2023 Trends: How CSPs Can Embrace Non-Digital Interactions Amid Digital Transformation

In this digital age, many telecommunications companies encourage customers to adopt digital processes such as paperless billing, automated payments and digital self-service. After all, automated interactions increase efficiency, saving time and money. But digital domination jeopardizes customer experience (CX) for consumers who prefer non-digital interactions.

A review of usage data from CSG solutions revealed that a surprising number of customers prefer manual processes such as paper billing statements, check payments and voice-based customer service. To enhance CX, telecommunications brands must deliver exceptional analog as well as digital experiences.


Human Touch Still Matters in the Digital World

While many consumers embrace digital technology, others prefer print documents, human interaction and shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. They want physical experiences such as holding that smartphone to see whether the screen is big enough before they buy it, or asking a sales associate a question face-to-face about a product.

CSG’s 2022 survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S., UK and Australia found that, across industries:

      • 26% of respondents preferred getting paper statements in the mail to setting up online automated bill payment. That’s 1 in 4 people!
      • 36% would rather wait on hold to speak to a human agent when they have a problem than use an AI-powered virtual assistant app.


Combine High-Tech and High-Touch

To deliver outstanding CX, businesses must balance digital and non-digital interactions and experiences. This requires a two-pronged approach:

        1. Migrate more customers toward digital channelshat reduce costs
        2. Maintain and improve the quality of traditional experiences (such as printed communications and live agent interactions)o retain customers who prefer them

Digital and analog communications are not mutually exclusive. Analog means “relating to or denoting an activity, process, etc.,hat is not online or computerized but that can also exist or happen with the help of such technology.” Technology can enhance the paper billing experience, live agent interactions and troubleshooting.


Enhance 3 Analog Experiences Using Digital Tools

1. Print and Digital Billing Journey

To satisfy customers who prefer paper statements, evaluate the billing experience and improve your statements to better meet customers’ needs.

Many companies’ billing statements don’t meet customer needs. According to CSG’s analysis of 30 companies’ bills, even the best statement only met 13 of 23 criteria that consumers would say are important. Poorly designed bills cause confusion, frustration and billing calls.

Well-designed billing statements:

          • Make the amount due very easy to find
          • Provide a clear due date
          • Inform customers of changes in their service or impacts to their bill

Many customers who opt to receive print statements want quick, convenient ways to pay—and that means digital channels. To join print and digital channels:

            • Attach a PDF version of the bill to emails
            • Link to a PDF version of the bill from text messages
            • Include QR codes (linking to your payment portal) in print statements

Related Resource: 5 Billing Statement Sins that Could Be Damaging Your CX


2. Interactions with Customer Service Agents

To enhance CX for customers who prefer to speak with a contact center agent:

              • Reduce the number of calls that reach agents (and thereby wait times) by improving self-service options
              • Route calls to the right agent the first time so customers don’t have to (re-)explain their problem to several agents
              • Help agents deliver proactive, personalized and efficient service by giving them the information they need to resolve the issue accurately, in one call

Digital tools—proactive call deflection, intent-based call routing, and proactive agent guidance—make it simple to accomplish those three objectives. Even leverage solutions that explain charges and billing changes to prevent consumers from calling into the call center.

Related Resource: CSG Interactive Bill Datasheet


3. Remote Troubleshooting

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cable/telco companies needed to fix customer device problems without having technicians enter homes. Remote visual troubleshooting using augmented reality (AR) makes that possible. With AR solutions, customers use their smartphone to show techs and contact center agents what they’re looking at, speeding up troubleshooting and eliminating the need for in-home service calls. Customers still communicate with a real person, who is better able to tell them how to fix the problem.

CSG’s Digital Experiences Survey found that 72% of consumers would rather resolve a cable/internet outage by using an AR app on their phone with the help of a customer service rep to walk them through troubleshooting—instead of waiting for a technician to come to their home to fix the problem.

Using digital tools to improve non-digital processes boosts efficiency and saves money—while satisfying customers who want convenience,angible experiences and human connection.

Read CSG’s State of the Customer Experience 2023 Reporto discover another three major CX trends that should guide business decisions.

2023 Trends: How CSPs Can Embrace Non-Digital Interactions Amid Digital Transformation