Narrowing the customer experience gap

Martina Kurth and Norbert Scholz

A common problem among communications service providers (CSPs) is diminishing customer loyalty. This is as much a result of the deregulation of the industry as it is calls by customers for better service. It is driving the demand for higher-value service and allowing for new more nimble competitors such as mobile virtual network operators and over-the-top (OTT) providers to enter the market. 

CSPs do have a trump card. They possess a wealth of technical and commercial data that they need to share internally across various departments - the network, IT, finance, marketing and customer support - if they want to take the required actions to improve the customer experience. They can also leverage this information to enable channel and alliance partners to expand their market reach and target new customer segments through advertising or marketing campaigns.

This is crucial for established CSPs to help counter competitors that have fewer legacy systems and therefore are more in tune with their customer base.

CSPs have periodically touted customer improvement initiatives. Now competition is nudging them toward gaining a better understanding of their customers to avoid defections. But only with the requisite front- and back-office support solutions can CSPs tap the full potential of these new technologies.
  
Fragmented view

Existing OSS and BSS infrastructures are ill-prepared to manage the requirements of gaining and using better insights into customer behavior because they don't provide a unified view of customers across the variety of services they use.

CSPs should converge these technologies across resources, customers and services to allow unified customer management. This includes convergence among these solutions and among solutions adjacent to them such as value-added services, business intelligence (BI), analytics, device management, CRM and others. Currently these technologies don't talk to each other, and often there are multiple, sometimes dozens, of separate instances that all fulfil more or-less the same functions.

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