Customer experience management (CEM) is a fairly new concept to the communications sector, given our past when customers were told for years they could have their phone in any color as long as it was black. In fact, the customer experience movement was jump-started in mid-2007 with the wide deployment of touch-screen smartphones and boosted again with the advent of tablet technology three years later. These devices decidedly altered our way of life then, as they continue to improve our digital lifestyle today, by creating customer desire for personalization.
Personalization means different things to different customer segments. To consumers, personalization begins with the ability to download and use the apps they want on their smart devices. It means personalized pricing plans that make intuitive sense and that match their desired activities. Personalization to a large enterprise means smartphones with apps designed to solve their particular business problems and to enhance their customers' experience. It means helping enterprises engage with other industries to deliver innovative and personalized service offers. Personalization for many large and small businesses also means they can address their computing and application needs through an on-demand cloud-based strategy.
So then, looking ahead to 2014, just what are the ways for CSPs and their evolving ecosystem of partners to make money in today's personalized communications marketplace?
- Flexible pricing plans, with threshold limits or regular usage notifications?
- Service offerings that engage the best partner content?
- Split pricing plans so that sources offering information or selling goods and services "pay the data usage freight"?
- Optimizing capacity and availability to give each customer an always-on and always-accessible network connection?
- Subsidized pricing plans or plans with very narrow scope, to attract those that otherwise could not afford mobile data services?
- Enhanced service offerings that make sense when a customer needs something more?
The answer lies in all of the above. An improved customer experience means CSPs can now offer services with a real-time element and a level of configurability enabled by the customer.
The most important new requirement to address this growing list of business opportunities lies with real-time decisioning - gaining insight about current customer behavior and then offering something additional at the point of peak customer attention. This is achieved through analytical functionality within the billing and customer care systems, and then continuing through to revenue assurance and partner management to create a full circle of accountability.
Karl Whitelock is a director of OSS/BSS strategy at Stratecast
Seven key strategies for thriving in 2014:
- Time to change your mindset
- New adventures in apps
- Finance services finally go mobile
- Monetization gets personal
- Mobile data traffic goes mega
- Copper crucial to FTTH plans
- Time for TDD
This article first published in Telecom Asia Vision 2014 Supplement