Ericsson: zero-touch could herald a new era in service provider customer interaction

  • New Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab Insight Report explores the future of customer interactions with telecom service providers
  • Consumers expect telecom service providers to match leading digital consumer experiences
  • Telecom service providers can leapfrog to a zero-touch customer experience future, using AI and automation to preempt consumer needs and solve issues with minimal effort

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Consumer & IndustryLab released its latest Insight Report today - the Zero touch customer experience – exploring the future of customer interactions with mobile service providers.

Today, smartphone users interact with operators across multiple touch points: from discovering offerings and signing up to services, to requesting support for ending a contract.

The report highlights consumers’ current frustrations at their interactions with their mobile service provider, taking on average 2.2 attempts and 4.1 days to successfully complete an interaction. This high customer effort impacts negatively on satisfaction levels.

Digitally leading brands offer the minimal effort interaction consumers prefer. Smartphone users now expect the same hassle-free, one-click digital experience from operators. The report highlights that mobile service providers can leapfrog to a zero-touch customer experience future by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics:

  • Enabled by AI, telecom service providers could use data from earlier interactions and consumer behavior to predict what consumers need before they even contact them for support. More than half (56 percent) of smartphone users expect operators to anticipate their needs even before they realize what they are.
  • While we have grown accustomed to typing, clicking and swiping on our devices, new zero-touch methods are emerging based on voice, gestures, and augmented or virtual reality. One in ten households in the US already has a voice-enabled home assistant device such as Amazon Alexa. As voice assistants become more prominent in consumers’ everyday lives, they will expect integration of support interactions over those platforms too.

Pernilla Jonsson, Head of Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab, says: “Consumers believe telecom service providers treat touchpoints like isolated interactions. Siloed focus means they miss the bigger picture. Interestingly, telecom service providers could leapfrog one-click and move from multiple-click to zero-touch by deploying future technologies in their customer offerings. The zero-touch customer experience report shows that zero-touch experiences are now an expectation of their customers.”

Read The zero-touch customer experience’ Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab Insight Report here (gated).

About the report:

The Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab Insight Report gathered insights based on both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative data was collected from seven markets: Brazil, China, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, the UK, and the US. Approximately 7,000 online interviews were held with smartphone users aged 16 years and over.

Qualitative insights were gathered through four focus groups conducted in London and New York. All participants were advanced smartphone users and users of intelligent voice assistants or chatbots.

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Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. www.ericsson.com

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