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4 ways 5G will impact Telecom Customer Support

Updated: Jul 2

Customer service agents working in a call center

The rollout of 5G core in Europe is underway. We all probably agree that 5G will once again revolutionize the way we use mobile network technology in our daily lives, work, and social interactions.

Download speed and latency are among the areas where 5G will deliver significant potential. The download speed from 4G to 5G is predicted to be up to a thousand times faster, with similar improvements in latency. With today's 4G connection, the general latency is 50 milliseconds, while with 5G, we look forward to speeds of one millisecond or less.

Another area that will significantly improve is capacity. 5G can support up to one million units per square kilometer, which is 10 times more than 4G. This capacity improvement is necessary to support the significant estimated increase in IoT units in the coming years.

As we continue to explore the potential of 5G, we quickly realize that the possibilities are enormous, almost inconceivable. The new standards for download speed and capacity open up a sea of opportunities in all existing business areas and a whole portfolio of brand-new ones.

The experience for the consumer will be absolutely phenomenal - but can you be certain of delivering 5G at any given time? And what happens when it does not turn out as planned? What if customers complain about their delivery experience? How can you verify what speed the customer is getting?

5G & Telecom Customer Support

Most telecom customers’ experiences occur remotely. Simple new sales and service upgrades can be done via digital platforms, but for telecom technical support, it is often necessary to contact a call center or visit a store.

In our yearly Telecom customer market study, 60% of respondents state that they want to be able to contact their CSP during weekends, and 43% don’t list the phone as one of their top three preferred methods of contact.

Thirty percent (30%) of your NPS consists of tech network delivery* – and it is easy to assume that for those customers who specifically buy 5G subscriptions or 5G-related services, this part is significantly higher. Sixty-five percent (65%)** say that customer service is the most important or a very important factor when choosing a service provider.

The significance of 5G will unfold over time.

Here are four ways we can expect it to influence telecom customer service offerings:

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1. Advanced Real-Time Personalization

MNOs that deliver outstanding customer service often have a unified customer-centric view. They focus on each individual customer's satisfaction at every step of the journey, as the cost of acquiring new customers is always higher than retaining existing satisfied customers who stay for a long period and upgrade their services.

To deliver extraordinary and personalized service experiences, MNO customer service organizations must be able to act on large amounts of data. Many MNOs already have vast amounts of rich customer data that they do not use efficiently in customer service or support. When this data is collected into an aggregated customer view, service and support agents are empowered to identify any troubles the individual customer is experiencing and provide recommendations on how to resolve potential issues.

With efficient and modern tools based on machine learning and AI, these tools become even smarter. They can deliver more reliable models for how the perceived service delivery should be in a certain area on a specific device with a specific OS version.

Several large service providers in the Nordic and Baltic regions, such as Telia and Telenor, have already started using the analysis tool SubSearch for their telecom customer support organizations to meet the need for advanced personalized technical support.

As a result, customers receive a personalized service experience with faster resolution times.

Three smartphones with mock-up screens visualizing a series of notifications

2. Advanced technical self-service in your smartphones

The next step is to make hyper-personalized customer service available to consumers where they spend a lot of time – in their smartphones. Many organizations find it difficult to match data with customer experiences and evaluate how their customers perceive their products, especially in real-time.

Open APIs enable customers to get hyper-personalized technical support straight in their smartphones. They could receive the same information that a support agent sees in their analysis tool, but in a customized format in their service providers' brand app, around the clock.

For example, if the customer is in an area with planned maintenance work affecting 5G capacity for four hours, the vast majority (90%)** want to be informed about this via an app notification. They also wish to be proactively informed about maintenance work in areas where they are often located, such as at work or home.

Another example is during a service disruption for voice calls, texts, or data. Despite major disruptions where some customers are affected for several hours, sometimes days, very few (0.3%)** contact customer support to report their perceived problems.

The great thing about open APIs is that they can be used for various purposes. A technical self-service API in the 5G generation should at least inform customers if the service delivery does not meet the required level, what the problem is, how it can be solved, and when it will be resolved.

To proactively prevent customers from experiencing a degraded service level, an API should also return information back to the Network Operations Center (NOC). This simplifies how the NOC prioritizes known trouble tickets and creates a seamless feedback loop.

As a result, it is possible to steer operations towards a much more proactive customer experience center.

A person holding a tablet with a home control screen of the households IoT devices

3. Increase of IoT with self-service

IoT has been around for several years and is not a new concept. Thanks to 5G, with its lower latency and improved technical reliability, the number of IoT devices will increase significantly, as most market experts advocate.

Several of these newer IoT devices, such as home alarms and thermostats, can notify the owner when they need maintenance work. With new technologies like 5G and Augmented Reality (AR), many consumers can carry out this work independently at home with the help of clear instructions in an app. Of course, the same information should be shared with the product manufacturer to prevent future problems and improve the customer experience.

A woman sitting in front of her laptop and waving with her right hand.

4. Accessibility to Video Support

For occasions where AR and app instructions are not sufficient to solve the problem, the next step is video support. With the better connection that 5G offers, ultra-crisp video calls to 5G customer support can be carried out.

The technician can observe the issues firsthand through video, which simplifies troubleshooting and guidance to solve the problem step by step, even in the case of complex technical problems.

One thing is for sure - the service providers' customer service will need to change with 5G, especially the technical support.


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