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BLOG: Staying ahead in today’s competitive environment

Vivek Srivastava | March 20, 2012
Make the right offer to the right customer at the right time.

Communications service providers today are facing increased pressures due to the saturated market place leading to eroding margins and flat revenues, rising customer expectations due to convergence of mobility, media, devices and connectivity, the emergence of newer players and the continued need for investments in infrastructure.

To drive growth today and differentiate themselves, today's reality requires communications service providers to evolve from a merely operational strategy to a focussed end to end customer experience management strategy across the customer lifecycle. They must be able to deal effectively with the complexity of their business while turning out newer service offerings. Otherwise, they risk facing dissatisfied customers, multiple service calls, fulfilment issues and high churn.

This essentially means an ability to bring relevant offers in the marketplace faster in a variety of packaged ways and getting things right the first time. Communications service providers must ensure that key business activities are coordinated and completed in a timely manner in the customer acquisition stage, catch and resolve problems on a pre-emptive basis before customer calls and deliver contextual and relevant services and information to their customers.

Service providers need the means to keep customers interested, by providing more of what they need and being responsive to their demands and expectations in terms of gratification, communication and reliability while improving their ability to retain subscribers and maximise customer profitability over the subscriber lifecycle.

Extending marketing efforts beyond traditional practices with an emphasis on real-time situation-based marketing could help tremendously in helping build a stronger relationship with customers by delivering unique positive experiences. Real-time situation-based marketing aimed at individual subscribers enables service providers to respond instantly by providing contextual offers and information via multiple channels. The marketing content is delivered based on different customer situations/behaviour such as customer-initiated actions, preferences, current usage patterns versus historical spending, social media interactions, churn indicators, and customer profiles. Most importantly, real-time situation-based marketing gives service providers a way to match the right customer with the right offer at the right time in order to act upon potential acquisition and retention opportunities.

Intelligent infrastructure 

Recently, a large communications service provider in Europe was able to create a multi-fold improvement in the response rates of its marketing campaigns. Using an intelligent infrastructure, it was able to deliver customised offers in response to different customer situations. This allowed for a dramatic reduction in time to market for new campaigns and offers. The system facilitates the real-time processing and analysis of customer behaviour data across a wide variety of data sources simultaneously, triggering outbound actions based on detection of patterns/conditions, optimising offers on the fly based on visual feedback on the effectiveness of their initiatives in real time. The result was a marked improvement in customer response, simply because the service provider was able to deliver marketing material in a highly-targeted fashion.


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