Big Data Analytics: Digital Transformation in Telecommunications

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ClickFox Interview with Jerry Adriano, Executive Vice President of SATMAP, on Digital Transformation

I believe companies have the opportunity to reduce operational expenses by up to 50 percent over a three to five year period while improving the customer experience.

Every day, more devices, businesses and consumers are connecting and carrying out transactions. By 2020, analysts estimate 30 billion devices connected along with over six billion people via the web alone. Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Jerry Adriano to discuss big data analytics and the digital transformation in telecommunications and beyond. Adriano is the Executive Vice President of SATMAP and a former executive at Sprint where he transformed Sprint’s customer experience and achieved industry-leading customer experience metrics. What follows is the edited interview that captures Adriano’s latest thinking on the digital transformation:

ClickFox: Do you see a digital transformation occurring across telecommunications and other industries impacting consumers?
Adriano: Companies across industries are transforming the customer experience by attempting to shift store and call center interactions to digital channels to allow self-service. In an ideal situation, a company will save money while also delivering a better customer experience because many customers today start in the digital channels and then are forced to complete their journey in a live channel. This drives higher operational expense and requires a high level of effort by the customer. However, most companies don’t know the existing customer journeys taken to achieve an outcome and don’t know the level of effort required by customers.

ClickFox: How beneficial is it to focus on customer journeys?
Adriano: I believe companies have the opportunity to reduce operational expenses by up to 50 percent over a three to five year period while improving the customer experience if the company fully understands customer journeys and takes the necessary actions to address gaps. Companies are at different stages of maturity in understanding customer journeys. It is common for a company to initially focus on customer interactions from a single channel perspective, which allows the company to have a deep understanding of customer interactions and satisfaction within a channel. We took that approach at Sprint in 2007, and it is a great way to start tackling customer experience gaps and gain momentum. Like most companies, Sprint then moved to understand the journeys across channels and identified actions to deliver a consistent customer experience that became the foundation for a digital transformation.

ClickFox: What should organizations focus on first?
Adriano: Counting the number of customer interactions/contacts within a channel and across channels is the most basic first step. It provides an order of magnitude perspective and may allow for some high level categorization of types of interactions, but doesn’t provide the required actionable insight. Therefore, I would say that identifying and understanding the root causes of how and why customers are interacting with your company is the area to focus on first because this will provide actionable insights. Customer journey mapping helps provide that root cause understanding.

ClickFox: What advice or best practices would you offer to your peers who want to gain value out of their data and are looking to implement successful digital transformation initiatives?
Adriano: Don’t forget to focus on usability and discoverability of self-service capabilities in the digital channel. Usually, the primary focus is on developing and launching the capability while the usability and discoverability of the capability are given less attention. Journey maps frequently reveal that customers start in a digital channel and are unsuccessful, forcing the customers to move to a live channel such as a store or call center. In my experience, the lack of usability and discoverability are often the biggest drivers of customers not being able to complete the journey in digital channels.

Also available on the ClickFox website.

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Rebecca Rowe
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