Six ways for telecommunications players to boost customer experience

23 July 2021 4 min. read
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While customer experience improvements have been flagged as a strategic priority for telecommunications companies over the past decade, most of them are still failing to transform it into sustainable competitive differentiation. Strategy consultancy Arthur D. Little has picked out six pillars which firms can build a unique customer experience offering around.

The Covid-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to the global telecoms industry, with research suggesting it wiped £31 billion from the market’s collective revenues. With everyone forced to stay at home for most of the year, revenue from several segments such as roaming, pre-paid, and voice all sank – resulting in a 2.7% drop overall .  

While it will take until 2023 for the sector to fully recover, the outlook for 2021 is better. Thanks to booming activity in the connectivity and remote working segment, telecommunications firms, or telcos, look set to move past the worst of things – but those who want to come out ahead of the curve during the industry’s recovery will need to consider ways of differentiating themselves from competitors. According to new research from global consultancy Arthur D. Little, one of the best techniques for this is to develop new approaches to customer experience. Learning from customer experience (CX) leaders, the advisory firm has identified six key building blocks at the foundation of a superior telco CX.

Six ways for telecommunications players to boost customer experience

Core product quality

Perhaps most obviously, Arthur D. Little asserts that telcos need to develop products or services that mark them out as different from their rivals. This necessitates the fostering of a culture for continuous innovation, however, as firms are now expected to maintain their products in a way that adapts to fit the needs of their consumers.

The researchers explained, “Rather than a one-time activity, this requires effective innovation engines within organisations to gather ongoing feedback or insights from internal marketing functions and directly from customers to constantly upgrade products’ quality accordingly.”


Following on from that, products that are one-size-fits-all will alienate customers expecting tailored experiences. Telcos have access to reams of data, and if they leverage it appropriately, they can discern which needs customers want an individualised service for – and cater to them.

“Telcos should leverage the extensive customer data available to them to develop elaborate personas aligned with customers’ motivations and concerns,” Arthur D. Little added. “These personas can enrich both the sales achieved as well as the product/service experience delivered.”


The telecom sector is already one of the markets to have reached an advanced state of process digitalisation – as such there is real pressure for telcos to prove they are the best of the best. According to Arthur D. Little, telcos “should digitalise customer interfaces as well as their operations/backends through the application of more open architectures.”

Perhaps one area for differentiation is the potential shift into cloud technology. Research by Trianz recently suggested telecom has been slow to move its analytics applications to the cloud. By making the shift, they could streamline their own digital journey, as well as improving the digital processes customers use to access their services.

Omnichannel experience

Telcos should enable an integrated customer lifecycle across multiple channels/mediums for delivering a seamless omnichannel experience.


Telcos must continue becoming more Agile/ efficient in their processes and systems by leveraging latest technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA).

Security and privacy

Telcos must constantly adhere to robust cybersecurity protocols to protect the increasing amount of customer data they are managing.

Our experience with several telco operators around designing/ implementing CX strategies demonstrates a strong need for consistency, since CX works only when it all works, and it all works exactly the same way each time. This consistency is typically achieved through effectively deploying the comprehensive/holistic approach indicated above within the telco organisation. Interactions/partnerships with social media players can provide support to telcos in designing and implementing each of the six CX pillars and in applying the strength/capabilities of the customer bases and the engines that large social media players (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, WeChat) have already developed. Additionally, telcos that leverage these interactions/partnerships well can even reach beyond the standard CX pillars to deliver building blocks/pillars that are more specific to their organisations and that reinforce their brand/ competitive advantage over competitors.