The 'average' telco is dead

Joseph Waring
21 Jun 2012

The mobile industry has a huge opportunity to own many aspects of consumers' everyday life.

Don Peppers, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group, said yesterday at the CommunicAsia2012 Summit that it's an amazing time we live in, but noted mobile operators have to look at it in the right way and not ask how they can use technology to sell more stuff.

He argues companies need to ask how they can use technology to meet a greater share of customers' needs. "If we improve the customer's experience, then we will sell more stuff."

"So if you want to treat customers differently and be truly customer-centric, you have to focus not on what the customer's value is to you but on your value to the customer."

Peppers said most companies aren't doing this.

Few mobile operators will proactively contact customers to tell them they're buying too much voice time or too many text messages. Contrast that with the example of Amazon warning customers when they try to order a book they have already purchased. "That is a perfect illustration of proactive trustworthiness."

"Most companies haven't cracked the code on linking long-term value creation with short-term performance," he told the Show Daily. But he said that having the trust of customers is a great link.

He also said the "average" telco is dead. "The exceptional telco can follow this prescription and win, but you have to be exceptional and visionary."

One characteristic of the telco business, he said, is that it is at the juncture of this chaotic storm of technological progress, and you can't know what the next app or device or channel will be.

"But if you have trust and confidence of your customers, if they want you to survive, then you can weather these storms."


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