— How Can Telecoms Use Automation?
18th June 2021 by Paloma Gonzalez
In EY’s study of telecoms technology, 59 percent of telecoms companies identify agility and scalability as the most important driver of automation adoption within their operations.
Automation makes communication more efficient within internal business processes and it enhances the customer experience.
In an industry that constantly evolves with new technologies, automation also enables companies to be more agile. Since this technology is constantly changing, it’s important to recognize the ways that your business changes with it. Adapting to new technologies that increase efficiency also opens more opportunities to scale.
Automation vs. Optimization
Many companies implement automation through newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT).
With so many innovative tools on the horizon, it’s hard to know which digital resources to invest in. However, there are ways to automate your processes beyond technology. Modernizing data networks and other digital infrastructure is just one way to adopt automation and increase productivity. Still, productivity involves people, not just technology.
No matter how efficient your technology is, an inefficient team can still slow productivity. There are a few different ways to optimize your people and boost your operations.
Optimize by Scaling
Sometimes automation simply depends on the scale of your operations. In this case, scaling the size of your team can automate processes that are normally time-consuming or costly.
In customer support, automation can boost engagement and deliver fast solutions that improve customer satisfaction.
Growing your support team also enables customers to resolve issues that require more intuitive responses than technologies like AI can deliver. While AI does provide self-service options for customers, some support demands exceed bot capabilities.
This is why it helps to have a strong live support structure in addition to automation technology.
24/7 live support provides the most availability to meet customer needs as they arrive. Businesses have a choice between top support channels such as live calls, chat, and even social media messages. Some channels may fit the needs of the business better than others, but it’s also important to consider what channels customers prefer.
Despite methods such as text and live chat, phone calls remain the preferred channel for customer support. Last year, 76% of customers proved this by requesting support over the phone.
How to Simplify Scaling
So, what if your business doesn’t have the resources to implement 24/7 service?
Outsourcing your support operations is one of the best solutions to this problem. It allows businesses to increase the scope of their customer service without any internal infrastructure or the hassle of management.
Delegating support tasks also allows you to divert more internal resources to other operations. While you focus on other core parts of your business, an external live team stays dedicated to engaging with customers. This external process creates a more automatic workflow for your support structure.
Optimize by Centralizing
Standardized consistency ensures that all parts of the business deliver consistent customer messaging and operate with the same core mission.
For customer-facing parts of the business, a lack of standardized consistency confuses customers with mixed messages. For back-office operations, this can cause inconsistencies in data and adherence to company policies.
The solution is to centralize your operations.
Identifying Productivity Gaps
In a digital context, centralizing information means consolidating data through digital transformation, but this is just one approach.
Outside of technology, companies can centralize information by refining their business process.
Identifying gaps in your process helps you locate inconsistencies in information and practices. Most companies use business process frameworks to lay out strategies for productive operations and avoid these consistencies.
For telecom companies, frameworks such as ITIL and eTOM are standard references.
Both frameworks provide best practices standards for telecom companies and place the customer at top of the operations hierarchy. eTOM presents the following structure:
- Strategy/Infrastructure & Product
- Enterprise Management
However, implementation varies from company to company. Since there are no specifications for system implementation, companies may have gaps in information between new and old framework models.
Revisiting these frameworks that include new company products and priorities minimizes the opportunities for these gaps.
In a real-world example, the age of 5G demands changes in the day-to-day and the long-term scope of operations. The increase in bandwidth capabilities involves more upgrades to hardware. Copper wires used to deliver lower standards of bandwidth must now be replaced with more efficient fiber optic cables.
Telecoms companies now have to consider their process for implementation across the scope of operations. A whole new set of business process questions must be addressed:
- How will we keep an inventory of cables that require upgrades?
- How will we ensure uninterrupted 5G coverage for major service locations?
- What are our service management and maintenance plans for down service?
These are relevant challenges and obstacles that face telecoms companies all over the world. Incorporating these new questions and their solutions into your frameworks helps you identify new standards for operations.
Optimizing your people and your processes leads to real cost-savings and growth opportunities. In fact, one of the largest telecoms companies increased their field manual accuracy from 80 percent to 99 by optimizing their people and the process.
OKIN Process helped them achieve better service, increase productivity, and produce more cost-efficient solutions. Now, they have an external Core Equipment Engineering team that takes ownership of maintenance tasks and makes service operations more automatic. Read the full case study to learn more about how we helped them improve.
If you’re looking to enhance your work operations, we specialize in making that happen. Contact us today to learn more about how you can automate your work and increase productivity.