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It won’t be business as usual for a long time as the world steps out of the global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional modes of engagement between communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers will change, with digital becoming the more popular mode of engagement. However, CSPs must not underestimate how quickly customers are moving between channels; they will need to invest in vendor solutions that enable them to deliver an omnichannel customer experience.

A new report from Omdia, Omdia Market Radar: Customer Engagement Solution for CSPs, 2020–21, assesses how vendors are building and offering capabilities that enable CSPs to deliver optimal experiences to customers, irrespective of the channels of engagement they choose.

CSPs should not take their eyes off the omnichannel customer experience objective

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing CSPs to improve their digital customer engagement capabilities. However, this trend should not distract from the need to deliver an omnichannel customer experience, which requires effective coordination of interactions across digital and nondigital channels. With retail stores seeing less traffic due to social distancing measures, more sales and support functions are being performed online or via call centers, with some employees working from home. BT’s call center employees, for example, are using a telephony routing system developed by BT to enable advisors to engage with customers while working from home. Other CSPs are taking similar steps to manage customer support and sales during the lockdown.

These changes require CSPs to synchronize these engagements across digital and nondigital channels to deliver an optimal customer experience. To achieve this objective, CSPs must transform operations (including people, systems, and processes). From a systems perspective, CSPs should ensure that customer engagement solutions provide a unified view of the customer and the ability to orchestrate the experience across any customer journey, channel, or department with which the customer might interact. A customer engagement solution should therefore include a set of product offerings (delivered as a set of systems integrated to meet customer engagement requirements or as an integrated platform) and services that enable a CSP to achieve these capabilities.

These functions can be achieved by coordinating and orchestrating customer engagement activities for single or multiple departments, such as sales, marketing, and service. Interactions with customers should be coordinated in such a way as to deliver a mutually beneficial set of outcomes – superior customer experience, improved retention, greater customer lifetime value, and more profitable revenue.

Vendors are transforming their customer engagement capabilities to help CSPs meet their objectives

Traditional CRM systems alone can’t fulfil these customer engagement requirements, as they are designed to manage the intensive data work needed to efficiently manage and organize customer interactions but not influence them in a way that enables CSPs to meet customer expectations. They are mainly systems of records, not engagement, lacking the required agility to influence customer interactions spanning the entire customer journey.

In the Market Radar report, Omdia has assessed the customer engagement solutions that support multiple departments from six of the key vendors in this space: Amdocs, Microsoft, Netcracker, Nokia, Oracle, and SAP. These solutions offer most of the capabilities required to provide omnichannel customer engagement, either directly or through a partner.

Vendors with cross-industry and telco-focused capabilities have the expertise to help CSPs enhance how they interact with customers. Those with cross-industry coverage are using their experience and best practices to help CSPs evolve their engagement capabilities. Telco-focused vendors are using their expertise in optimizing telecoms business processes to improve customer engagement. These vendors are also taking advantage of big data, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), automation (including chatbots), the cloud, and their telecoms business process expertise to develop a compelling customer engagement solution offer for CSPs.

The objective of these vendors and others targeting the telco customer engagement market is to fulfil customer engagement requirements across the CSP’s value chain. It is only then that their CSP customers can achieve their personalized customer experience objectives.


Further reading

Omdia Market Radar: Customer Engagement Solution for CSPs, 2020–21, SPT001-000116 (July 2020)

Improving Customer Engagement to Personalize The Customer Experience in Telecoms, SPT001-000069 (June 2019)

The Critical role of Customer Engagement Platform for Growth, INT001-000113 (December 2018)

Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Customer Engagement Platform, INT001-000088 (August 2018)

“Customer engagement platforms are essential for successful digital transformation,” INT001-000095 (August 2018)


Adaora Okeleke, Principal Analyst, Service Operations and IT

[email protected]

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