Subscriber Complexity, Choice Bring Challenges for Global Communication ProvidersIf you need more proof that customer experience is a game-changer for many industries, a new report called “Bringing Dexterity to Subscriber Complexity: Managing the Challenge of Change and Choice in Communications and Media Markets” shows that 83% of communications operators need to get a better handle on network resources and support challenges presented by a more diverse and demanding customer base and the increase of new devices and service offerings.

There's Nothing Complex About Customer Experience

The report is a product of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, Openet, the Customer Experience Board and The Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network and surveyed more than 200 executives to examine the challenge of subscriber complexity within the global communications industry. What they found indicates that, while operators understand the barriers in their way and the need to provide more options and flexibility for subscribers, it’s hard for them to make the necessary organizational and cultural changes to enhance the subscriber experience.

Most respondents (83%) feel customer diversity and choice are a real issue in their business.
Most respondents (83%) feel customer diversity and choice are an issue in their business.

The communications industry, which consists of cable/TV, cellular wireless, internet and content delivery services companies, has long been adapting to the changing landscape. From UHF to cable to satellite to modems, DSL, and wireless, as technologies improve, so do users’ expertise and expectations. With increased access and availability of personal mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, the demand for real-time, affordable communications has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity for many users.

Though it might seem free and easy to gain access to streaming video online, the reality is that providing enough bandwidth can be expensive and challenging for operators. Being able to keep up with demand, while offering services that are affordable, are just a few of the challenges confronting the communications industry. However, it isn't always easy for subscribers to sympathize with an industry that has yet to change its pricing structure or its approach to handling customer concerns.

Cable Industry + Business Intelligence? An Oxymoron?

But how do you go about changing the mindset of an entire industry? Admitting you have a problem is a start. 68% say their traditional corporate mindset is out of sync with new forms of service, but 72% say they lack the subscriber insight and intelligence critical to the execution of a more personalized user experience.

Many factors complicate the communications customer landscape
Many factors complicate the communications customer landscape 

Still, even when cable providers seem to know what their users want more of, they are unwilling. A majority (74%) say their traditional flat rate subscription model is hurting their company’s ability to maximize revenues and profitability, primarily because of growing bandwidth usage. Yet, only a quarter of operators rated their pricing and service flexibility as high to compete in today’s complex communications market. If there was ever a disconnect between what you know and your subsequent actions, the communications industry is the poster child.

It’s clear that the global communications industry is at a tipping point. Customer expectations demand that providers change their game. However, that’s easier said then done. The real challenge for the communications industry isn’t delivering what customers want, it’s getting over their own ego and legacy to reinvent themselves and their organizational culture. Until they do that, they will be increasingly unprepared to handle their customers, their needs and the changing landscape of mobile communications.