3 Ways Communications Service Providers can Remain Relevant in a post iPhone 6 World

Last week there were a couple of announcements that were expected but at the same time came as a little bit of a surprise. First, there was the annual announcement of the new iPhone(s) by Apple, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. There weren’t so many big surprises in the devices themselves but there were a couple of elements that went with the device unveilings that made me raise my eyebrows; the inclusion of contactless payments with the iPhone 6 and the native Wi-Fi calling feature of iOS 8.

Even before the hubbub had died down in Cupertino, T-Mobile USA announced their latest “un-carrier” move; all the devices that they sell from now on will support Wi-Fi calling. That is to say that you can make calls for free over Wi-Fi when you’re at home or on a public hot spot.

Will the new iPhones and T-Mobile suddenly move the industry to a different paradigm? I don’t think so; it will happen gradually as contracts and old phones expire. However, these moves are indicative of the fact that it’s getting harder and harder for CSPs to remain relevant in the digital lives of their customers.

Your Network Claims are Irrelevant

Now, as long as there’s good Wi-Fi coverage (private homes, deep inside buildings, etc.), the T-Mobile customers and iPhone users whose CSP supports it will be able to make calls, send messages and use apps on their phones. “Our network is better than theirs” is no longer relevant. Consumers who want to use mobile payment but whose CSP doesn’t have a credible offering needn’t worry – as long as they have an iPhone 6.

CSPs face increased risk of being relegated to the role of data carriers. What can CSPs do to stay in the game? One of the key assets of CSPs is their long-term and intimate relationship with their customers. They have well-developed customer service infrastructure and experience. If Wi-Fi calling or m-payments don’t work, it’s highly likely that the CSP will take the call from the irate customer, even if it’s not their fault. That is a golden opportunity to deliver superior customer experiences and remain relevant.

The Service Provider Is Dead. Long Live the Service Brand.

What if a CSP offered a premium, managed customer service offering which meant that any problem relating to mobile life would be handled by the CSP, even if they didn’t provide all of the services? Let’s look at what it would take to deliver on this promise:

  • A world-class dynamic case management system would be the absolute minimum, allowing the CSP to manage the service case from end-to end, even when manual tasks or third-party actions have to be performed and the data required spans multiple systems of record. 
  • Guiding customers and agents through to case resolution is another requirement. You can’t rely on training and experiential knowledge to fulfil the omni-service promise.
  • Finally, omni-channel execution is a must because, by definition, the CSP could not predict the channel their customers would use to contact them. Mobile, social media, chat, Web, retail and even the ever-faithful contact centres are all distinct possibilities.

Pega Customer Service for Communications provides all three of these capabilities and wraps them with world-class business process management, rules execution and decision management to deliver the most advanced and complete system for CSP differentiation. If you’re thinking of how to stay relevant to your customers, take a look at how we have helped industry leaders like Verizon Wireless, EE, Telstra and AMEX transform their customer service.

Dynamic Case Management (DCM) brings together people and information to get work done. Download Dynamic Case Management For Dummies now to discover how DCM can digitally transform your business.