How AI Is Changing The Way Telecoms Brands Engage With Customers And Prospects

Mar 11, 2019 | Content Experience, Personalized Marketing

Engaging with Customers in a Digital Age

Over the last decade, rapid digital transformation has completely changed the way consumers are behaving. Radio, books, cinema and physical retail have largely had to make way for podcasts, tablets, Netflix and Amazon. Indeed, it’s no surprise that a recent study by Adobe revealed that consumers in the USA now spend as much time engaging with digital content as they do sleeping.

While this change in behaviour has directly led to more content being created, this in turn has created a huge challenge for brands wishing to stand out and keep a consumer’s attention – especially as more than half of consumers are engaging with content across multiple devices simultaneously. What’s more, consumer expectations have changed too: a staggering 67% of respondents in Adobe’s survey stated that poor design, lack of personalised content, or poor device optimisation would stop them from making a purchase.

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In direct response to this, brands are increasingly searching for innovative and scalable technologies to help them engage with their customers on a personal level, with highly-relevant content, messaging and performance improvements at the core of their ambitions.

Where Does AI Fit In?

Presenting your latest, most relevant content to customers in a dynamic way is a great idea, but in practice would require a nearly endless amount of human resource to facilitate. It’s not possible for a marketing team to simultaneously profile every customer based on available data sources, and then scour all the available content to find the best match. Artificial Intelligence is the obvious solution to such problems: complex mathematical and decision-making tasks can be performed in milliseconds, across millions of data points, in real-time. This means that previously overwhelming mountains of disjointed customer data are now viewed as treasure vaults waiting to be unlocked, with AI being the key.

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Telco is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and has already begun using AI and Machine Learning to enhance network performance, customer service and user experience. This is done with the primary objectives of improving efficiency, reducing staff costs and growing sales. IDC has predicted that 31.5% of Telco organizations are primarily focusing on leveraging existing infrastructure, whilst 63.5% are investing in new AI systems. Telecoms leaders believe that AI will be the primary means of leveraging the huge volume of available anonymous data to understand and predict consumer wants and needs. Results from GlobalData’s 2018 Global IT Customer Insight survey certainly suggest that telco adoption of AI is poised to increase during the next few years. Of 181 telecom operators surveyed in 2018, 55% have already prioritised chatbots, machine learning and deep learning, yet over the next two years this number is expected to grow to 75%.

On the customer engagement side, Telecoms operators are now able to leverage AI and Machine Learning to analyze offer conversion rates, content consumption trends and network activity against customer profiles. This in turn enables operators to identify and present the most relevant content and products to their customers at the right time, depending on their needs. Timing is a crucial component of engaging with i.e. a subscription customer, and AI ensures that tailored packages can be offered on an individual basis, based on accurate intelligence.AI is also an essential component of self-optimizing networks (SONs), where mobile operators have the ability to automatically optimize network quality based on traffic information by region and time-zone. Advanced algorithms and Machine Learning are deployed to proactively look for patterns and anomalies in the network data, so that operators can identify, predict and resolve problems before they have a chance to negatively impact the customer. Indeed, providers like AT&T and Verizon are already using AI to automate call centre procedures and improve network management.

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AI is a revolutionary technology in that it presents Telco companies with unprecedented opportunities to engage with their customers whilst improving their products and services. Although Telco is a rapidly growing industry, consumer expectations are growing at an even higher rate and as such, Telco providers need to think creatively in their attempts to keep consumer attention in a sea of digital distractions. Brands who show a willingness to embrace AI and build it into their future strategy will be best-placed to capitalise on Telco industry growth for decades to come.

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