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Customers today are savvy and their expectations from their communications service providers (CSPs) are high.  In fact, an American Express study found that customers said they expect their vendors to deliver a great value at a good price, products and services that meet their needs, good service, and quick-to-find information.

Simply put, customers want an experience that is rewarding and easy.

Unfortunately, many CSPs can’t deliver that today, according to Net Promoter Scores, and their services are ranked well below other technology providers as far as meeting customer expectations.

There is no doubt about it – today’s customers are empowered. As noted in the American Express survey, 59% will try a new brand to get better customer service. And an SAP survey found that 79% of customers spend half of their shopping time doing research online, and 52% abandon in-store purchases because of negative online sentiment.

CSPs must take action if they are to retain their customers.

It’s time to reinvent the customer experience

To deliver a great customer experience, CSPs must shift their priorities and turn outdated legacy offerings into customer-driven products and services. The old way of doing business just doesn’t work anymore.

A key step forward is for CSPs to reinvent themselves as Digital Service Providers (DSPs) who provide innovative offerings through contextual-based relationships with customers. To take on this new role in the digital age, CSPs must focus on:

• Providing better customer self-help
• Improving customer self-service
• Leveraging digitally driven customer touchpoints
• Creating innovative DSP-type services
• Using the power of context to deliver what customers want, when they want it

Customer engagement, digital services, and partnerships and ecosystems must become priorities in a CSP’s business strategy. And these efforts must be supported by powerful commerce, billing, marketing, sales, and services solutions that set them up for success. It may not be easy for CSPs to adapt and create a DSP experience – but if not, they risk getting left behind.

To learn more on to deliver a great customer experience, come visit SAP at this year's SapphireNOW in Orlando, Florida May 17-19.  And, make sure to download this free eBook“Closing the Customer Engagement Gap,” today. It’s full of industry research, executive insights, an...