opinion


Putting the customer (data) first: Customer Value Management

customer experience CEM BSS - 1

Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece David Peters, CEO of Emagine International, looks at how CSPs can do more to enhance customer experience, reduce churn and drive revenues.

In response to the growing number of challenges faced by Communications Services Providers (CSPs) in the digital world, customer service has broadened beyond network performance to encompass additional customer touchpoints, from sales through to provisioning and billing. Combined with the advent of smart devices and the growing volume of data available from sensors and connected devices, CSPs need to evolve their businesses to enable them to utilise this data and enhance the customer experience as it’s taking place.

The Telecoms.com ‘CSP and Customer Care report’ highlights a clear need for more to be done to improve customer experience.  With 1.35 billion smartphones expected to sell globally by the end of 2015, alongside increased competition from other operators and OTT players, the challenge of winning new customers and satisfying existing users is more important than ever for CSPs. Under both margin and growth pressure, CSPs have finally recognised the need to achieve better interaction with their customers to keep them happy, build on the relationship and offer innovative products and services to increase ARPU.  In addition, consumers today are increasingly demanding a digitally relevant experience that combines multiple touch points across email, call centre, in-store, in-app and mobile, with the ability to act in real-time, responding to events and customer behaviour as they happen, making it vital that CSPs embrace real-time Customer Value Management (CVM). This refers to the practice of understanding and maximising the value of each individual customer and how customer “stickiness” can be increased through ensuring all customer interactions relevant and therefore valuable.

To provide a next generation user experience, CSPs will need to leverage the vast stores of data that they have access to – and quickly, in a way that directly impacts on customer actions. In addition, the prevalence of social media and the resulting vocalisation of customer complaints, as well as the increased importance of word of mouth recommendation and Net Promoter Scores, have made getting the customer experience right first time more important than ever.

The need for personalised services

One of the biggest frustrations for customers is a lack of personalisation, highlighting the need for targeted marketing offers and customer interactions based on the individual customer’s context.  Operators are trying to get a good handle on what their network data is telling them and link the information with more traditional customer insights such as customer profiles, device type, tariff plan and billing and recharge patterns; they have all the information necessary to build an unparalleled understanding of their customers and offer a compelling customer experience. However, the biggest challenge that operators face is doing this “in the moment” i.e. making that intelligent decision and initiating relevant customer interaction in a sub-second timeframe.

Billions of records are processed in telecom networks every day, giving operators an unprecedented amount of information they can use to build personalised, one to one interactions, according to the customer’s behaviour.  However, to leverage this data it is essential that CSPs move to real-time architectures, which capitalise on the vast quantity of data available to them in real-time, allowing them to benefit from those insights “in the moment”. By analysing and interpreting this data, CSPs can also develop business rules and intelligent pattern recognition algorithms that, for example, identify relevant trends or patterns in real-time to trigger the need for a proactive customer interaction.

To give another example, CSPs can see the data usage of a customer, and identify one customer who is streaming video from YouTube vs. another who is a heavy Facebook user.  The first interaction could be tailored: “At your current usage, you will run out of data in 2 minutes. Reply ‘yes’ to purchase our mega-data bundle for $3, and get unlimited video all weekend”.  The second can be offered: “Switch to our Social Plan, and unlimited access to Facebook is included free”.  Both decisions can be made in real-time for CSPs with the right architectures and tools in place.  Alternatively, if data services simply continued at high “out of bundle” rates with no intelligent customer interaction, this would inevitably lead to “bill shock”, and drive customer dissatisfaction and damage to the CSP’s brand.

This relies on capturing and acting on key event triggers as they happen on the network, or in the call centre, and using streaming analytics to generate the most appropriate and effective communication message at any given time via the best channel.  This can be both inbound and outbound, enabling CSPs to monetise outbound and inbound customer contact in order to drive revenue.

Adopting a CVM approach

While capturing event triggers as they happen on the network can provide a significant impact on revenue streams and churn rates, to ensure best practice, it is critical that CSPs do not push the boundaries of interaction frequency and avoid “offer fatigue.”

By adopting a CVM approach, CSPs can ensure marketing offers and customer interactions are dynamically adapted to provide better user experiences and generate higher returns.

With customer experience and satisfaction a high priority for most operators, it has never been more important for them to address and strengthen their approach to customer experience in order to protect and enhance their customer relationships.

This is why customer experience now takes into account every customer interaction throughout their entire lifecycle and across multiple touchpoints to ensure maximum value is achieved. Consequently, we at Emagine believe adopting a CVM approach is essential in building trust and reducing the likelihood that a customer will turn to a competitor. Together with effectively harnessing customer data and offering personalised services and real-time interactions that are relevant and engaging, CSPs are set to benefit and achieve a positive impact on customer service.

 

Dave PetersAn experienced Telco marketer with a strong track record in delivering increased revenues and decreasing churn for mobile operators in Australia and France, David turned his entrepreneurial dreams to reality when he founded Emagine in 1998. David has led the growth of Emagine’s business globally by focussing first and foremost on delivering outstanding results for Telco clients, using a combination of the very best people, the best tools, and a strong collaborative relationship with clients that is ultimately win-win. David is an Alumnus of the Harvard Business School, having completed the Owners and President’s Management Program in 2014. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Marketing major) from the University of New South Wales, Australia.


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