How AI is reshaping the telecommunications industry (Reader Forum)



In less than a year, COVID-19 has upended lives around the globe. The need for social distancing and avoiding in-person activity as much as humanly possible has forced people everywhere to become increasingly reliant on networks to get work done and keep in touch with loved ones. The adoption of Zoom—one of the dozens of video conferencing services that saw a surge of 10M users from December 2019 to July 2020—gives insight into how many people are transitioning their lives online, now more than ever. 

Similarly, the importance of digital channels for B2B companies has grown significantly in the past few years and has radically increased since the COVID-19 crisis began. With the sudden cancellation of industry events and in-person meetings, many marketing executives had to quickly figure out how to replace the lead generation they counted on from live events to drive their sales pipelines. 

Telecommunications companies have played a foundational role in powering virtually every private and public sector entity in the world today. They have extended network capacity to support remote work for businesses and enabled academics to teach in virtual classrooms. As telecoms face increasing demand for a higher quality of services and better customer experience, they must seek more intelligent, powerful, and innovative technologies to retain their customers. 

Reduce customer churn

In the next six to 12 months and beyond, businesses will continue to feel the pressure to retain their existing customer base during this time of economic uncertainty. Failing to do so results in customer churn, and since it costs five times as much money to capture a new customer than keep an existing one, telecom companies will do well if they invest in keeping the customers they have.

AI-based solutions such as Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) engage customers in personalized, two-way conversations at scale. IVAs can be used to drive customer health, collect customer feedback, and upsell/cross-sell customers on additional features or upgrades. In this way, telecoms retain more customers throughout the customer funnel without straining time or resources.

Deliver ROI at scale

There are numerous advantages to IVA solutions. However, a top benefit realized by telecoms implementing AI-based solutions is that this technology drives top-line growth. Studies show that AI-powered virtual team members into the workforce can make employees more efficient, foster high-performing teams, and alleviate capacity limits.

IVAs can take on many of the repetitive, low-value tasks typically handled by employees to focus on more rewarding tasks. By automating tasks, determining customer intent, and scheduling appropriate meetings, IVAs scale accounts within the telecom industry, thus increasing customer retention, growth, and profits. These capabilities are enormously valuable as companies confront and adapt to the current crisis’s new reality and aftermath. 

Personalized customer experience

In today’s digital world, customers expect a lot, and their expectations are not only limited to excellent service. They demand personalized experiences every time they connect to your brand. Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized emails. But no matter how you optimize your messaging, personalization requires a great deal of thought and time. 

Intelligent automation solutions such as Intelligent Virtual Assistants present new opportunities to engage customers, suppliers, and partners quickly and efficiently as they navigate an ever-expanding digital landscape. As a foundational technology, AI can help telecom reinvent customer relationships through personalized, polite, and persistent two-way conversations at scale. This is extremely helpful for a few reasons. The first is that the AI produces personalized and unique messages without anyone writing each outgoing message. Second, these conversations are built to perform and are always consistent and on message. Third, and most important of all, IVAs identify hand-raisers and bring them to the attention of your sales team; thus, unlocking more opportunities from your existing lead pool.

Building a revival-ready workforce

For the foreseeable future, telecom companies will continue to feel an increased pressure to retain their existing customer base during this time of economic uncertainty. But even in the best of times, telecommunications teams are resource-constrained and often struggle to find the time to proactively engage with customers to ensure they are getting the most out of their products or services. 

Artificial Intelligence plays a crucial role in transforming telecom’s sales and marketing functions. By being able to follow up with leads quickly at scale, telecommunications not only prove value to customers but also enhance satisfaction by augmenting the workforce with Intelligent Virtual Assistants. And that’s a competitive advantage your business can’t afford to miss. 


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