In January 2021, Amdocs released a survey showing that customers demand more digital engagement from Communications Service Providers (CSPs).
According to the survey, communication service providers need to transform their IT systems, as well as their approach to customer experience, to meet the growing need of customers in Africa.
Amdocs deploys creativity and technology to build a better-connected world. In an interview with George Fraser, Vice President: Customer Business Executive at Amdocs, we learnt how customer experience has changed since the COVID-19 era.
How has COVID-19 affected customer experience for CSPs?
A recent study that Amdocs conducted, found that 30% of consumers are experiencing remote work for the first time, and 20% have tried remote learning for the first time.
As network traffic continues to grow, the rollout of 5G will play a critical role in empowering future students and workforces by breaking down barriers between the physical and virtual environments.
Why? Because consumers will demand the same experiences seamlessly across the globe.
Consumers are also taking advantage of new offerings that make life easier and more connected:
32 percent are taking advantage of new online food or grocery services, 29 percent are trying new media and subscription services (with 69% of those being Gen Z and millennials), while 26% have signed up to new free trials (Netflix, Showmax, etc.).
With regard to the latter, over-the-top (OTT) consumption has also accelerated not just in the video content space, but in all sorts of digital services trying to build brand awareness and customer loyalty.
It also provides service providers with the opportunity to partner with OTTs as a means of incorporating third-party content into their own bundles via a unified platform.
How has COVID-19 accelerated calls for a digital world?
COVID-19 has accelerated change in consumption habits, as large proportions of the population have continued to work, learn and be entertained remotely, while others have trialed services such as remote health care for the first time.
COVID-19 also prompted an unprecedented willingness to accept new types of solutions from the banking system, with some service providers offering virtual payment solutions.
While mobile financial services and technologies have been in the African market for many years, their adoption has been slow.
This is changing with the advent of COVID-19, but the success of mobile network operators (MNOs) in this space will depend heavily on the richness of their ecosystems.
Cycles of lockdowns and vaccinations have led to the almost overnight adoption of cashless transactions.
Something that was expected to take many years to happen suddenly became a necessity.
COVID-19 also presents opportunities for MNOs to create seamless experiences through QR code functionality, which allows customers to scan codes and process payments.
There are also ways to process payments via SMS on fairly rudimentary cell phones.
How will customer experience change in a post-COVID-19 world?
There’s no going back to pre-COVID-19. Social distancing will create a ripple effect, with consumers now understanding we can achieve a lot digitally that we used to do in person.
Post-COVID-19, businesses will need to accelerate seamless digital experiences, ensure better, more seamless connectivity and improve the sustainability of networks.
That’s why now especially is the time for service providers to pay close attention to the experiences consumers want to have, and then use them as a basis of creating a strategy that provides real value – both now and in the future.
What is the role of consistent connectivity for a better customer experience?
More than ever, consumers see consistent connectivity as a must-have.
With in-home connectivity as important as ever, there is an opportunity for service providers to focus on the need for a consistent broadband experience.
Especially as consumers are expected to have upwards of 14 network-connected devices each by 2022. If you are a family of four with the typical phone, iPad and/or laptops, you are likely well over this number.
Once you add connected TVs, Apple TVs, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, for example, you’re rising well into the teens of connected devices.
With such an influx, consumers are more willing to buy devices that improve WIFI connectivity (24 percent).
Service providers can set themselves apart by offering consumers intelligent ways to manage and optimize their broadband experience and quickly identify issues throughout the home.
Prioritization and transparency of traffic start to become a vital factor. Being able to monitor and control this via a central mechanism while maintaining privacy becomes crucial.
Seamless and guaranteed connectivity has moved from being a nice-to-have to lifeblood for many consumers.
During this pandemic, video conferences were not just for work meetings, they were used to connect grandparents with their families, and sadly, even people on their deathbeds.
Services that provide customers with the ability to connect with family and friends are the ones that will stick for years to come.
Tell us about Amdocs?
Amdocs is a trusted partner to the world’s leading communications and media companies, serving more than 350 service providers in over 80 countries.
Amdocs helps service providers accelerate their migration to cloud, digitize and automate their operations, and provide their end-users with exciting next-generation communication and media experiences.
“We offer cloud-native digital solutions that enable service providers to achieve faster time to market and flexibility to follow the most suitable transformation strategies for their evolving needs.
Our company’s purpose is to enrich lives and progress society.
Amdocs is committed to diversity and inclusion, protecting the environment and promoting sustainability, and finding ways to improve the lives of the people.”, George concludes
Featured Image: George Fraser, Vice President, Customer Business Executive, Amdocs