Let's Get Digital: Enriching CX with Data Analytics

By: Hamish White

The value of good CX has long been recognized, but nothing has sparked fundamental change in CX approaches as much as the COVID-19 pandemic. A shift to remote practices across all elements of society has permanently changed consumer behaviors and expectations, increasing their appetite for digital. So, not surprisingly, a recent survey conducted by Capgemini revealed that 41 percent of telcos claimed improving online customer experience is now their top priority.

Offering customers a seamless, intuitive online experience is essential for telcos looking to thrive in the digital era. Providing a personalized, flexible and convenient service that guarantees customer satisfaction is the goal for all service providers, but what technology should they adopt in order to make it a reality?

Starting off on the right foot

Increased consumer demand for digital technology has forced companies to change how they connect with their customers to keep up with the market. Digital technologies that were once a temporary measure are now permanent features and technologies that were in their primary stages are becoming more familiar. GSMA Intelligence identified that although eSIM adoption increased throughout 2021, 2022 will be a year of more widespread usage; it’s estimated that more than 500 million smartphone connections will use eSIMs globally by the end of this year.

Embedded SIMs, or eSIMs, improve digital customer onboarding by eliminating the need for a physical plastic SIM card. They take the network authentication credentials that have previously been held on the physical SIM card and download them to the mobile device via the Internet. This facilitates a frictionless customer onboarding process, helping to improve CX right from the customer’s first interaction with their service provider.

Implementing eSIM capabilities facilitates digital onboarding by completing everything from identity verification and subscription management right from the customer’s device, without the need to visit a physical store or wait for a SIM card via the mail. eSIMs also offer greater service provider flexibility for customers. Because several subscriptions can be activated on one device simultaneously, customers can switch between providers as required. This feature is particularly useful for regular travelers, allowing them to change operators depending on their region without the frustrations of storing several plastic SIM cards and switching them manually.

Diving deeper into eSIM choice

For operators looking to differentiate their digital CX, the benefits of adopting eSIMs are clear. eSIMs streamline the onboarding process, drastically cutting the time taken for customers to set up their subscription. But there's an additional choice that service providers need to make: QR code or in-app eSIM provisioning?

When the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) first accepted the use of consumer eSIMs in 2016, its regulatory standards were based on provisioning eSIMs using QR codes. Using this method, customers scan the QR code onto their device to trigger eSIM activation. Although the QR code solution improves CX compared to physical SIM cards, it still presents CX challenges. Customers need two devices to complete the scanning process, which complicates eSIM activation for those on the move and requires more time and effort, creating unnecessary friction for customers.

There is another choice, however, which service providers looking for a frictionless CX should consider. In-app eSIM provisioning uses a very specific application programming interface (API) layer between the mobile app and the device to provision SIM credentials without the use of a QR code. This means that customers can activate their subscription in as little as 20 seconds with just one tap. The speed and simplicity for the customer when onboarding in this way means that in-app eSIM provisioning is the gold standard for telcos that value an enriched CX.

In an industry like telecoms where churn rates are higher than average, ensuring that this first interaction between the customer and their operator is positive is a key differentiator for telcos. And adopting a digital onboarding process, powered by eSIM technology, is an enabler of satisfaction.

Valued, loyal customers

Enriching customer experience right from the beginning is important but maintaining a positive brand sentiment is essential. A survey conducted by Accenture revealed that 77 percent of telecoms customers are happy to switch to another operator at any point. As an industry, telecoms is not known for brand loyalty, so it's important for telcos to know how to use CX to retain their customers. 


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