User Experience & Emerging Trends in Telco

UX focus is winning strategy for industry leaders

By    Sarah Leick    Senior Experience Designer projekt202

By Sarah Leick
Senior Experience Designer

Customers Driving Change

Telecommunications companies of today live in a time of fast and ever-evolving technology and customer expectations. Customers have tolerated poor customer service for years, but this won’t last for long. Customers have high expectations which demand major change. If telcos stay focused on user experience while adapting to emerging technologies, they can win their customers and impress their competitors, emerging as industry leaders.  

Major Trends

There are major industry and technology shifts ahead. These include omnichannel design, human-system collaboration, and agent workspaces to support more complex customer issues. While business direction and a solid back end are key, a clear, consistent customer and agent experience is what takes these solutions to the next level. How can user experience design impact these shifts?  

Why Omnichannel Design

Omnichannel design is a hot topic in almost every major industry impacted by technology today. Many companies have several lines of business that operate like separate companies, with nothing in common but a name. The goal is to unify lines of business within segmented organizations to communicate a clear brand, voice, and overall experience to customers. This also includes connecting the customers' data across channels to reduce repetition and give both companies and customers a holistic view of services. Customers will be empowered to move between channels and lines of business effortlessly, and how they choose.

Design Systems 

Beyond creating a consistent brand and connecting back-end data, a design system is crucial to deploying and maintaining a connected system and image. A design system includes coded design components combined with education on how to properly apply these interface components and brand principles. Such a system not only ensures the customer sees the brand as unified across all channels, but also streamlines design and development efforts. Redundancies are reduced and changes can be implemented across all channels simultaneously. A design system is a major step toward elevating your customer experience and streamlining design and development efforts for an omnichannel telco business.

System as Collaborator

Leverage the system to surface the most relevant information in context at the right time to streamline the experience. Examples include smarter system notifications and reminders, and contextual system guidance for agents. As far as user experience principles, visual hierarchy and proximity are key. Establish clear visual levels of importance for information, and flag the most critical information appropriately and sparingly to avoid fatigue. In addition, when drawing attention to an issue, offer an actionable step in the same context rather than drawing the user away or relying on their memory of the navigation. As you train AI to learn agent behavior, offer up context-based guidance for next steps, especially for less experienced agents. Again, these steps should be actionable and not break the user's flow as they move through the application. 

Workspaces for Complexity

As the system matures to handle rote tasks, the agents will focus solely on complex and unique customer issues. The system will continue to surface relevant information, yet remain easy to navigate for more in depth agent troubleshooting and research. Agents will interact with customers who talk to both bots and agents regarding their issues. A deep, yet consumable, view of the customer’s interactions and behavior will be valuable to understand and assist in this complex ecosystem. Interfaces need to fit the increasing demands of agent work as they juggle channels types and different customers in the same application at once. Such a complex and varied digital work environment will take careful attention to design detail to support context switching, reducing human error, and increasing productivity in the tool. Overall, clear and focused user interface design workspaces will be key to agent success amidst increasing complexity.

These time-honored design principles are standards in the user experience field, and are just as relevant to the telco industry that is sure to shift with technological advancements and increasing customer expectations. We’ve seen products implement these new trends without considering the user experience; in the end, it not only doesn’t help the user, but can actually create more work for them. At this point, telcos are especially primed to leverage the power of experience design to become leaders in their industry.

projekt202 is the leader in experience-driven software strategy, design and development. We have a unique and established methodology for understanding people in context — we reveal unmet needs — which drives everything we do. This leads to a crisp, clear understanding of the customer, which shapes the design and development of new solutions and experiences. We have the expertise, teams, skills and scale to deliver sophisticated software solutions that improve any and all touchpoints across the user journey.

projekt202 has spent over 15 years bringing to life and to market compelling experiences through our Experience Strategy & InsightUser ExperienceSoftware DevelopmentMarketing & Analytics, and Program Management practices. Our talented team has delivered emotionally-rich and intuitive solutions for global brands and clients such as 7-Eleven, Capital One, Dell, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Neiman Marcus, Samsung Electronics, and The Container Store, among many others.

projekt202 has offices in AustinChicagoDallas, San Francisco and Seattle.