Not Your Parents’ Phone Company: The Evolution of the Communications Industry

For those of us who grew up in the mid-90s, nothing has impacted us greater than seeing the shift before and after the internet. Organizations that saw an opportunity for growth through its use adapted to this new environment, while those that didn’t, opened themselves to enormous risk – or failure. Countless businesses became obsolete when they didn’t evolve to meet customer expectations, while others capitalized on new growth opportunities that the internet presented. 

Today, communication service providers (CSPs) stand at a crossroads, and their action or inaction will influence their organization’s place in this transformed, hyper-competitive market. Those that see paths to potential growth through embracing change will carve out top-market share.

From landline providers to multimedia giants

One thing the communications industry has experienced is rapid and disruptive change. In just two decades, they went from simply providing landline services to supplying mobile and multimedia services to both residential and business consumers. US households today average more than 10 devices, and this number will only increase with the roll out of 5G, with the increase in data consumption. To support this rapid innovation, CSPs need to have the agility to pivot to changing markets and have a hyper focus on customer-centricity to understand buyer signals across a complex buyer profile.

The rollout of 5G provides new heightened opportunities for CSPs. As consumer expectations evolve, they have to read signals quickly and understand and anticipate them to provide the next relevant product or service to meet those needs.

Customer behavior is not linear

Understanding the customer journey and its non-linear nature can be challenging, as consumers use varying channels at their disposal. Consumers expect companies to understand them and personalize their experience. These expectations left unmet can negatively impact a brand and heighten competition.

The recipe for success is to know the customer and anticipate their needs at a granular level. To add complexity, the nature of omnichannel builds each customer as potentially multiple personas. Data generated from tens of millions of devices can seem daunting, but it also presents a strategic opportunity for those that adapt to the changing environment. 

Micro-moments are the moments that matter

Those in the communication service industry have to fully embrace the dynamic nature of their digital customers. They need to provide solutions that are personal, in line with customer needs, and presented at the right moments – these micro-moments are essential in the Digital Age, and 5G will only emphasize the need to get this part of your CX right.

This means implementing a complete and consistent unified solution that provides unmatched data management and leverages adaptive intelligence and machine learning. This solution should be designed with a consumer-centric approach to creating personalized journeys that increase customer satisfaction. This will lead to new revenue opportunities through the use of intelligent data. 

It’s only natural that environments change and customer expectations change with them. For CSPs to regain control and adapt to evolving markets, they must transform from simply service providers to digital transformation facilitators. 

Questions all communication leaders should be asking

These are the questions communications leaders should be asking themselves in the Experience Economy and beyond.

  1. Do you have access to the data signals you need to look beyond content and understand your customer's context?
  2. Are you able to adapt to the changing market and changing needs of your consumers in real time?
  3. Are you able to launch new services and business models to monetize 5G? 
  4. How quickly can your teams pivot and change direction to react to new events or new technologies? 

Sharpen your skills at the Future of Digital Experiences in Communication Virtual Summit 

How would you assess your answers to the questions above? Learn how to shift to a digital-first approach to realize the full potential of 5G, and ultimately transform your business model and customer experience. Oracle is hosting a virtual summit featuring communications leaders that have broken organizational, data, and traditional barriers to reinvent their business models and customer experience. Learn more. 

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