3 minute read 4 Feb 2021
Business owner opening the door at a cafe wearing a facemask

How resilient telecommunications enterprises find strength in change

By Adrian Baschnonga

EY Global Telecommunications Lead Analyst

Lead Analyst with deep sector knowledge in technology, media and telecom, gained in professional services and business intelligence environments.

3 minute read 4 Feb 2021
Related topics TMT Telecommunications

Today’s enterprises have to look past recovery and be prepared for change before it occurs.

This article is part of the EY NextWave Telecommunications Journal

In brief:
  • Telcos must consider now how they are evolving value proposition to meet new demands.
  • Of utmost importance is embedding empathy into all forms of customer contact.
  • Relief packages — and the alterations to packaging and pricing made as a result — must be considered to inform post-a pandemic customer promise.

The Oxford Dictionary defines resiliency as: “The ability of people or things to recover quickly after something unpleasant, such as shock, injury, etc.” But today’s enterprises can’t just rely on recovery — they have to be prepared for change before it occurs. Therefore, our own definition of resiliency is less about rigid strength and more about flexible control.

While very few could have predicted a global pandemic this year, it was clear to see that the most resilient enterprises were the ones pivoting at speed, and delivering calm, collected business continuity while everyone around them panicked.

But let’s be clear — this ability to adapt quickly isn’t an accidental attribute. It’s an approach that needs to be built into the core of an enterprise to strengthen its resiliency.

Telecommunications enterprises should maintain focus on customer safety and brand protection — and should be taking a long-term view of their value propositions and customer promises. Digital habits formed now may end up lasting a lifetime. Here is some context.

For the most part, telcos have responded well to the COVID-19 crisis. Opinion polls make for pleasant reading. And they have been responsive with consumer relief packages — such as removing data caps and offering free access to critical services. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Many enterprise customers are reappraising their communications and IT needs. A rapid increase in remote working and education means consumers are looking for more from their home connectivity packages.

There has never been a better time to come closer to your customers – action, empathy and innovation all go hand-in-hand.

These changes are more than knee-jerk reactions to the crisis; they will form the basis of customers’ long-term needs. So, with this in mind, telcos need to answer the following question: is the way you are engaging and communicating with your customer base fit for a rapidly emerging “new normal?”

Ensuring that your immediate actions during the crisis translate into sustainable customer satisfaction means asking new questions. How are you evolving your value proposition to meet new demands? Are you embedding empathy into all forms of customer contact? How will relief packages — and the alterations to packaging and pricing you’ve made as a result — inform your post-pandemic customer promise?

A Framework for success

Telecommunications companies must structure their decision-making processes and prioritize accordingly to become more resilient and better at responding to change. A strong framework, such as EY’s Enterprise Resilience Framework, helps you to do this. This kind of solid framework acts as a tool to help you organize your thoughts and address the COVID-19 crisis in a consistent and pervasive way. But more than that, it should be designed for your future success.

There are three areas that we think telcos should prioritize today:

  1. Customer safety and brand protection
    How have businesses that create more meaningful customer relationships during times of crisis have been proven to outperform the competition over the long term?
  2. Technology and information security
    In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic spurred business to new heights of technological innovation? And how has it made organizations more reliant on technology than ever?
  3. Government and public policy (including social responsibility)
    How are governments around the world are responding quickly to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Beyond the questions posed here, our deeper aim is to ask how far enterprises think they can go. After all, they’ve changed more in the past few months than ever imagined, so, can they keep the momentum up and deliver long-lasting positive change?

The overarching priority to deliver success needs to be looking after customers while protecting the future of the brand.

Summary

Ultimately, there has never been a better time to get closer to customers — action, empathy and innovation all go hand-in-hand. Telcos must ready themselves to embrace the change.
 

About this article

By Adrian Baschnonga

EY Global Telecommunications Lead Analyst

Lead Analyst with deep sector knowledge in technology, media and telecom, gained in professional services and business intelligence environments.

Related topics TMT Telecommunications