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customer management

‘Customer insight is central to the success of customer management strategies to maximize customer experience and value across the life cycle. This has become even more challenging in the digital world, where the window of opportunity to delight customers and maximize every customer interaction is reduced to seconds,’ says Forrester in ‘Winning in the Age of the Customer’

Users expect brands to deliver what they want in the instant they want it and will abandon sites, apps and service providers who don’t deliver. Google says the upper limit is 2-3 seconds, adding that you could lose 70 per cent of users if load times are too slow or too many steps are needed to complete an action. This is the environment in which CSPs must compete and win customers.

We explore the challenges below.

Falling Customer Loyalty

‘Churn prevention is one area that has become a concern of telecommunications executives the world over,’ according to a recent survey by McKinsey.

CSPs often invest far more in customer acquisition than retention, which almost guarantees downstream pain: if you treat the sale as the endpoint, all the trust and brand loyalty you built during the sales process could go out the window. Selling to existing customers is easier and more profitable than winning new ones, but in the fickle world of mobile consumers, cutting through to customers is tougher than ever.

“Micro” Attention Spans

‘Micro moments’ is a term coined by Google, to describe intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey.

Digitally-savvy consumers now expect CSPs to engage with them in real time, with a user experience as good as they get from their ‘over the top’ (OTT) applications. This is a major challenge for many CSPs whose infrastructure was never designed with such speed, responsiveness or agility in mind.

Need for “Digitally Native”, “Always On”

An average mobile user taps, swipes and clicks 2,617 times each day,’ a recent dscout study found; that’s about three interactions a minute for every waking hour of the day. With always-digitally-connected customers, CSPs can no longer rely on batch-driven outbound campaign management or reactive inbound marketing offers. To engage consumers who live and act in micro-moments of high intent, CSPS need to interact with them in real-time.

The new marketing paradigm is ‘digitally native, and always on’ and to capitalize, your organization needs to be primed to interact with customers in the moment, as and when they present themselves.

Competing With Giants

‘For CSPs, today’s digital world presents an opportunity to shift from disrupted to disrupter,’ says Tore Berg in his post ‘Goodbye telcos, hello IDSPs’9. ‘CSPs now have a continuously growing amount of data that holds a wealth of information.’

In other words, it’s only through better analysis and use of customer information that CSPs can compete with OTT digital giants who have muscled in on CSP businesses and eroded their margins. To do this, CSPs need to transition to being Digital Service Providers (DSPs), which means new partnerships, bundling new services with traditional telco services, integrating these into the BSS infrastructure and provisioning systems to automate delivery. Some telco operators may find the transition daunting, but it offers real benefits.

Barriers to Success

Can’t Capture Events in Real-Time

To find the value gaps, can your CVM system:

  • Acquire detailed customer insights and update customer profiles as soon as changes are received?
  • Offer just your best customers a personized loan?
  • Tailor your offer to each customer’s history and real-time contextual information?
  • Make the offer before their credit runs out?

Most operators find it hard to capture any events in real-time, let alone glean a full customer profile; their CVM stacks sit on top of data warehouses, typically causing a 24 to 48 hour delay in data analysis and extraction.

To capture events in real-time, you’ll need a marketing platform that lets you operate in the ‘digitally native, and always on’ world where your customers live. Your marketing teams need to be plugged into every customer interaction channel, and into real-time customer usage data. To succeed, your responses must be on the same level as Google and Facebook.

Can’t Identify Real Micro-Moments

Not every interaction is a micro-moment, and not every micro-moment is an opportunity for a personalized offer. So, the question your platform needs to ask is ‘is this a relevant event?’ and answer it in a heartbeat.

It’s more than ‘being there in the unique micro-moments that mobile users experience’; it’s knowing what kind of micro-moment it is.

Can’t Define the Best Contextual Offer Instantly

Once you’ve established that a micro-moment is relevant and presents an opportunity for interaction, you need to decide what to do next. You need to ask:

  • What is the next best action at this moment?
  • What is the best channel for interaction with this customer?

Taking into account each customer’s real-time contextual information, behaviour and recent offer history. To do this, you need sub-second, real-time business rules and real-time streaming analytics to identify and optimize the ‘offer allocation’, along with advanced analytics using machine learning.

Once the transaction context, customer history and preferences are known, you have enough profile data to make the right decision – which might be to make no offer at this time. The next decision is which channel to use for your interaction. There is quite a variety – like SMS, USSD, MMS, app notifications, email, landing page or social channel – and the choice may vary by region or device capability, customer type or observed channel behaviour.

How Do Smart CSPs/DSPs Address These Challenges

Respond to One in a Million

The smart CSPs/DSPs emulate the giants like Google: they use what they know about their customers to tailor millions of ‘one-in-a million’ offers in real-time, to capture and monetize those micro-moments, automatically.

They do it through platforms that go beyond contextual marketing, that link real-time context with profile and historical data (like usage patterns, recharge patterns, device type, hungry apps being used, tariff and additional demographics) to build a crystal-clear picture of each customer. They then tailor offers, services and interactions that drive real-time actions. This is real-time event decisioning.

Move From Big to Fast Data

Two years ago, The Harvard Business Review called the profession of data scientist ‘the sexiest job of the 21st century’ with demand far outstripping supply.

Fortune predicted that this demand would be short lived, because ‘Over time, software will do more and more of what data scientists do today.’

That’s exactly what happened, and why smart CSPs/DSPs are investing in cutting-edge software technology that offers ultra-high-speed, real-time, event-driven marketing. That is real-time event decisioning in action.

These advanced platforms can ingest and analyze vast amounts of data in milliseconds, including the data in your EDW, using superfast in-memory databases, massively parallel computing techniques and stream processing. The result is accurate, contextual analysis delivering up-to-date customer profiling in milliseconds.

Act on Moments of Truth Instantly

For contextual marketing platforms to turn business insights into instant action, they must do more: they must be able to ingest historical and current contextual data and provide blindingly fast analysis. This is what smart CSPs demand, so they can decide and act in the micro-moment.

The smartest deploy the most advanced platforms that can access their vast volumes of network level data, bypassing their legacy systems and going directly to their network source systems. These platforms can ingest real-time transactions (like APP and browsing data, home & roaming GSM & LTE subscription state changes, social mood and attitude shifts, and end of call or data session events) in milliseconds and initiate immediate, targeted customer interactions.

September 10, 2018 0 comment
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Thumb rule for a successful business: Customer experience management

Customer experience has emerged as the key differentiator in today’s globally connected and competitive business environment. Customer experience management (CEM) as defined by Gartner is “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. In short, CEM is the sum total of processes a company uses for tracking, overseeing and organizing the interactions with its customers throughout the customer lifecycle for increasing customer retention and adding new customer with word of mouth advertising.

The Goal of CEM

The root goal of Customer experience management is to optimize customer interactions in order to foster customer loyalty reducing churn. It enables them to gain a thorough understanding of their target customer in order to be able to design and deliver a unique and personalized experience that not only keeps them motivated to remain loyal customer but also act as advocates of one’s brand to the other.

How to make Customer experience management effective?

Customer experiences have got new inclusions. Not only they include interactions through the traditional channels such as buying, service requests along with call center communications but also through Mobile self-care apps and social CRM channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Thus, the companies need outlining a strategy encompassing all customer touch points.

Why is Customer experience management (CEM) important?

Digital marketers are totally aware of the fact that the managed experience delivered to a customer while buying a product or service is as important as the product or service itself. Differentiating one’s customer experience from competitors can provide the organization with substantial business value which is why they have started investing substantial time and resources in delivering a highly personalized superior experience to increase customer loyalty.

great customer experience can achieve the following benefits for business:

  • Enhance consumer loyalty through interesting and personalized user interactions
  • Boost sales and revenue through repeat orders from existing customers and addition of new customers through word of mouth advertising
  • Build a superior brand image through differentiated consumer experiences
  • Reduce costs associated with losing customers to competitors due to non-differentiated value perception in the eyes of the customer.

The CEM process

Delivering this kind of personalized customer experience increases loyalty but requires a depth of consumer understanding that requires accessing and analyzing in depth data gathered from all customer interaction touch points and communication channels throughout the organization.

The first step in designing a personalized and differentiated customer experience is to understanding the customer. This entails creating customer profiles using both first hand structured data in conjunction with third party data. By creating detailed customer profiles digital marketers can:

  • Build an understanding of consumer needs and expectations
  • Make informed decisions in real time to improve experience
  • Gain insight on how consumer experience can be enhanced at specific points of interaction.

Once the socio-economic as well as emotional motivations driving buying behavior for one’s key target segments is identified, CEM then involves personalizing the buying experience to an extent that the customer feels special and valued.

As a process CEM is driven by the give and take of information. Marketers use the information available to analyze consumer profiles to design superior experience and then pass on the information about consumer preferences to consumer facing personnel to ensure they are able to deliver differentiated service to consumers, who in turn pass on the data related to their interaction to marketers. This two way flow of information drives customer experience management and enables organizations to differentiate their brand from competitors to turn one time customers into brand loyalists.

July 31, 2015 0 comment
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Mahindra Comviva’s Business Solutions, comprising of CRM and billing, have added two components to provide a feature rich platform to operators that ensure better customer management, higher ARPUs driven customer loyalty and better sales management.

The last six years have seen a tremendous increase in smart phone penetration across the globe and this has resulted in enhanced data consumption and newer ways to use data like applications, video on demand and media downloads. Over the last two years, even traditional services like messaging and calling have been seen shifting to a data platform, aimed at providing a better customer experience. This can be achieved as the applications being used are more open and customizable. With this range of features and better user experience, growth in data usage has been phenomenal and has forced operators to take a long, hard look at their offering strategy. The trend is clearly highlighted by the astronomical sums operators in India and abroad have been shelling out just to obtain licenses for 4G LTE and IMS.

Mahindra Comviva’s Business Solutions portfolio has been able to tap this trend to offer the intelligent product catalogue. This is aimed at enabling the operator to create intelligent offerings, thereby coupling traditional communication services with next generation services like VOD, BoD and games on demand. The offerings enable customer to avail of data services that offer a better customer experience at optimal prices. Data is offered through the mBAS platform and Direct Carrier billing (mBAS DCB) facility that brings onboard the best of OTT services like games on demand, personalized content, mobile television and e-books spanning the majority of OS providers.

Addressing day-to-day business activities like sales and channel management, inventory management, and commissions are making operators nervous as this ecosystem requires transparency till the last mile. Otherwise, operators can potentially run out of cash flow quite rapidly, owing to the high value transactions taking place on credit sales and payouts taking place on commissions bound by complex sales target and customer retention rules. Add to that, the unrealized inventory stacked in some desolate corner with supplier warranties fast expiring. In short, operators need a solution that enables transparency and provides predictable distribution and commission figures. Mahindra Comviva’s Business Solutions portfolio empowers operators to push sales towards the market and provides transparency and a real- time view of the market that is unheard of in the present realm of business solutions and addresses any concern dealers, customers and operators may have.

The power of Mahindra Comviva’s Business Solution portfolio lies not just in its ability to address all the stakeholders but in its intention to create an ecosystem that ensures opportunities for growth across the sales chain, third party vendors and, last but certainly not the least, the customers who are driving the whole business revolution.

July 30, 2015 0 comment
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