Cognitive Computing Improves Customer Retention for Telecoms

By: Arthur Cole| - Leave a comment

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Telecommunications providers experience their highest customer retention rates when they deliver customized services. However, this functionality can quickly complicate compute, storage and networking resources with layers upon layers of software. Companies can also get bogged down with the legions of representatives required at call centers around the globe.

Through cognitive computing, many leading telecoms are finding they can achieve this level of customer engagement while at the same time reducing IT resource consumption and providing a higher degree of accuracy and request fulfillment.

Enhancing Customer Retention

According to a study by Grand View Research, the cognitive computing market is set to reach nearly $50 billion by 2025. This growth is driven primarily by the need to incorporate advanced data analytics and other capabilities into business processes.

While cognitive technologies mainly focus on enterprise-facing applications like strategic planning and market development, they can also revolutionize a wide range of customer services in the telecom industry. With tools like natural-language processing, autonomous network management and deep learning, cognitive computing presents an unprecedented opportunity to enable self-service, auto-assisted provisioning, pre-emptive troubleshooting and the ability to self-learn customers’ habits and preferences. These capabilities allow the technology to organically craft an increasingly optimized and personalized service environment.

Already, platforms like Watson are capable of reading 800 million pages per second. When you consider the wealth of data currently overseen by today’s telecom providers, it’s amazing that the industry has managed to survive without cognitive capabilities so far. Whether these are applied to network performance, device management, service delivery or social media, cognitive systems turn simple data into meaningful information, rich with context and expertly coordinated to enable informed decisions on a macro level or a highly granular, user-specific scale.

Cognitive Qualifications

However, it’s fair to say that given the wide-ranging capabilities that cognitive computing brings to the table, it’s not exactly a plug-and-play technology. It can sometimes be difficult to discern a cognitive system from one that is merely highly advanced. The Cognitive Computing Consortium maintains that in order to qualify as cognitive, a system must be:

  • Adaptive: It must have the ability to learn about its environment and adapt to inevitable changes.
  • Interactive: It must engage with users in a natural way, whether they are people, processors, services or other machines.
  • Iterative: It must define problems by asking questions or finding additional sources of information and remember previous interactions and apply them to new situations.
  • Contextual: It must understand, identify and extract meaning, syntax, time, location and other relevant factors using both structured and unstructured data, as well as visual, gestural, auditory and other sensory inputs.

Evolving Technology

Because cognitive computing is evolving rapidly and incorporates a cross-disciplinary group of researchers, developers and technologists, it’s likely that what defines a system as cognitive will change as the technology matures. Additionally, the wide variety of interfaces and design methodologies will produce diversity in the way cognitive systems engage with humans.

The telecom industry is one of the most competitive in the world, and there’s often a very fine line between success and failure when it comes to rolling out new services and penetrating new markets. With cognitive computing, providers are already finding they can build stronger brand loyalty, improve customer retention and kick the development and deployment of new products and services into high gear.

With most users currently disheartened by long waits on the help line, inaccurate or unhelpful assistance online and spotty service that doesn’t meet their real-world requirements, imagine how pleased they’ll be when they suddenly have immediate access to exactly what they want — sometimes before they even know they want it.

With data services acting in a more human manner, telecoms can achieve this state without pushing their infrastructure and their budgets to unsustainable levels.

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About The Author

Arthur Cole

Freelance Writer

With more than 20 years of experience in technology journalism, Arthur has written on the rise of everything from the first digital video editing platforms to virtualization, advanced cloud architectures and the Internet of Things. He is a regular contributor to IT Business Edge and Enterprise Networking Planet and provides blog posts and other web content to numerous company web sites in the high-tech and data communications industries.

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