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Here’s Why You Should Implement a Digital-First Strategy

7 min read
Published on: 26 Jan 2021
Updated on: 23 March, 2023
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The term “digital-first” has been around for some time now. In recent years, however, it became one of those buzzwords that are thrown around to make things sound a bit cooler and trendier. It seems very straight forward but, just to make sure we are all on the same page, here’s the definition from Wilson Fletcher:


Digital-first means approaching any new opportunity, or problem, with the assumption that the solution should be as digital as possible.

Wilson Fletcher


The author continues by giving us 2 simple steps to follow to envisage our brands as digital-first:

  1. Imagine as much of the service that you are creating as possible being used by customers in digital form.
  2. Imagine as much of the service as possible being powered by underlying digital platforms.


The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us even closer to adapting the digital-first approach. Companies who were unable to migrate at least some of their businesses online (if they weren’t there in the first place), might have found it hard to survive. The situation was no different for telcos. Even though most of them were present in the online world, we all know too well that they have been anchored in the physical world such as retail and as such have been behind other high-tech sectors in terms of “being digital”.

Pandemic or no pandemic, adapting a digital-first approach can only bring positivity and growth to the telecom industry. If you read our blog, you have probably realised that we are huge advocates of that statement. Can you imagine we even created a product to help telcos become digital-first? It’s called HERO and you can read more about it here. Now let’s talk about some benefits of adapting the digital-first strategy by your telco brand.


The power of self-service

PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers and found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. It gets even more interesting if we consider Kolsky’s findings that only 1 in 26 unhappy customers actually complain. The rest just leaves. These are some powerful statistic that show us how important it is to take good care of your customers. But customer care is usually what drains the company’s resources. It’s never easy and, if there are no clear processes in place, can get very messy.

Fortunately, there is a solution to making the customer care more cost-efficient and smoother (for both the operator and the customer). It’s called self-care app. M-Connect offers it as one of its key modules. It provides users with a significant dose of freedom and flexibility. They can personalise their plans and accounts based on their own needs and take control of their usage and bills. That alone takes quite some work off the shoulders of your customer care team.

But there is more. If your customer needs help, the app offers plenty of customer support options such as FAQ or live chat. These tools are becoming more popular since the customers are not interested in making calls or exchanging countless emails to fix a small issue these days. They are perfectly happy with finding answers themselves if they are available and tailored to their needs. Alternatively, they can raise a service ticket, also directly through the app. Customers are so much into self-service that, as estimated by Gartner, there will be a billion of self-service tickets raised automatically by customer-owned bots by 2030.


Small is beautiful

If you look at the history of mobile phones, you quickly realise there is a pattern: bigger is better. But then you look at the evolution of SIM and you start thinking that this idea doesn’t necessarily apply to everything.

Evolution of SIM cards: Mini SIM introduced in 1996, Micro SIM introduced in 2003, Nano SIM introduced in 2012 and eSIM introduced in 2016.

We are on the verge of a new era. And that era is called eSIM. eSIM is an abbreviation for “embedded SIM”. That means that there is a small chip installed in your device and you can download your SIM profile onto it within seconds and without the need for a plastic pop-out card. Read our previous post Hey Siri, how do I insert a SIM card into my phone? to find out more about eSIM, what devices currently support it and what are its benefits to both the user and the service provider (or how opening the SIM tray with you house key is not the greatest idea).

There is more evidence backing the fact that small is, in fact, beautiful. 44% of telcos already know that and intend to offer eSIM to their customers within 2 years, whereas 21% have already launched it. We also know its value and offer fully digital in-app eSIM provisioning as one of the modules of HERO. Find out more about how your MVNO or MNO can benefit here.

Amongst many of its advantages, eSIM reduces logistics and distribution cost and significantly improves customer experience. The path that a physical SIM card takes from the warehouse to the customer, with another stop at the retail outlet, can be shortened to a few simple clicks. This solution can save you money and bring you closer to operating in a digital-first (if not digital-only) environment. It will spare your customers a bit of hassle as well.


In-app engagement

There are many ways of communicating with a customer. The digital channels include in-app messaging, push notifications and good ol’ emails. Since we are revolving around the mobile app in this article, why don’t we discuss in-app messaging? It’s one of the most effective messaging tools. Airship found that it receives 8x the direct response rate of push notifications. But for it to be effective, the information must be relevant and personalised. It’s important that you send the right message to the right person at the right time.

Having an effective in-app messaging strategy in place will allow you to better measure your Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS provides an answer to the question “How likely are you to recommend [brand name] to [a friend/family/business associate/…]?” and is assessed on a scale from 0 to 10. NPS survey delivered via the in-app messaging system is highly effective due to the high response rate. Compared with email, customers are 2x to 10x more likely to respond to the survey when asked in-app.

Relevant in-app messaging can also increase the engagement your customer has with your app. Considering our product, M-Connect, it is worth pairing the App module with the Data Analytics one. Together they will be able to help you personalise the messaging and send it to the right customers at the right time. You will also be able to better predict when your customers are at the verge of churning. Personalised messaging can prove to be an efficient technique in preventing  customers from leaving your service as well as boosting your sales by up-selling and cross-selling additional products and services.


All in all

Digital-first approach has many more benefits than the ones discussed above. All of them, however, contribute to creating a coherent and frictionless digital customer experience, highly desired by customers across all industries these days. The digital-first strategy will also allow your brand to enhance numerous processes while cutting costs and boosting revenues. A truly win-win situation. If you’d like to use our product to help you achieve these goals, just drop us a message here.

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