This article is an excerpt for our recent white paper Revenue Management: Essential for monetizing current and future services.
The new customer experience paradigm centers around putting more control in the hands of customers. However, it needs to be more than simply a self-service portal to the same rigid tariff plans; customers need to be able to develop their own bundles.
An example of progress in this direction is Vodafone Germany introducing a new capability for its prepaid customers. This allows customers, via an app or online, to:
- Create their own prepaid bundle
- Change the mixture of services/prices that they have subscribed to
- Check their balance and consumption at any time
The app (illustrated above) and portal provide a view of consumption over the previous three months, and the customer can adjust how their credits are allocated across voice, SMS, and data on a monthly basis, as well as all the usual pre-paid functions such as checking and adding credit.
This is only the beginning. Other examples of functionality that could increase customer loyalty and reduce churn include the exchange of unused units of one service for units of another that is approaching its usage threshold – for example, unused minutes could be used to add more data to a package.
Bills must change
Furthermore, the bill, the primary interface between the customer and the CSP needs to change. The phone bill has changed little in recent years despite the changes in tariffs that now mean calls are often bundled into a single package and the consumer attaches greater value to data than to calls. As such, the bill is not an accurate reflection of consumers’ relationship with their CSP or the value that the CSP is attempting to demonstrate.
Operators need to shift away from presenting the ‘price’ of what they provide to presenting the ‘value’ of what they offer. This would look more like a statement than a bill and should include:
- All the services and benefits (digital and physical) that the operator has provided
- All customer interactions and the resolutions provided or awaited
- Advice on how to lower monthly costs
- New offers from partners, loyalty schemes, etc
Such statements of value should also shift from a set periodic interaction to become dynamic with CSPs able to change the view based on where the customer is in the billing cycle. By doing this, CSPs can use the statement as a proactive way of interacting with their customers.