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New customer expectations require new digital experiences

During the COVID-19 lockdown working from home was essential for business continuity but this is one part of the pandemic that workers have actually enjoyed, and they’re in no hurry to give up their kitchen tables and rush back to their desks.

This change is also having significant effects on communications service providers (CSPs) and the services they deliver to customers. Research from industry analysts Omnisperience found, for example, that the pandemic has accelerated digital investment for 75% of them.

But Omnisperience’s research has also shown that it’s not sufficient simply to deliver the products customers now need. It’s just as important to improve the effectiveness of how CSPs communicate with customers, as this is one of the most basic elements of successful digital business. The core of effective communication is helping customers understand their spending as they change or add to their services. Making this easier and clearer is the next challenge CSPs face.

The bill is a vital channel for customer engagement

For business customers, bill communications are set to become a vital control point as they seek a better understanding of their ICT spend in the New Normal of distributed and dynamic workforces. For consumers, bill communications is becoming the key engagement point as CSPs shift from a customer acquisition mindset to one of retention and upsell.

As simple as it might sound, using the bill as an effective communications tool is a big challenge for many CSPs. Omnisperience’s research found that three-quarters admit their customers are still calling contact centres because they don’t understand their charges. This is frequently the case with the first bill after a change. Which is why, with more change on the horizon that ever before, it’s never been more important to ensure clear customer communication of charges.

But bills can do so much more than inform customers of their spending. They can boost engagement, improve marketing effectiveness and simultaneously repay investment through lower operational costs, fewer calls to contact centres and increased average revenue per user (ARPU).

In the post-COVID world the old way of segmenting customers – with a hard divide between business and consumer services – doesn’t work. Not only are more people working from home, but many are now running so-called nanobusinesses. These encompass small-scale home-based ventures such as monetised hobbies, microretailing, and paid work in the Influencer Economy and Gig Economy.  In the future, households will be more like mini businesses, requiring:

• improved, digital bills that clearly quantify and explain the value their CSP is delivering  

• consolidation with the ability to interrogate and navigate the data provided

• reassurance that they have the right package - cementing the relationship and guiding customers to products and packages that deliver even greater value.

For larger business customers, more in-depth engagement is possible through the bill. An effective bill enables the customer’s financial team to interrogate and analyse usage data to control and understand spending, ensuring it’s aligned with business goals. Customisation is a powerful means of engagement, making cost assignment easier, analysis more effective and suggested changes readily adoptable.

Delivering the perfect bill cost-efficiently

There’s no template for the perfect bill because the format and data presented will vary according to each customer’s needs. But there are certain common features such as increased personalisation, greater analytical capabilities, information being available on-demand, and a look-and-feel that makes the bill easier to understand.

For more information, contact sales@soft-ex.net

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