Looking after the customer will be the real differentiator for operators moving forward since good customer care is more difficult to duplicate than new services or price plans, Comptel's Olivier Suard told Telecom Asia.
The results of a Telecom Asia-Stratecast survey of operators across Asia Pacific show that more than 60% of respondents indicated that customer care/self-care and customer experience management (CEM) are the customer-oriented functions receiving the most attention. For both functions this is 10-percentage-point jump from a year ago (see charts on next page) and reflects operators increased focus on providing a quality customer experience across multiple services.
A survey of mobile operators in the UK showed that MVNO Virgin Mobile had a higher rating overall than the network provider. "It came down largely to customer service (good or bad) is what sticks in customers' mind, and therefore has a direct influence on propensity to spend and churn," Suard said.
The increased attention on self-care is obviously driven in large part by costs advantages but also the need to put the customer in control at his convenience. This is required to guarantee customers' instant access to their personal profiles and account information, said Andreas Freund from Orga Systems.
"Self-care solutions make life easier for both the carrier and subscribers. Offering several easy-to-choose query choices and profile update options, subscribers can gather information on their bonus or account queries, request to change tariffs, update of frequent numbers, or can carry out a self-registration."
Turning back to customer-oriented functions getting the most attention, business analytics together with business intelligence (BI) was a distant third - with 32% of respondents saying the area was a receiving the most attention, down from 36% last year.