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Blog Post

Customer Experience is the New Currency of 5G Monetization

By Keren Halpern, Head of Product Marketing,

Optiva • September 8, 2021

5G does not come free. Communication service providers (CSPs) must find a pathway with this technology investment to better attract and engage customers, current and prospective, to drive more revenue and achieve the required return on investment goals set by management.

We cannot make 5G a repeat of 4G with volume offerings on data, text, voice being the primary source of revenue. The ROI does not work, and the technology offers much more. For example, CSPs can design plans that meet specific user segment experience requirements in real time by offering plans that differentiate based on latency, capacity, throughput, speed, and even device type.

With 5G and cloud technology, CSPs have a “window of opportunity” to significantly improve and broaden their customers’ experience regarding how they connect, consume, and buy services. Done well, this will strengthen relationships and loyalty and bring new revenue monetization opportunities and models to market.

To succeed, CSPs must embrace the mantra that delivering next-level customer experience is the new currency. Per a recently published Ericsson consumer survey, “among early 5G adopters, 50% are willing to pay 32% more for 5G services.” Customers are willing to pay a premium for a service only if they perceive real value — compelling enough to “WOW” them. Therefore, it is time for CSPs to search for services that will exhilarate customers. Consider these examples:

  • Using low-latency connectivity and AR/VR technology, CSPs can deliver assured real-time network slicing for a soccer match with a rich 360-degree stadium experience from a location of the fan’s choice — immersing fans in the excitement of the game.

  • With AI-driven insights, CSPs can predict customer behavior patterns in real time and leverage available free network capacity to provide customers with discounts and other personalized 5G ad hoc offers to satisfy their changing needs.

  • Instantly optimizing 5G connectivity network slice bandwidth on the fly when identifying the quality of service does not answer the promised level. For example, delivering assured lag-free network performance to an online gaming player, CSPs can deliver next-level “gaming intensity.”

  • By delivering assured high bandwidth over a network slice and leveraging AR/VR overlay, CSPs can enable retailers to deliver immersive and personalized shopping experiences by redefining the way consumers interact with the brand’s offerings on a smartphone or tablet from the comfort of their homes.

As 5G presents a wide range of possibilities, the highest priority must be on effectively and efficiently harnessing the potential capabilities of the technology into innovative and personalized service offerings for the consumer at a high velocity. The new customer engagement model will be built on being agile, responsive, and reliable to deliver a frictionless and personalized customer experience at various touchpoints of the customers’ journey.

However, existing legacy systems pose challenges to CSPs on their paths to the new customer engagement model. As a result, CSPs must shift to new product-driven monetization capabilities that allow them to quickly configure their BSS without necessitating the expertise of an IT team. The objective is to empower marketing teams — with minimal steps and product-specific expertise needed — to optimize rate plans in real time based on usage and experience analytics, rollout promotions, and deliver on their customer’s desire for a WOW experience.

CSPs Should Deliver CX Across Customer Lifecycle

In light of the rising expectations of today’s digital customers and the many choices they have in terms of competition, it is imperative that CSPs deliver superior and personalized digital customer experiences at each touchpoint of their lifecycle. This extends from onboarding and instant provisioning of compelling offers to delivering enhanced self service and support to resolve queries, subscription renewals, billing actions, and more.

These include customer lifecycle CX examples such as:

  • End-to-end digital onboarding experiences: Hassle-free digital customer onboarding in little time by leveraging next-gen BSS with embedded automation across the different modules, which digitizes the customer registration and ordering process, including customer verification, SIM allocation, and selecting and activating plans of a user’s choice and more.

  • Real-time offer optimization based on customer insights: On-the-fly optimization of offers based on AI-driven real-time insights to predict usage behavior, for example, based on user location to engage them with timely contextual offers.

  • Handling ultra-low latency service quality with distributed systems: Delivering and charging for ultra-fast services from the edge cloud rather than sending and processing them at a central cloud.

  • Assured service quality and complaint reduction through automated real-time network configuration: By consistently monitoring the network quality and application and taking corrective actions to match the SLA requirements, boost user experience (e.g., if a user subscribes to an 8K video plan). Thus, if the bandwidth level drops below the agreed resolution level, the service will push an update to the user and delight them with a complimentary additional data bundle using analytics and churn prediction models and insights.

  • Maintaining real-time single source of truth for customer data: Having a single and centralized repository of real-time updated customer data allows CSPs to deliver customer services more smoothly across all touchpoints.

  • Expanding product catalog with a partner ecosystem: Leveraging open APIs to build and expand partner ecosystems to be the first to launch new partner products and services that enable CSPs to expand services they provide customers and help CSPs increase their market relevance.

In the end, we return to the fact that 5G is not free, and the service levels and offerings must be far better than 4G. Otherwise, the ROI objective will not be achieved. The conversation about better customer experience has been around for every G. However, with 5G, innovation driven by cloud-native capabilities, and machine learning-driven automation, CSPs have a real opportunity to find a true pathway to revolutionize their customer engagement and deliver the next level of hyper-personalized customer experience, which is the new currency of 5G monetization.

Have feedback or questions for the author? Contact

Keren Halpern,

Head of Product Marketing, Optiva


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