Communications service providers’ (CSPs) consumers are increasingly expecting a highly personalised and seamless experience like what they get from digital apps and services, such as online shopping, digital banks, payment apps, OTT platforms etc.
According to a study conducted by Coleman Parkes on behalf of Amdocs, almost 60 per cent of consumers would increase their spend to engage in such experiences, while 40 percent would likely switch providers for a customer experience that adapts to their changing needs. This translates into millions of dollars of upselling opportunities for CSPs, as well as opportunities to attract millions of new consumers.
The six-market survey interviewed 3600 consumers in APAC (600 adults in Australia) and 550 CMOs (110 Australian CMOs and direct reports), along with some deep conversations with CMOs in Australia and other countries across APAC.
The survey found that almost half of Australian consumers would be happy to share even more personal information for highly personalised experiences, however, they would be unforgiving about poorly designed personalised experiences. If the experiences do not match consumers’ expectations, they can lead to frustration negatively impacting the brand and perhaps even attrition.
The survey further revealed that despite the stated benefits of personalisation, when it comes to delivering holistic personalised experiences, CMOs find internal silos within their companies the greatest challenge to overcome – rather than access to emerging technologies or money to invest in marketing activities. According to the survey, nearly half (47 per cent) of CMOs believe a lack of senior stakeholder buy-in, resistance to change, and a belief that here is no need to further invest in advanced personalisation, are hindering more comprehensive personalisation efforts and impeding overall marketing objective of delivering compelling brand experience across all touchpoints.
“Today’s digital consumers keep evolving their benchmark experiences against the best apps and service experiences. All apps are a click away, so consumers do not distinguish between industries- the last best app you used sets your expectation benchmark for the next one,” said Gil Rosen, chief marketing officer at Amdocs.
“CSPs do not compete within their category; they compete against all apps and amazing experiences being provided every day by new and existing players. Even dating and gaming apps serve as a benchmark as well as the obvious suspects from the online shopping, banks or any other incumbent service providers – it creates the need for service providers to constantly strive to match those experiences.”
For Amdocs, the solution is for CMOs to work towards the unified goal of leveraging data more effectively and holistically for better product and service design, seamlessly collaborating with multiple stakeholders –CIO, CTO, Customer Service, Operations and creating a cross-functional team to quickly deploy, test, and run applications across all customer interfaces with the brand.
The survey also revealed Australian CMOs are being too cautious in leveraging consumer data to enhance their personalised products and service design efforts. Survey results revealed 75 per cent of CMOs assume that consumers feel digital interactions are just a way to get more data about them, however, only 51 per cent of consumers are concerned about it. This impedes CMOs’ own ability to leverage the right amount and depth of consumer data required to deliver a holistic experience that a digital-age customer wants.
“Communication service providers (CSPs) must take advantage of the fact that consumers are willing to share their data to get an advanced personalised experience tailored to their expectations. However, before this happens, they must improve their quality of service and instill trust in their customers about how their data will be used, and break down internal silos between marketing, sales, and customer care,” said Stephen Saw, Director at Coleman Parkes.
FURTHER KEY FINDINGS FROM THE SURVEY
A highly personalised experience, leveraging consumer data, attracts consumers and will make them spend more: Almost 50 per cent of consumers want their CSPs to provide similar experiences like that of online shopping platforms. 60 per cent of consumers are likely to spend more if they have a personalised experience that adapts to their changing preferences. 40 per cent might switch service providers for such experiences.
Consumers want data-driven personalised experiences but will only share data with whom they trust: 61 per cent of Australian respondents want data-driven experience, however, 66 per cent of the respondents want their CSPs to be clearer and more honest with the personal data they are collecting and how they are using it.
A poorly designed personalised experience may backfire: Though most consumers want a compelling personalised experience, they are unforgiving, if not done right. Almost half of the respondents are frustrated with chatbots and live chats. 40 per cent think that personalised interactions are being forced on them when they do not need them.
CMOs recognise the benefits of personalised experiences but are not capitalising on the opportunity: 79 per cent of CMOs recognise data-driven products and services tailored to individual needs positively impact customer retention, yet only 10 per cent of them are delivering holistic personalised experiences. 83 per cent of the CMOs believe CSPs are currently not offering holistic personalised experience across sales, marketing, and customer care.
Technology and cultural barriers impede CMOs’ ability to design and offer highly personalised and seamless experiences: For most CMOs, money is not an issue, only 27 per cent of CMO respondents in Australia mention budget as the main barrier. 64 per cent believe that technology is the main barrier. While a substantial amount of their marketing budget in 2021 will go into marketing technologies, less than 40 per cent of marketers are using their advanced personalisation Martech stacks effectively.
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