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No Magic in Telco

GENBAND and fring are looking to take some of the revenue back from OTT apps by creating an alliance for global service providers. I think they are trying to close the barn door long after the animals are gone, but, hey, it makes the news. Most consumer behavior – especially on devices – centers on user experience. Carriers suck at UX. This will not change that.

Apple wins because of design and UX. How many laptop manufacturers were blindsided by the MacBook? All of them. It took Apple to nudge the world of smartphones to slick devices that also do more (camera, pedometer, etc.). Did Blackberry? Nope.

Revenues are disappearing. Consumers have less spending money. Where do you think this leads?

Cord cutting has been like climate change to cablecos — they have denied its existence for years. Now Frontier, DISH and the content companies (HBO, CBS, et al) are launching services to capture the cord-cutters — but with services that don’t look like traditional TV.

Years ago, a client of mine in Orlando launched his own 411 service that became a profit center. His customer service reps answered the phone and looked things up on the Internet for clients. He sold Preferred Partners answers. For example, looking for a florist, here’s our preferred florist first.

The Telcos sold their Yellow Pages businesses due to debt. Any YP company could take over 411. Or provide other services.

Today, people don’t know how to search Google for an answer. (Don’t get me started on this and lazy and ….) Now there is a service called Magic. “Customers can request literally any (legal) item or service by texting “Magic” to 408-217-1721 (no app download required). All communication is over text, and payments are processed by Stripe.” This could be an add-on for any service provider, but didn’t.

Service providers just keep looking at the tech and the products. How do I deliver fiber cheaper or voice faster? That is myopic. How about what people DO with those things? People want OUTCOMES, not products. They buy services from you because of what they can do with them – like get info, play games, talk to people, etc.

Want to sell more stuff? Figure out pain points and introduce solutions that you can deliver to solve that pain point and talk about the outcome. Boom!

When I look at services like vsnap or biz texter — and I see Frontier offering these services, I shake my head. Frontier is more innovative than the majority of xLECs. That makes my head hurt. There are a large number of services – Magic, Sling TV, OTA, PVR, Zipwhip, BusinessTexter – that could be added to a bundle to make you (A) stand out; (B) stickier; (C) increase ARPU; and (D) different. Isn’t that what you want?

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