All industries change over time; it’s the nature of the business. But few industries have changed as much as the telecoms sector over the past few years. What was once a booming industry, with amazing new tech-dazzling customers, is now facing a real crisis.
The statistics say it all: Global carrier service revenue declined by approximately $250 billion in 2018, a decline of almost 5% over the last two years. Income is predicted to fall even further; increased competition, squeezed margins, and rival technologies have created huge challenges.
Although there is still some room for growth in emerging economies, the voice market has become increasingly saturated. In many western countries, there are now more SIM cards than people. Data revenue recently exceeded voice revenue for the very first time, demonstrating one big reason why traditional voice carriers are trying to diversify rapidly.
As customers ride an increasingly downward pricing curve, telecoms providers are facing an inconvenient truth: the voice market has essentially exhausted itself.
Both business customers and domestic users are generally satisfied with what they’ve got. They’re saving time, enjoy first-class security, and call routing packages are already fantastic value for money. All providers can do is compete amongst themselves for the same customers and offer even greater savings – which, in turn, reduces margins further.
To make matters worse, online communication providers such as Skype, Facebook, and Google Hangouts are usurping traditional telephony. These fashionable services are conditionally free to use, so traditional telecoms providers simply cannot compete.
Larger voice operators have thus far survived due to the sheer size of their operations. Their high traffic volumes have enabled them to achieve viable margins. However, even the industry’s key players have now realized legacy models are not sustainable long-term.
Instead, telecom giants have begun to look away from the traditional voice market to find new income streams. Even huge companies like Verizon, once upon a time the largest international minutes wholesaler, are looking to diversify and shift their focus to Internet services.
The problem, of course, is that change isn’t always simple. Many providers recognize the needs for change but feel trapped by their large workforces, spiraling costs, and declining revenues but some any remain wedded to out-dated systems due to a combination of inertia and internal political constraints.
So what are they going to do?
Providers face a dilemma. They need to cut costs without damaging customer service. It sounds impossible but, fortunately, a solution is at hand – and it’s staring them in the face.
PSTN and other legacy systems waste resources in two key areas: providing telephone numbers and inefficient internal processes. Turning to automation can solve both of these problems, immediately.
Automating number ordering processes and the selection of call packages is an obvious place to start. It cuts costs and frees up employees to focus on other tasks like customer care and winning new business. It also creates superior management processes which allow business owners to collapse their entire back office if they like.
Fortunately, finding and implementing automated technologies is easier than you might think. For example, the automated webshop developed by SpeakIntelligence can be easily integrated into a provider’s website within just a few minutes, It’s also free to use and doesn’t require any technical knowledge.
This revolutionary webshop enables customers to order numbers and call routing packages ‘on-demand’ in just a few clicks. This immediately cuts costs, streamlines operations and improves providers’ ROI.
As the industry crisis deepens, and many providers continue to drag their heels, the message to telecoms companies is loud and clear: Introducing automated process is the quickest and most effective way to adapt and prosper. In the words of Catherine Haslam, “get better or get out”.