Quick, personalised, easy-to-navigate ordering processes is what enterprise customers have become used to. Now, they are expecting – and demanding – this type of experience from every service provider, regardless of service or product.
Self-service features, such as self-managed quotes and order delivery, are already the norm in the consumer telecommunications industry. Moves towards this kind of self-service model to connect service providers – and their enterprise customers – have been proving to deliver a host of key benefits to early adopters, including faster time to market for new products, increased customer satisfaction and reduced burden on in-house services.
There are key concerns holding service providers back from adopting this model for enterprise customers. However, the proven solutions that address these concerns and can help service providers embrace and implement the model, creating mutually beneficial outcomes.
Organizations fear they will fall short
Telco customers have shown considerable interest in self-service – a feature which eliminates the need to wait for a response from their service provider. They can simply input their information, receive a quote, process an order, and receive billing, in just a few clicks. This is a remarkably frictionless process, one that supports a great customer experience; so why is this not used more in enterprise and wholesale business?
Telecommunications companies are typically known to provide hands-on service options in business. Self-service is often restricted to simple products, which largely defeats the objective of self-service – to provide seamless customer experiences and high levels of satisfaction for more complex queries.
Service providers want to exceed customer expectations without adding points of friction that increase frustration. But there is a risk of falling short in other areas by streamlining the process, and this risk can lead to inaction.
Cost and complexity, resource management, service shortfalls, security risks and lack of expertise are all fears that hold large organizations back from implementing self-service models within their own business structures.
Telcos are under pressure to provide real-time solutions
In many senses, service providers operate at the cutting edge of customer-facing technology. The development of telecommunications over the last decade has been rapid, with increased digitization, consecutive rollouts of 4G and 5G connectivity, and an increase in demand for ‘real time’ solutions, all putting telcos under pressure to deliver.
Service providers are showing themselves to be adept at taking care of the technical aspects of these changes; being able to serve the needs of the tech-savvy modern consumer with considerable aplomb. More importantly, modern telco consumers are not only tech-savvy – they have also grown used to swift response times and immediate solutions, and naturally expect this same speedy service in the enterprise space. Many providers are struggling to achieve a self-service model without diverting resources from research and development, or from their more technical service offerings.
Digitally advanced telcos need to be able to break out of traditional operating models and innovate to meet ever-changing customer expectations. They need to be able to offer self-service to enterprise customers on a much broader scale, reducing friction and streamlining the customer journey they provide. This involves meeting key customer needs in the following areas:
- An interactive, function-based experience in the enterprise accounts area
When an account manager signs into their portal, they expect an interactive hub that provides access to a wide range of clear and intuitive functions. This may include a range of different options – from changing multiple billing addresses to upgrading subscription options in bulk.
- Full management of inventory
This clarity of purpose needs to be extended across the entire inventory of the enterprise customer. The account manager should be able to see all products and subscriptions in one central location, integrated with the product catalog within the account hub.
- Full and immediate control of all products, features and subscriptions
When the account manager accesses their product inventory, they expect to be able to go further. They expect easy access to the settings, statuses and features of these products, and the ability to control these elements across multiple end-customers. Where possible, account manager must be able to confirm and effect changes immediately, minimizing the need to wait for a response from the service provider.This achieves a far better experience for the account manager, the end customer, and, as a result, for the telecommunications provider, too.
Enabling self-service by integrating cloud-based solutions
A cloud-based self-service solution puts power and convenience into the hands of the enterprise and makes life far easier for telco providers by reducing their work burden. This solution integrates with the telco’s product catalog, which provides complete access to all applicable products from the enterprise account.
The solution supports a ‘complete complex offer’ – an instant response from a self-service platform that provides account managers with what they need. Meanwhile, the API-based structure of the solution makes it easy for telecommunications companies to target long term scalability and reduce the time to market on new features. The capabilities of a cloud-based solution include:
- Straightforward, cost-effective implementation
By using a structural template, telecommunication providers can avoid the high costs that come from utilizing a bespoke design. With this approach, you will be able to leverage ready-built capabilities and processes without extravagant spending.
- Resource optimisation
As the project is now far more streamlined, the key advantages of self-service can be realized without a large-scale diversion of resources, such as IT developments.
- High levels of service maintained
Provided that the right solutions are deployed, businesses will find that the level of service they offer will be enhanced, not depleted. By empowering enterprise customers with self-service options, service providers experience a far more rewarding engagement and enterprise customers experience a more seamless and personalized service.
- Security as standard
Reputable service providers will be able to offer the very highest levels of security. With the deployment of APIs, development and scaling are achievable without compromising on this security.
- Support and ongoing ease of use
These APIs also make it easy to add new features quickly and effectively, with no high-level expertise required.
So, self-service and a far more positive customer experience are within the grasp of telco companies after all. However, while the solution may have been found, it still needs to be implemented.
Implementing the Enterprise Self-Service Solution
To avoid excessive costs and complexity, there are several aspects that telco businesses will need to bear in mind during implementation:
- Opt for a cloud-based solution that is ready for deployment ‘straight out of the box.’
Choose tried and tested, templated solutions — avoiding the need for bespoke infrastructure or large-scale IT projects in the lead up to launch. Telcos can benefit from the research and development of others and leverage capabilities and features without the need for in-house development.
- Work with industry standards and best practices to support full integration with enterprise customer systems.
Deploy open APIs developed by providers with a strong track record in the telecom industry. This will enable broad interaction without compromising on security.
- Consider the needs of your enterprise customers.
What features do they need to access via the self-service solution, and when do they need these features? Portals can be deployed alongside those APIs to support different customer needs.
- Integrate the catalog directly with the user interface
This allows any product within the catalog to be managed by the user, making it possible to achieve self-service on a broad scale.
Effective Self-Managed User Solutions from DGIT Systems
DGIT Systems specializes in providing telecommunications companies with the self-managed capabilities in the enterprise and wholesale space – beyond consumer markets. We have a proven track record of delivering powerful cloud-based solutions with swift and streamlined implementation processes, helping our clients to embrace the self-managed customer service model that is the norm in the consumer space.
We believe in offering solutions that work – not only in the sense of providing customers with the right experience but also by integrating with existing business practices and systems. Pivoting towards a self-service way of doing things does not have to be daunting – and we work to make sure that it is not.
Learn more about how your business and your customers can benefit from a self-service approach. Get started on the journey to implementation today when you reach out to our team.