At TM Forum Live! Asia next month, Luis Rezende, Vice President of Insights, Niometrics, will discuss minimizing challenges and maximizing opportunities when managing customer experience. Read on for some of his seasoned insights before the big event.
Customer experience management (CEM) has come a long way in mobile telecommunication companies:
- in the 90s it mainly took the form of network-centric initiatives to improve the quality of voice calls, arguably the main requirement imposed on mobile network operators (MNOs) back then;
- in the 00s it expanded its scope, inspired by customer relationship management (CRM) principles, to pursue a broader range of propositions, such as customer care responsiveness and point-of-sale support, while witnessing an explosion in demand for data services;
- in the 10s it embraced omnichannel dynamics for a continuous flow of personalized, relevant interactions between subscribers and MNOs. This has been driven by the ubiquitous, untethered connectivity that these MNOs are enabling.
Nevertheless, for all the evolution it experienced within MNOs in the last 30 years, CEM has remained highly unaware of the deeper customer context. While MNOs may know what their customers are doing, they don’t know why. They are creating more and more services, while still ignoring the fundamental circumstances, motivations and needs those services are supposed to meet.
Are you helping customers with e-commerce?
E-commerce, for example, can certainly not exist – especially in its most recent, mobile-dominant form – without connectivity. However, what e-commerce users really want, are relevant and effective trades, easily performed and fulfilled at reasonable prices. Are CSPs helping their subscribers with that? Have they even looked at themselves as entities capable of creating value in an e-commerce experience that goes beyond connectivity? In most cases, the answer is a resounding no.
To keep delivering impact for a ‘2020-reality’, where our digital lives become more and more entangled with our overall existence, MNOs must base their CEM on two complementary efforts: the continued search for operational excellence, and the new pursuit of ‘context resonance’ – understanding context by identifying the deeper purposes infused in digital behaviors, and using it to improve the customer experience. CEM thus becomes total experience management (TEM).
Context resonance requires three basic enablers:
- Deep data intelligence that unearths, historically and in real time, the ulterior intentions embedded in each client’s digital activity, and the underlying conditions driving their behaviors.
- Seek to understand how MNOs can go beyond just enabling online experiences.
- Integration between MNOs and their subscribers’ digital endpoints to understand the digital journey, and why it ended when and where it did.
Reach out to firms your subscribers interact with
MNOs should then reach out to the companies their subscribers are interacting with digitally. Those over-the-top (OTT) players come in different sizes and threat levels. While some of them are capable of full self-sufficiency in gathering data intelligence and performing their own experience optimizations, several others (typically, the less dominant ones) would see a huge boon in building a symbiotic relationship with MNOs; working together for more fulfilled client experiences.
Once the right enablers are in place and MNOs embrace the new/reframed roles they can play in their subscribers’ lives, the opportunities are numerous. A few selected examples of how MNOs can support TEM may include:
- B2B2C arrangements empowering companies to coordinate a seamless integration of their online/offline reach, exclusively to clients of particular operators, such as:
– Supermarkets identifying MNO clients as they enter their physical premises and prompting personalized offers based on the individual’s browsing activity before reaching the supermarket.
– Transportation companies tailoring how many drivers they have in different areas based on the concentration of specific profiles of subscribers across different regions of a city. This can ensuring a relative allocation of resource.
- Data management platforms that not only support B2B2C arrangements as mentioned above, but drive hyper-relevant online advertising that is:
– based on actual lifestyles (as opposed to isolated, cookie-driven events);
– often richer in resulting data, and therefore more useful, than what’s provided by advertising networks; and
– non-intrusive and relevant enough to be considered a competitive asset.
- B2B services for enterprise clients to gain a deeper understanding of how all their device users and connected objects are functioning.
The list of opportunities is shaped only by how inquisitively MNOs chase lives and experiences for their clients that are safer, more convenient, less information-noisy and overall more satisfying. With the right data, mindset and partnerships, nothing should stop MNOs from turning CEM into genuine TEM.