Customer Centricity

Monetizing services: Redefining the customer experience

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.


    About The Author

    Senior Analyst

    Catherine Haslam is an analyst with 20 years’ experience in providing insight, analysis, and consulting services to decision-makers within CSPs. Haslam joined TM Forum in October 2016 from Ovum where she specialized in third party enablement, international service evolution and wholesale strategy, and led successful strategy consulting projects on the impact of OTT on CSP revenues. As a freelance analyst and journalist, Haslam helped develop an entertainment-focused practice at analyst firm STL Partners and set up the Asia arm of the Light Reading news service. Prior to this she worked for the GSMA where she was responsible for setting the agenda for the Mobile World Congress, speech writing for and providing background research to the management team, and advising on technical initiatives. She also held senior editorial roles including Group Editor for Mobile Europe.

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