Digital natives – in a few years from now 50% of the population – will be attracted to operators that provide them the right balance between automation and personal interaction. They will prefer self-help and peer-help mechanisms over traditional call centers, and if they reach out, they expect an instant answer. They will also not have the patience to listen to a standardized script of an agent, but instead expect operators to have a complete view of their relationship and a personalized dialogue.

These are the conclusions derived from a study by A.T. Kearney, in which they surveyed over 300 customer experience and contact center directors. In response to these trends, many operators have already simplified their products and processes and have started using social media channels to communicate with their customers. However, to step out of the crowded Telco-markets, some operators manage to optimize various customer interaction elements and turn them into a profit center.

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Balancing product specifications and customer interaction

Unfortunately, finding the right balance between product specification and customer interaction is not that easy. In their study “Future of Customer Interaction” from 2014 A.T. Kearney concluded that nowadays customers demand:

–   Seamless channels
–   Personalized dialogue
–   New domains and 24/7 service
–   Instant answers
–   Differentiated service

In other words: a compelling customer experience has become equally or more important than product or price differentiation in the Telco industry. In the study, 39% of the respondents stated that customer service and interaction to be more important than product and price, while 48% regard them as equally important. It is easy to conclude that customer experience has become the most important opportunity for mobile operators to differentiate their brand from others.

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