3 keys to an effective services offering
ScottNiemann 270003Y0JB Visits (2004)
We can be pretty picky when it comes to communications services. There are so many options today in the world of mobile and non-mobile services that we can shop around to get the best value for us. Even five years ago, we had a fraction of the options for services as well as devices which made it much easier for communications service providers (CSPs) to keep us satisfied and remain happy customers.
However in the age of the empowered consumer, the CSP remains under a great stress to win our business in an ever over crowded market place with the threat of over the top (OTT) competitors, making the delivery window for new services ever so slim. So what are the services and packages they can offer that are going to win our business and keep them profitable? Once they have our business how do they keep us as loyal return customers?
Unfortunately for them its not an easy problem to solve, and it’s a never ending process of refinement, as technology and data rates get out of control, the possibilities grow endlessly for not only what services can be produced, but expectations of the consumer.
So what can CSPs do? One obvious way is to ensure they are “hearing” the customer and delivering on new services that the customer wants at the right price point. Ultimately the CSP must manage a competitive portfolio of offerings that are going to be the best fit for their business. That however is not an easy problem to solve as the communications marketplace is so dynamic it requires continual assessment on what’s working, what’s not, and a vision of where they want to be the future, which can course continually change.
There has to be a smarter way to deliver compelling services and that starts with a smarter way to collect and validate ideas. Service providers are getting a lot of ideas within the company as well as certainly from customers through social media sites and forums, and what they have to do is take all these ideas and determine what is the right thing that they should go to market with. Once they start strengthening or in some cases creating a portfolio, how do they know that they have the optimal portfolio out there for their customers? Ultimately they need to build and deliver it and monitor its’ results and compare with other offerings within their portfolio as well as new potential streams of revenue from new ideas.
Once an idea is conceived how can they best deliver? A key aspect to this is having some type of end-to-end traceability to show that what they've actually produced is meeting what the customers have been asking for, through the development of that service. But it's not only just deciding what to do and building it; it's also the back end systems that have to support it, and the impact of new services on those systems. A new service may have impact on business support system applications and operating system support applications that need to be upgraded. So really this notion of integrating IT and the network side of the service provider business is very critical to new service deployment. For all this to really work effectively you need to have traceability from ideas, to development, to multiple supporting systems, at a minimum
Overall you could say there are three key areas CSPs must be able to handle in order to effectively delivery services and maintain a strong portfolio throughout a dynamic market place.
We will further touch on some of these ideas within the Telco blog, but if you are interested in learning more know don't hesitate to ask.