Proof of concept

How do you predict a customer’s sales journey without a crystal ball?

Service providers are constantly trying to better understand how to motivate their customer to complete the sales process, by leveraging and combining the unique capabilities of online and offline channels.

Companies need to understand at what point the customer stops the user journey. By bringing customers who left a session back to the next step in the sales process, they can improve the rate of successful purchases.

Telco customers typically visit multiple channels (e.g. social, web, retail, contact center, etc.) before completing their purchases. While the vast majority of customers start their shopping journey online, according to research from customer engagement software review company GetApp, 69 percent of them turn to retail stores to complete their purchase and 85 percent say they have abandoned a shopping cart online despite their buying intent. Many never go beyond the first stage of “awareness”.

Completing the sale

Service providers who fail to provide customers with a consistent, effortless omnichannel sales process experience and maximize every interaction during the purchase journey – especially in the high-impact retail store channel – are vulnerable to losing out to digital service providers who can.

However, without real-time access to rich metadata about customers’ user journeys, profiles and behavioral and usage information, service providers find it difficult to motivate the customer at the right time.

Overcoming this is the objective of a new TM Forum proof-of-concept project called the Maximizing Engagement with Predictive Customer Journeys Catalyst. A specialist team, led by champions Orange, ArtOfArc and NCell and supported by Salesforce, Vlovity, Teavaro, Comarch and Comptel, aims to demonstrate how communications service providers can deliver an effortless, consistent omnichannel sales process experience that easily adapts to change and converts a higher percentage of sales opportunities. This is through leveraging omnichannel customer journey information and rich referential customer metadata.

The team aims to employ customer-centric metrics in an intelligent omnichannel engagement layer, integrated with the systems of record (e.g. CRM, billing, rating, inventory etc.) and third-party data sources. These will be complemented by modern cognitive analytics engines that can provide CSPs with predictive supporting/influencing options to do business seamlessly and consistently in a personalized manner, and enable them to engage proactively with the customer rather than simply being reactive.

The success KPI will be the overall channel contribution that converts to a higher percentage of successful sales, rather than just rewarding the channel that closed the sale. That is: How well, through support, you keep the customer motivated to stay within the sales process, even with the target of “eventually convincing the customer later on”.

The TM Forum Customer Experience Management Lifecycle Model is the starting point and will be applied to two real use cases, to stimulate customer decisions in order to finalize the purchase process. The new assets will be relevant customer-centric metadata defined for a CSP sales process.

The Maximizing Engagement with Predictive Customer Journeys Catalyst objectives are:

  • To identify and define a multi-step, multi-channel sales process;
  • To define the corresponding reference data objects and APIs;
  • To collect and combine the reference data with the customer profile data and develop the potential business rules that predictively support the customer journey phases;
  • And to build a working proof of concept (POC).

The Maximizing Engagement with Predictive Customer Journeys Catalyst will be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! in Nice, May 15-18. It is one not to be missed.

Watch this video interview for more information:


    About The Author

    Catalyst Evangelist

    Tony Poulos is TM Fourm's Catalyst Evangelist. He freelances for several industry publications and is video anchor and a columnist for Telecom Asia. Tony is a regular speaker and moderator at conferences worldwide and has worked as a contributing analyst for IDC.

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