Service providers' survival in today’s digital era will rely on their ability to adapt and develop flexible rollout strategies. Years ago, service providers could thrive by providing common offerings to all customers with little to no need to tailor those offerings. Now is a different time and the days of providing commodity services are gone.
Service providers have more fragmented customer bases than ever before, with different customer microsegments having their own unique sets of requirements and expectations. As a result, service providers must be able to deliver a variety of services that are designed specifically for certain customer groups.
Although this customer segmentation was predicted years ago, service providers are still struggling to embrace such dramatic change. One of the biggest hurdles facing service providers revolves around service delivery; how do they change the way they deliver services? To begin, service providers need to understand who customers are and how customers use services. Once service providers recognize the segmentation of their customer bases, they can find innovative ways to sell more services to specific groups of people.
The use of data analytics will be critical in establishing new insight into customer groups and their demands. With analytics, service providers can harvest unused customer data and turn it into valuable information to support product development. This new level of insight, as well as a better understanding of network activity and how services are consumed, will enable providers to accelerate the creation and delivery of new services.
More importantly, service providers need to try out new products with customers quickly and continuously, rather than wasting months to testing and fixing products before launch. If the services work, that’s great; if they don’t, that’s the signal to move on and try another. With a continuous new product delivery model that is supported by analytics, service providers will find the sweet spot for each of their customer microsegments more quickly.
Traditionally, the communications industry has not been very active about changing product offerings—the same triple play package that has been available for years is an example of this hesitation. Still, it’s encouraging to see that service providers are beginning to recognize the need to be more aggressive in their adoption of new models that allow them to roll out new offerings more quickly. With the right partnerships and infrastructure behind them, service providers can truly move forward and open new opportunities for growth and development.
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