Perhaps the biggest takeaway from 2020 is that organizations should focus more on people. Putting people first and using technology to provide them with a smooth customer experience is a recipe for happy customers in an economy that’s digitizing at lightning speed. The companies that took this lesson to heart are the ones that came out booming.
At the SmartCom Summit Summer 2021 we talked Customer Experience with various experts in the field like Jan Rijk Vonk (KPN), Remco de Kramer (Microsoft), Gert-Jan Huizer (Telestax, acquired by Mavenir), Edwin van Ierland (iBasis), Rob Kurver (The Next Cloud) and others.
Change, telcos, and customer experience
We are now at a point in time where every big telco player has become a tech company and tech companies like Microsoft start calling themselves a telco company.
As Remco de Kramer (Microsoft) explains to Rob Kurver: “Microsoft is a telco nowadays as well. However, we strongly believe in giving our customers a choice. What we see is that the majority of customers want to connect their current telco with Microsoft Teams and keep their calling plans with their operator. Direct routing offers that flexibility.”
Microsoft obviously sees the advantages of catering to customers and partnering with companies in the telecom industry. Remco continues: “we’re looking to expand partnerships and keep giving customers choice.”
The big waking up…
Edwin van Ierland (iBasis) and Gert-Jan Huizer (Telestax, now Mavenir) see that big telcos are “very slowly waking up” but “still talk a different language”. The biggest challenge for telcos in the next couple of years will be keeping their customers and innovating fast enough to keep up with customers’ changing demands, while dealing with competition from new scaleups and communication service providers. As Edwin puts it, “they need to make choices.”
However, both are positive about the future, Gert-Jan explains. “We see some movement. We are now talking with companies like China Telecom and Tata Communications and others. Change is happening.”
KPN’s Jan Rijk Vonk agrees with the need for change. ”We have to gear up. But it’s not natural for us.” And he acknowledges that there’s an internal telco conversation going about future directions, organization of the company, and partnering up with not only big players but also startups and smaller companies.
Join us at our next event which will be all about customer engagement. Inspiring thought leaders and other speakers will talk about changes in tech and the role of technology in customer experience. Also, we’ll be bringing some exciting new guests (stay tuned for that, we’ll announce them over the coming weeks) as well. We can’t wait to meet you there!