Ascending the CX Ladder

By: Matthew Ray, Dan Wagner

These truths we hold to be self-evident: communications service providers (CSPs) are constantly looking for ways to improve operational support systems and business support systems for clients. Customers increasingly demand a seamless experience that quickly results in the service or product they want. If the customer experience is not described as exactly ‘enjoyable,’ it must be described as ‘smooth,’ or churn will result.

With the focus on providing the best efficiency options to customers, it’s not a great surprise that the human connection can be buried under the relentless drift of technical tools and touchpoints. The tools and touchpoints are not going away, nor should they. What must be remembered is that the human connection—although often expressed with a technical component—must not go away either.

Making the complex simple

The best services products are simple and good—what software developer ITX calls frictionless. Connect with a car service with upfront pricing and accessible tracking rather than receiving a runaround (or drive-around) with a relentlessly clicking meter sending the fare sky-high. Get a detailed overview of the hiking boots you’re interested in, click, and have them delivered to your door without exorbitant delivery charges and wait times (maybe in two days if you pay an annual fee for that service). Send your friend half the cost for lunch through an app on your phone. Rent a vacation home after viewing in-depth visuals and reading customer reviews in plain sight. 

The challenge for CSPs is to allow the companies that provide all the above a robust digital infrastructure so that their customers (who are CSPs' customers too, albeit another degree or two of separation away) keep coming back for more because their experience has been good: clean, quick, and relatively cost-effective. CSPs must consistently make the complex feel simple. And as customers get more savvy (as we know they are, as online purchasing soars, as life conducted by the app shatters each year’s previous record high) the complexity only increases. There are so many variables at play that the challenges are—in a word—daunting.

Elements of CX strategy

The one variable, though, that is within every telecom’s ability to improve is customer service. The management of the relationship lifecycle is easy to undervalue. It doesn’t necessarily bring the hype and excitement of a new service or product; it is often rooted in very traditional (dare we say plodding) processes that need patience, diligence, and repetitive attention to detail. Not the sexiest song on the playlist. And yet, a strong CX strategy is often the difference between whether a CSP is thriving or


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