Management World Americas: What can CSPs do as customer touch points increase?

Posted: December 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Management World Americas: What can CSPs do as customer touch points increase?

Management World Americas 2012 is coming to a close, and as I looked at the beautiful sunrise this morning (which you can see in this picture), I was reflecting on our time here and all of the stimulating conversations and topics that are so relevant to our industry.

In particular, we recently discussed putting the customer first – a key theme in the customer experience management (CEM) sessions — and I’d like to expand on that a bit. In thinking about CEM, another trend we’ve seen come up here is that customer touch points are rapidly increasing, with ever more players having a role in the customer experience. As new devices emerge, over the top (OTT) services are introduced, and data usage continues to surge, this should come as no surprise. In fact, I found it interesting that even when it comes to contacting communications service providers (CSPs) directly, customers generally use multiple methods such as web, phone, email and SMS.

What all these various touch points and subsequent players mean for CSPs, though, is that it’s challenging to control the customer experience end-to-end. To help mitigate this, it’s essential to take advantage of the data at hand by collecting and analysing customer information. Doing so will provide a clear picture of who the customer is and allow for more personilised interactions at each touch point. As Ulla mentioned, this was something that was very prominent during the Equinix case study session where the company collected data and mapped the entire customer lifecycle for a complete view of customer activities and preferences.

In order to really make this strategy successful, a holistic approach to customer experience is needed, with both the marketing, IT and telecom teams aligned in their goals. Automated processes is an asset in bringing these worlds together – simultaneously looking at what’s happening in the network and coinciding customer activities. Where these two elements meet is where automated processes play a key role – enabling CSPs to see exactly what the customer is doing, understand the context, and automate an appropriate, personalised response. Strengthening this with machine learning means that CSPs can track customers’ behavioural patterns dynamically and automatically adapt to those as they change throughout a customer’s lifecycle.

Of course, I’d like to emphasise that this should be used in combination with personal, human interactions. Treating customers this way, with a human touch and by providing unique communications based on their preferences, is key  to differentiating in an ever crowded market. And with automation helping this, CSPs can make many more targeted offers at the right time – a crucial factor to enabling a positive customer experience as touch points continue to expand.


Management World Americas 2012: Everything that can be digital, will be

Posted: December 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Management World Americas 2012: Everything that can be digital, will be

I’m here at Management World Americas 2012 in Orlando, Florida, where the air is filled with excitement. This year, the theme is “everything that can be digital, will be” – which is reinforced by the rapid growth of our digital economy, expected to reach $20.4 trillion by 2013. Kicking things off this morning was TM Forum’s President and CEO, Martin Creaner, who addressed how to manage complex services as this growth continues, and discussed the industry’s transformation.


To illustrate his point, Martin drew a parallel to frogs – if you put a frog in cool water and then slowly increase the heat, the frog will boil alive before he realises that his life is in danger, even though he’s aware of the gradual temperature change. This is an analogy to the problems our industry faces. We realise change is happening all around us, in the types of phones we use, with increases in data usage, how we use that data, and beyond. But understanding these changes and actually doing something about them are two entirely different things.

That’s where the challenge of innovation comes into play. When it comes to innovation, there are two categories – the first is sustaining innovation, which is about making things better and improving on products and services that already exist in the market. The second, and more difficult type of innovation, is disruptive. This is focused on creating a new market, with new technologies and services.

Currently, market leaders tend to be strong with sustaining innovation and poor at disruptive innovation. Martin noted that, while always important to cater to customers, the downside of sustaining innovation is that it can hold you captive by them. To avoid being the boiling frog, organizations really need to both sustain and disrupt with their innovations. Martin explained that breaking the cycle comes down to putting space between your innovative efforts and the demand of existing customers. In doing so, you can not only innovate for the here and now, but also take steps to change for the future.

This is something we pride ourselves on at Comptel, especially with our Contextual Intelligence for Telecommunications (CIQ4T) concept – a way we’re innovating for service providers. It allows them to understand their customers with predictive analytics, and interact with them intelligently for relevant offers and, ultimately, for a better customer experience.

We’re excited to see what the rest of the show offers, and if you’re at Management World, stop by our booth (#7) in the expo hall!