The telecommunications industry has been at the forefront of innovation for decades. They’ve empowered a digital life for consumers and enabled digital transformation for enterprises. Increasingly, companies like Netflix and Amazon are the benchmarks for delivering seamless customer experiences. In the process, these digital natives have raised consumer expectations for all industries. For telco operators, this means providing omnichannel experiences that enable clients to seamlessly move through their apps, customer care, phone, and in-person to receive optimal service.
Delivering this kind of holistic customer experience is only possible through a digital device lifecycle management (dDLM) platform. With dDLM, operators gain numerous advantages, including easier onboarding, increased trade-ins, simpler device help, greater value added services (VAS) cross-sell, lower repair and returns, as well as streamlined logistics management. That’s a lot to ask from one platform, which is where MCE comes into the story.
A pioneer in this field, MCE brings the power of dDLM to operators globally with its 24/7 digital-first platform. With more than 17 years of experience, MCE helps tier-1 mobile operators and their partners turn device hassles into competitive advantages. MCE’s customers include T-Mobile, AT&T, Vodafone, Telus, Freedom Mobile, Currys, and Media Markt.
“Since 2005, we’ve innovated the industry building today's digital device lifecycle management solution step-by-step,” says Dr. Robert Hackl, President of MCE Systems. “Our platform dissolves the usual trade-off between boosting NPS and growing margins by improving customer journeys quickly and costeffectively.”
The Current State of Telco dDLM and How MCE can Help
Various industry studies reveal a major dichotomy: while there is a proliferation of channels for consumers, there is also declining satisfaction related to how customer requests are resolved across these channels.
An Ericsson study reveals that to complete an interaction with a telco company, an average mobile consumer needs 4.1 days and 2.2 attempts. And even a one-day delay in completing an action reduces customer satisfaction by 30 percent. Among respondents, only one-third believe their telco provider understands their needs. Moreover, 46 percent of customers believe telcos are using impersonal contact to hide ‘bad’ technology.
A 2022 MCE study on trade-ins among over 3,000 US mobile consumers confirmed these findings and more. It turns out that over 40 percent of Americans have never done a trade-in due to friction in the process and the lack of transparency on pricing. This led to deteriorated trust in the operator and a churn rate of about 9 percent of consumers who pursued a trade-in.
• The lack of remote intelligence adds many manual steps and impedes transparency.
• Limited channel connectivity triggers confusion and adds friction to the process.
• The absence of recorded prior interactions forces consumers to repeat actions when they switch channels.
Let’s start with what happens in the absence of remote intelligence specifically when it involves device diagnostics journeys. Unfortunately, an effective self-service resolution for the customer is impossible without sophisticated remote intelligence. That’s why MCE brings intelligence to the customer. Using a smart diagnostic app, for example, helps consumers avoid a trip to the store for repair and the need for a loaner device.
Putting intelligence into the hands of the user
The second issue driving customer frustration is the need to start from scratch if they switch channels. Adding channel connectivity helps customers who need a repair to go to the right store thanks to the ability to match the repair need with the store’s scope and parts availability, which the MCE platform enables in real-time.
MCE empowers device history tracking through a dedicated business intelligence module which allows consumers to start a trade-in on the app, call the call center to clarify open questions without having to repeat the process, and then go to a store and submit the device as part of an upgrade process. The price guarantee enabled by the app using self-serve diagnostics will be accepted in the store, except for a positive surprise of an operator’s potential add-on promotion for a new device.
Telcos Successfully Mobilizing Better Customer Experiences with MCE
MCE is trusted by more than 80 companies and partners to advance dDLM to a digitalfirst experience.
Vodafone UK saw these issues as an opportunity and launched a digital-first trade-in tool built on MCE technology to encourage customers to trade in devices ahead of the 2020 iPhone launch.
The operator promoted trade-ins through the MyVodafone app, which features a simple, quick trade-in process and a price guarantee which eliminates billing surprises. The app boasts an innovative, AI-enabled grading of a device screen’s cosmetic condition that customers can easily use. This enables accurate, objective price quotes that can be credited to the customer’s next bill. Vodafone UK more than doubled trade-in volume, and increased consumer trust and premium rate plan conversion. The MCE-powered app put consumers (and operators’ reps) in control while ensuring Vodafone achieved better margins. As Robert Hackl explains, “When the customer uses in-app diagnostics to grade their device, the valuation is fully transparent giving them the final price.” Vodafone led the market, leading to a reduced mix of Never Traders of 89 percent in 2020 to 47 percent in 2022.
“When the customer uses in-app diagnostics to grade their device, the valuation is fully transparent giving them the final price”
Freedom Mobile also appreciates the value of the MCE platform and was the first Canadian telco company to deliver a seamless, friction-free omnichannel experience for their customers across app, retail stores, call center, and logistics. Freedom executed the world’s first fully-integrated, seamless Apple GSX diagnostics, which is embedded in MCE diagnostic services. Freedom Mobile now provides a fully customized repair booking platform that integrates with its partners around the country. MCE’s unified repair management, including a start/pause/resume capability, and allows customers to track and monitor their device repair in real-time.
The MCE Cloud-Native Platform Enables Fast Deployment and Impact
With MCE’s significant R&D investment it has developed a cloud-native platform business architecture that can be implemented quickly and with immediate impact. MCE’s light weight full stack IT approach allows telcos to sprinkle the platform services into their existing architecture like “Lego blocks” and accelerate value creation from existing IT solutions while acting as a glue.
Remote intelligence is delivered through telco-grade microservices, which are the basis for building digitalfirst customer journeys. There is an integration layer with APIs and SDKs that affix to existing systems and enable telcos to extract more value from legacy infrastructure. MCE’s platform services solve the above-mentioned customer issues to enable native omnichannel experiences that are fully connected and have complete device history awareness. A workflow and compliance engine ensures that processes are executed at scale and with integrity (e.g., enforcing retail associates to use grading technology for trade-in), which is also complemented by an AI-powered next-best-action engine. MCE also provides back-office management consoles, which enable the configuration of customer journeys without IT requests.
Creating a state-of-the-art customer experience is a top priority for many telco operators around the world. But up until recently, getting there has been filled with technical and logistical challenges. That’s why more and more operators are turning to MCE to help them make their visions a reality.