experience along every touch point.
Mobile operators are already experimenting with ways they can sign customers up for mobile services directly through their handset or favourite social platform, never requiring an in person visit to a store or kiosk.
Finally, half of all respondents called out greater personalisation and instant access to services as additional reasons they most love their favourite apps.
Consumers have come to expect a high level of individualised, targeted engagement on their personal devices – everything from news that is curated to their personal taste, to videos and content funnelled through their social feeds, to real-time, geo-located offers and notifications.
The more personalised the offer, the greater chance it has of being acknowledged and accepted, because consumers crave the familiar.
What's more, consumers also expect instant access to their data and information that affects their service or account.
In a digital age showing phone usage data that hasn't been updated in 48 hours is akin to delivering important news via telegram.
There is real value for telcos in addressing customers top concerns.
Survey respondents indicated they would be willing to give back to operators who deliver better engagement opportunities.
For example, 52 percent said they’d recommend their carrier to a family or friend, which if true, would yield unprecedented jumps in Net Promoter Scores.
Another 22 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to purchase additional services, a number that conceivably could go higher as customers realise what types of purchases are possible with greater insight and choice.
An additional 20 percent said they would rank their mobile provider highly in Google Play or the Apple App store, serving as valuable third party endorsements for the all-important app experience.
The survey makes clear that a golden opportunity exists for telcos who can deliver a new level of intuitive engagement.
This new engagement will build brand loyalty through highly personalised, transparent and value-based experiences that will allow operators to compete and win long-term customer relationships across a whole new digital generation.