Comptel’s Second Day at Management World Africa 2011

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 | Author: Simo Isomaki | Filed under: Events, Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Phew! The second day of TM Forum’s Management World Africa 2011 is over. Now, I’m back on an airplane but this time to Cape Town (where Comptel has an office). Before landing, I again reflected a bit on the speech I gave on “taking personalisation to the next level—exploring how communications service providers (CSPs) can optimise customer retention and profitability through SIM management.”

In the afternoon’s presentation, I explored how CSPs across most parts of the world run their prepaid businesses, giving relatively little choice to users, mostly pre-provisioning the data and logistically managing many types or packages of SIM cards. Basically, SIM packages define the product one buys with or without a number attached.

I then expressed what the basic choices of personalisation are (price or product) and raised the question of segmentation. Aren’t we already in the stage of various types of micro-segments where two people in even the same village in rural Africa, let alone in urban cities, likely won’t have the exact same desires and expectations of CSPs’ services? If we start looking at the number of devices we use and the usage patterns we have, we would find that there is hardly any commonality, except that we all call and use data services—but that is not granular enough to address our need for personalisation. We have a vast amount of segments to address today, and the old mechanisms for defining products with varying prices and other parameters need to be rethought; otherwise, they will lead to non-personalised experiences and low customer loyalty.

I went on to explore if the mechanisms of trying to guess what is hot or not is valid—ultimately suggesting that CSPs do not even try. Let users select the services and value-adds they are interested in, and enable them to choose these elements themselves. My conclusion: loyalty is driven not only through quality but also through personalisation. If we allow users to self-personalise the services they take from their CSPs, how can competitors offer anything better?

Like I wrote yesterday, catalog is left, right and center of this kind of approach, but the way we fulfill service orders needs to be well coupled with the catalog data. If you want to know more, we’re happy to discuss it with you—it’s a bit of longer story than a blog post really.

Overall, it was a tight 15-minute session with a Q&A with the audience, and there was much more positive discussion afterwards 1-on-1 with the CSP community present.

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