Top 5 Challenges for Telco Companies: How BPM Can Help

Written by Lucas de Boer | 4 min read
Published on: November 6th 2018 - Last modified: June 10th, 2021
challenges for telco companies - mobile in a hand

Business process management helps organizations of all shapes and sizes identify and implement process improvements based on data insights, not guesses. For telco companies, this means improving customer experience while reducing spending on customer service, and decreasing unnecessary costs and re-work while increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. But there are challenges to achieving these goals…

Digital gatekeepers in a time of change

The world has well and truly entered the Digital Age, and the telecommunications companies that keep us connected can rightly be called the gatekeepers of our online lives. But in performing this role, there are numerous challenges for telco companies, both in supporting consumers and ensuring their businesses operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Read on to discover the top five challenges for telco companies, and how BPM can help solve them.

How BPM can help tackle the top 5 challenges for telco companies

1. Differentiation

Telecommunications companies offer a similar (or in many cases, identical) product. As such, it can be difficult for individual organizations to truly stand out to customers. Offering lower prices would seem to be the most apparent point of difference, but given the general cost of doing business for telco companies is also similar, this can come at the expense of reducing profits.

Furthermore, as Signavio has previously noted in our blog post on how companies punish consumer loyalty, competing on price simply forces companies into a game of deeper and deeper discounts to attract new customers. This leaves little time to focus on maintaining their existing customer base.

How BPM can help: Business process management helps ensure that the crucial processes that power your business are running smoothly. This gives you the capacity to then re-think your operations from the customer’s point of view—in effect, placing the customer at the center of your organization. In a crowded market, a customer-centric approach is a clear and immediate drawcard for consumers.

2. Customer service

Unfortunately, using BPM to take a customer-centric approach is well overdue for the telecommunications industry. Poor customer service is one of the biggest challenges for telco companies: The list of customer complaints is a long one. Even a quick online investigation reveals horror stories of contracts that can’t be cancelled, hours-long waiting times, unhelpful (or nonexistent!) customer service, misleading advertising, and a range of other issues.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that the telco industry was rated 74.2 out of 100 for overall customer satisfaction when the Institute of Customer Service released its 2018 UK Customer Satisfaction Index—several percentage points less than the all-sectors average of 78.1.

How BPM can help: In short, business process management can increase the quality and consistency of your organization’s approach to customer interactions. BPM can provide a framework of clear and repeatable procedures, rules, and exceptions, meaning your employees can make the right decisions to support customers consistently and quickly, therefore increasing customer satisfaction.

For example, managing the multiple consumer touchpoints inherent in providing telecommunications services (social media, digital, in-store, mobile and call center) becomes more straightforward when processes for multi-channel interactions are clarified and streamlined using BPM, enabling you to provide a high level of service even in today’s climate of increasingly informed and demanding customers.

3. Customer churn

Customer churn is when an existing customer of a business stops being that company’s customer. Clearly, this decision on the part of the customer is linked to the standard of service they receive! However, relatively new entrants into the communications market offering free or cheaper alternatives to text messaging and other services traditionally provided by telco companies—think Viber or WhatsApp— is another reason consumers may choose to move on from their telco.

How BPM can help: Customer Journey Mapping visualizes the way each customer interacts with your business, including the moments most likely to cause frustration or satisfaction. Making use of CJM to understand the way your customers use their telecommunications, then adapting the services you provide accordingly, provides a basis for a lasting customer relationship.

Over time, and with improvements in technology, telco companies will be able to offer packages, services, or opportunities unique to individual customers, further reinforcing that relationship and significantly reducing churn.

4. Increasing complexity

An increased variety of services and products catering to a wide range of individuals; competition from market disruptors; changing technology, including an increasing focus on cloud computing over traditional cables and towers: It’s clear the operating environment for telco companies is only going to get more complex in the future.

To cope with this ongoing complexity, the internal processes and decision-making within telco companies will themselves necessarily become more complex, leading to significantly increased risk of bottlenecks, dead-ends, and missed opportunities.

How BPM can help: BPM is explicitly designed to deal with this sort of complexity. Establishing a strong process framework, where your organization’s processes are clearly analyzed, mapped, and understood by all employees, gives a firm foundation to deal with new information, upgrades, and unexpected changes in the way your organization works.

5. Inefficiency

When considered in terms of this increasing complexity, inefficient processes look all the more damaging for telco companies. There are hundreds, if not thousands of individual tasks and related decisions that any telco company needs to complete every day, in order to keep their business functioning effectively—and that is just if nothing unexpected happens!

A relatively simple example could be technical visits, either to install hardware for customers, fix broken devices, or to assist in some other way with a customer’s telecommunications connection. There is a significant cost difference between a resolution online or via phone, and each site visit, meaning any opportunity to reduce these visits could mean enormous potential savings.

How BPM can help: BPM can help your company drive process improvement by identifying inefficiencies or areas of high/unnecessary cost wherever they exist in a process. Using a tool like SAP Signavio Process Intelligence means you can propose process changes, work together internally to gather feedback and approval, then implement your optimization measures in a matter of hours.

How Signavio can help

The SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite is tailor-made for taking on challenges for telco companies. You can find out more at Signavio's dedicated Telecommunications page, including customer testimonials from companies like T Mobile, 1&1, and NBNco. Or, if you’re ready to dial up your own business transformation efforts, why not get started with a free 30-day trial from Signavio today.

Published on: November 6th 2018 - Last modified: June 10th, 2021