Comptel Comes to Turkey to Make Data Beautiful

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Comptel Comes to Turkey to Make Data Beautiful

For the telecom industry, spring is always such an interesting time due to the variety of events taking place. Most of us divide the season into the periods of ‘before and after Mobile World Congress’ and ‘by Management World’. Comptel’s no exception to this—we are participating in a number of events in the first half of 2012, as we continue to build our presence closer to customers, fulfilling the promise of growth to shareholders.

To obtain new customers and to make existing ones even happier, we continuously look for opportunities to operate in their local markets. So, this week, we are attending Eurasia Com in Istanbul, Turkey. Our CEO, Juhani Hintikka, along with other Comptelians, will be on hand at the conference and the networking event on the 20th of March, which we have sponsored in celebration of the opening of a new office in the country.

Personally, I regret that I cannot attend the event. Istanbul is a wonderful city with a mixture of Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures. I lived in Istanbul when the famous WAP-era was about to start and there was talk about bringing Internet to everyone’s pockets. In those days, we had a hint of what was to come in mobile, but both technology and understanding of end-user needs needed a few rounds of evolution before the mobile Internet could truly take off. The business models between the network providers and service and applications providers have also developed drastically.

Another milestone I can recall from my experience in Turkey’s telecom landscape happened about five years ago, when the industry started to talk about customer experience. I had the privilege, with a former colleague, to benchmark where one of the Turkish service providers were in terms of customer experience, compared to one of the leading Western European service providers. Since then, the situation of Turkey’s telecommunications has changed quite a bit. In fact, according to the CIA World Fact Book, it is a “comprehensive telecommunications network undergoing rapid modernization and expansion especially in mobile-cellular services.”

Turkey indeed is an important market for Comptel, and we aim to continue building a strong presence there. I wish a great event to all of the Eurasia Com participants and hope you’ll attend the networking event introducing us and our “Making Data Beautiful” messaging to the country.


Telecom Mediation: Time to Move Back into the Limelight?

Posted: March 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

By: Dan Baker, Research Director, Technology Research Institute

I imagine there are quite a few mediation fans out there reading Comptel’s blog. And if you’re one of those mediation fans, you’re probably wondering: “What ever happened to the mediation market? Why has the sector been so quiet in recent years?”

Well, as an industry analyst who’s been following mediation and other BSS/OSS markets for quite a few years, I’ve been wondering the same thing myself. Mediation doesn’t get the press attention and conference coverage that it used to, and that’s a shame because we know that mediation plays such a vital role in the telecom back office.

Behind the Curtain

Mediation is like the stage crew working hard behind the curtain of a theatrical production. They’re the guys who work the spotlights, handle the costumes, move the scenery and perform the dozens of other tasks needed to support the main actors. In telecom BSS/OSS terms, those actors include all of the functions who get the limelight coverage—billing, charging, policy control, revenue assurance, cost assurance, marketing and fraud management, to name a few. But the truth is that none of those actors would accomplish much unless mediation was there behind the scenes doing the valuable data collection, aggregation and often real-time query work it’s famous for.

So why is it that we don’t hear much about mediation these days? Well, I attribute it to a couple of things.

First, the number of independent software vendors who sell mediation solutions has dwindled over the years, meaning there are fewer mediation companies eager to get the word out about it. In recent years, for example, AceComm was absorbed by Ventraq. CSG picked up Intec. Narus, a vendor who leveraged its mediation technology in the cyber security business, was sold to Boeing in 2010. Comptel got into the act too, acquiring some of the mediation assets of the Norwegian firm, EDB Telecom, a few years back.

A second factor that’s put a damper on mediation’s visibility is the mobile broadband explosion. As the market for iPads, Androids and other advanced mobile devices took off, many of the mediation vendors, including Comptel, built on their mediation expertise to add products in areas such as charging and policy control.

Future Mediation Opportunities

Ok, so exactly where does mediation go from here? Will the sector stay quiet, or will we see some kind of resurgence in the next few years?

Well, count me as a mediation optimist. I know how deeply embedded mediation technology is in telecom, and I see several industry trends that signal some nice opportunities for mediation to step up and add value.

Analysing “Big Data” – Telecom is abuzz over “big data” and “analytics” applications these days. And if that’s the case, then mediation is in a bit of a sweet spot because it’s responsible for feeding and enhancing the data streams for those “big data” guys. And what if mediation stepped up and assumed some of those analytics functions itself? For instance, mobile subscriber location information lives in the network, and a mediation system can gain access to it in real time. So if a mobile subscriber flies to a foreign country, and when she/he arrives and turns on the mobile phone, mediation is responsible for sending the subscriber a promotion to sign up for a special in-country roaming plan.

Consolidating Multiple Mediation Platforms – Plenty of operators own more mediation systems than they care to admit. But you know the story: “Time to market is more important than achieving mediation system commonality.” Sooner or later though, high maintenance costs dictate it’s time to consolidate. And talk about bloat: one operator recently consolidated 40 mediation systems onto a single platform.

Converging Mediation Functionality – The software vendors are getting more clever at building mediation systems that handle multiple functions. They can do batch as well as real-time on-line transactions in the same architecture. Fixed-line and mobile services, pre-paid charging and post-paid advice-of-charge can all be done in one place now, making consolidation on an advanced platform more attractive than ever.

Merging within Multi-Operator Groups – Large multi-operator groups can greatly benefit from mediation consolidation. Here I refer to cases where usage data is collected and distributed, say, across four countries and served by a data centre in one of them. One operator we know, a Comptel customer, manages 43 million subscribers and two billion transactions a day using this approach. A key advantage here: mediation expertise only needs to be maintained in one location.

Offloading Processing Power – Services in the mobile data world generate a ton of usage. And the need to extract intelligence from that data is coming from two directions. First, marketing seeks to promote services and generate more revenue. Then, engineering looks to optimise the use of expensive network resources. Mediation is the logical place to offload much of that usage processing.

Not only does mediation have access to the data first, but it can often process that data at a fraction of the cost. The latest mediation platforms utilise X86 and Linux blades that can deliver the same processing power at one tenth the cost of a traditional  system. As we know, most telecom IT shops are religiously attached to UNIX. But because mediation’s home is in the network, it’s politically acceptable to diverge somewhat from IT’s architectural preference.

Conclusion

Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect mediation to move into the limelight. Mediation has thrived quite well in a supporting role. And it can certainly remain working quietly behind the scenes.

Yet, the opportunities are tantalising. If mediation can offload even a small percentage of mobile broadband bucket computation and analytics, then mediation’s value to the telecom back office is guaranteed to grow very nicely.

Dan Baker is the research director of Technology Research Institute (TRI) and has been following the BSS/OSS market since he formed TRI in 1994. He has just released a major 600+ page research report entitled, “Telecom Business, Fraud, Cost and Revenue Assurance: State of the Market and Practice”.


Around the World

Posted: February 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Total Telecom…
Service Providers Must Think Creatively to Get Most Out of M2M
The automotive industry is one of the key drivers of M2M communications. This article explains that operators need to include additional services on top of M2M offerings in order for customers to get the most out of the technology.

Telefónica and Masternaut, for example, are using M2M communications to monitor driver behavior, such as braking and acceleration habits, for enterprises with large fleets of vehicles. On top of their service, they are offering an element that allows companies to rank their drivers and award a prize for the highest ranked depot within an organisation. By using the natural human instinct for competition, Telefónica and Masternaut are able to encourage safe driving.

Telefónica is not the only mobile operator looking closely at this space—many are interested in building an enablement framework that will allow them to reap the benefits of M2M technology.  Do you see M2M being a major telecom trend in 2012?


ChannelNewsAsia…
Telcos May Spend More to Boost Network Capacity
This week, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore introduced measures to boost the quality of 3G mobile services for subscribers. As of April 1, operators must ensure more than 99 percent coverage in outdoor areas and more than 85 percent coverage within buildings, with a less than one percent rate of dropped calls.

Due to these measures, Singapore telecom operators are focusing on improving their control of surging mobile data volumes, and are predicted to invest between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion this year to boost their network capacity. This increase in capacity will be essential as the demand for faster data networks and LTE grows. The key for operators will be to guarantee a high quality of service in the wake of new regulations while also driving profits and preparing for the next phase of mobile broadband.

NPR…
How to Avoid ‘Bill Shock’ From Smartphone Use
For many Americans, using a cell phone while traveling abroad can result in ‘bill shock’ when they receive a stunningly large phone bill resulting from unanticipated roaming charges. To address this problem, the FCC will implement standards next spring requiring wireless carriers to provide timely and effective notice to consumers about expected roaming charges.

The new FCC regulations will present opportunities for CSPs to differentiate themselves on the customer experience front, by taking a closer look at improving billing services and personalised alert services. What do you think these new regulations will mean for the industry?


Around the World

Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Connected Planet…
The First of the Top Trends for 2012, Including: Micro-Transactions for Everyone
With the New Year right around the corner, Alex Leslie provides an overview of what private equity firm M/C Partners sees as the top 10 communications trends for 2012. Dealing with capacity issues is expected to be the biggest trend, according to the company; communications service providers (CSPs)will likely accelerate the build out of fiber to the tower in order to keep up with bandwidth and quality of service demands.

What Alex notes as most interesting from an OSS/BSS point of view is the expansion of the micro-transaction business models into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), console games, video, communications services and social networks. With the majority of this money being paid as subscriptions, Alex says this opens an opportunity for pricing and billing sophistication.

Do you agree with M/C Partners’ list of the top 2012 communications trends? Is there anything else you foresee having a major impact on the industry in the New Year?

Microsperience….
Making the Impossible Possible (A Fishy Tale)
Analyst Teresa Cottam begins her blog post with an anecdote about a U.K. supermarket chain. In the midst of the recession, the supermarket was able to sell its Alaskan salmon at an incredibly low price, creating a truly competitive advantage. There was much speculation about how it was able to do this, but the answer was as simple as finding a new shipping route, which enabled the store to shorten the journey from Alaska to the U.K., and therefore, reduce the cost of the product.

Teresa’s main point is that almost nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. CSPs can innovate if they have a clear vision and sufficient imagination to prevent challenges from holding them back.

Teresa goes on to explain that she sees billing and charging as the next big opportunity for innovation, and believes that visionaries will see the opportunities CSPs now have to differentiate themselves and create new revenues. To achieve their business goals, CSPs need to bring their operational team members together, understand their customers and work with partners to deliver the right product at the right time.

In the end, the analyst challenges readers with the following question: “Are you, as a service provider, happy to risk falling behind when the leap comes, or are you one of those already preparing their run up?”

Gulf News…
Telecoms ‘Must Focus on Doing What They Do Best’
Should operators look to Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue? Panelists at the Smart Handheld Summit 2011 in Dubai say no, arguing that CSPs should instead tighten operational efficiency and stick with what they do best—providing Internet access.

Venture capitalist Paul Doany warns that straying into commercial operations, such as new platforms and mobile apps, will be harmful for revenues. On the other hand, Osman Sultan, CEO of du telecom, thinks operators should take part in third-party advertising-based revenue streams, and believes this is possible if telecom operators across the Middle East work together.

Matching the tremendous growth of Internet giants will certainly be a challenge. However, Dr. Bassam Hannoun, CEO of Wataniya Mobile, says operators can drive the telecoms industry forward through management and protection of revenue. In the coming year, Bassam believes the operators who will find success are those who can turn a disconnected value chain into a seamless solution.


Around the World

Posted: October 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Connected Planet…
Analysis: Is Bill Shock Pressure Creating a Tipping Point for ‘Great’ Customer Service?
Alex Leslie predicts that customer experience will improve as a result of regulators’ efforts to lower bills for mobile usage. His article was published on the heels of new FCC and CTIA guidelines dictating that network operators send voice or text alerts to users as they approach data limits. Regulators in Australia, Asia and Europe are already following suit.

Even though regulations are often met with resistance, history shows that they can be beneficial in giving rise to improved solutions and services—and customer experiences. For example, previous rules about data usage and billing accuracy led to revenue assurance with communications service providers (CSPs) improving their billing strategies. Do you think history will repeat itself, with the new bill shock regulations opening opportunities for CSPs to differentiate themselves in the customer service department?

Light Reading…
Policy Is Still Strategic, But Changing
A survey by Heavy Reading shows that network operator executives expect policy management to gain importance, and predicts that a new generation of policy gear will be deployed to handle increased functionality. The survey results also reveal interest in using policy control to enable business models with third-party content, and mirror Comptel CEO Juhani Hintikka’s predictions that the next phase in policy control will take advantage of third-party applications with content prioritisation.

What these new business models require is more scalable policy technology that can integrate with charging and billing systems, so that operators have a wider range of triggers to drive policy, both in creating new services and in managing congestion.

Microsperience…
The Four Main Pillars of the Telecoms Customer Experience
Telecoms analyst Teresa Cottam writes that many CSPs are focusing on their own needs rather than looking at customer experience from the customer’s point of view. She says that there are four main pillars to the telecoms customer experience:

1)      Network Experience
2)      Commercial Experience
3)      Product Experience
4)      Service Experience

The pillars need to simultaneously work together while also being individually optimised in order to support the overall customer experience.  Even though customers should be the focus of the business, Teresa stresses that operators still need to be profitable. The key challenge is finding the right tools that will help CSPs improve customer engagement and at the same time, help them increase their revenue.


Around the World

Posted: October 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Telecoms.com…
India Unveils Draft Telecom Policy
This past Monday, India unveiled a draft of new policy meant to “facilitate consolidation in the converged telecom service sector, while ensuring sufficient competition.” A major change will be the removal of roaming fees within the country. Policy makers are hoping this move will encourage customers to make more calls outside their home territory.

Amid corruption over the allocation of the telecom spectrum, this new policy also focuses on transparency by issuing telecom licenses and spectrum bandwidth separately rather than bundling them. Do you think this proposed plan will ultimately benefit CSPs and subscribers, and revitalize India’s telecom industry?

Telecomasia.net…
Time to Rethink Data Roaming
Informa Telecoms & Media’s Paul Lambert asserts that the European Commission (EC) regulation for the data roaming market is out of step with the way smartphones interact with the network and how smartphone data is used while roaming.

Paul believes EC regulations should guide operators to charge for usage rather than the number of kilobytes a device consumes. Many smartphones consume data by constantly interacting with the network to update data applications, even when they are not being accessed by users. Thus, data is unwittingly consumed much faster.

Do you agree that it’s time to rethink data roaming?

Bloomberg Businessweek…
FCC to Revamp Phone Subsidy to Spur Expanded Internet Access
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski recently revealed plans to overhaul the U.S. phone subsidy program, the Universal Service Fund, by extending broadband Internet connections in rural areas. The plan will bring wireline and wireless high-speed Internet connections to 18 million homes that don’t have access, increasing the number of people who use high-speed Internet from 65 to 90 percent.

The FCC also plans to revamp fees paid to rural carriers for connecting calls, which chairman Genachowski says could result in significant consumer benefits. We’re looking forward to hearing more details when the final version of the plan is unveiled on October 27th for the FCC vote.


Around the World

Posted: September 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Broadband Traffic Management…
Analysys Mason: MNOs Need a New Approach to Compete with OTT VoIP
A report from Analysys Mason forecasts that third parties could account for as much as 16 percent of mobile service revenue in Western Europe by 2017. Consumer interest in over-the-top (OTT) mobile VoIP applications, such as Google Voice and Skype, are forcing operators to address the issue of how to charge for these types of services. Principal analyst Stephen Sale and research director Tom Rebbeck state that short-term measures like blocking or charging a premium for OTT services fail to address the issue in a sustainable manner, and operators should instead use a scenario-based approach to engage with longer-term market developments and effectively compete. As the report notes, common themes across each scenario include the need for operators to use policy control to manage the price and value of third-party applications, along with the need for them to pay attention to customer behaviour.

Tech Central…
The State of Telecoms in Africa
Africa is quickly moving to high-speed broadband, yet the continent’s ability to offer more Internet services and data access could be hindered by the inability of operators to deliver reasonably priced, fast and reliable bandwidth. Russell Southwood, head of African telecom consultancy Balancing Act Africa, says migrating to LTE may be the solution needed to overcome this roadblock.

Despite the challenges outlined in the article, Africa’s fastest growing sector is the telecoms industry, as noted in previous highlights, which gives hope that operators will spur innovation through continued expansion and better service and greater rural coverage. In addition to LTE, what game-changing technology do you think is needed to achieve a high-speed Africa?

Pipeline Magazine…
Analysts Weigh in on the Customer Experience
Stratecast, Yankee Group and Infonetics Research discuss the customer experience management (CEM) craze and agree that defining CEM can be difficult. The bottom line though: increasing revenue and reducing costs do not automatically equal a better customer experience. However, working on customer experience first and implementing the right “technologies that allow you to do a better job of understanding your customers,” as Nancee Ruzicka of Stratecast says, “[can] reduce costs. They do improve revenues. They do have all of those positive money effects. Then you start to see your business case.” What do you think of the analysts’ points on CEM?


Around the World

Posted: June 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World
Connected Planet…
The Singular Solution to Bill Shock: Think Like the Customer Thinks
Alex Leslie discusses bill shock and the various approaches operators are exploring to avoid it. In light of increasing mobile network use while abroad, some companies are looking into charging for content per email, game or app instead of buying bandwidth in a bundle, but due to the variety of actions and complexity of pricing each one, this isn’t ideal. Another option involves implementing a flat-rate data plan; this may be attractive to operators but compromises network quality by the few users who consume too much bandwidth. And although it might seem like a perfect solution, capping network usage often leaves customers wary about watching what they eat. As Alex states, whatever the bill shock solution may be, operators should make it a priority to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. Bill shock can have a heavy impact on the customer experience, and it more than often leaves a bad taste in subscribers’ mouths. As we discussed at the Comptel User Group, operators really need a real-time, interactive and personalised OSS platform that can deliver superior insight into customers’ wants and needs, proactively manage their frustrations and prevent churn—all to improve their experience.

Telecoms.com…
U.S. State Bill to Push for Clearer 4G Definition
New legislation, the “Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act”, was recently introduced in the U.S. senate—if passed, the bill will enforce operators to more clearly state the capabilities and coverage of their networks. Supporters of the bill say they hope to clear up confusion caused by the blanket marketing of all types of next-generation networks as 4G, regardless of the technologies on which they are based and the speeds they actually deliver. The proposed legislation also states that providers and other sellers of advanced wireless mobile broadband services will need to make “accurate and reasonable disclosures of the terms and conditions of such service in order to give consumers the necessary information to make informed decisions about such service.” Setting clear expectations from the beginning—and being upfront with customers about their coverage, minimum speeds, data caps and potential performance issues—will only help enhance the customer experience.

SearchTelecom.com…
New Service Needs Drive Changes to Telecom Data Center Architecture
Tom Nolle believes that because competition with over-the-top (OTT) providers will keep service prices low and revenue margins thin, operators need to evolve their telecom data center architectures in three phases. By undertaking the following distinct steps, operators can ensure that growth in their priority areas (content delivery, mobile services and cloud services) will not be hindered.

1. Deploy blade-server farms using generic servers that run Linux. This phase will support cloud computing and early content needs, and over time, operators will integrate OSS/BSS elements from their existing architectures to improve operational efficiency.
2. Migrate to fabric-based interconnection of storage and servers. The combination of OSS/BSS and feature reuse is likely to be the largest driver of change for telecom data center networking.
3. Connect data centers into modular clouds. It is not yet clear how far or fast this last phase will advance.

Do you think the telecom data center architecture evolution is feasible? Are there any other strategies operators should consider to keep up with the OTT model?


Around the World

Posted: June 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Around the World

Light Reading…
A Brief Guide to India’s Telecom Market
In this article, Ray Le Maistre gives readers an overview of India’s telecom landscape. There is an insatiable demand for mobile communications services! By the end of 2005, about 80 million mobile lines had been activated, and just five years later, mobile connectivity had grown to a whopping 750 million users. This is a clear reflection of the desire for communication services from the Indian population, which is in line with a previous Around the World blog post we highlighted detailing a Frost & Sullivan report on India’s tremendous growth over the next five years.

Additionally, Ray notes that introducing Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services, which are likely to run over the world’s first large-scale Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) networks, should help deliver some of the tangible growth that the Indian government is looking for. However, the Indian government is concerned that not enough local telecom companies are benefiting from the operators’ combined annual capital outlay of more than $30 billion. As a result, there have been talks of introducing local manufacturing quotas. Ultimately, legislation will play a big role in what’s to come, and as Ray states, because India’s market is changing so quickly, it’s hard to predict what market-altering new legislation or regulation might come along next.

ZDnet…
WiMAX to Survive as ‘Niche’ Tech
WiMAX seems to have lost to LTE as the dominant mobile broadband standard, but it will survive as a “niche” technology, author Liau Yun Qing reports. According to In-Stat analyst Chris Kissel, the former may find a place to survive in under-developed markets such as Latin America or Africa, where technology can still be built in areas with little or no mobile service. There could also be room for WiMAX in small markets focused on wireless DSL and in the smart grid market. Chris notes that ultimately, the problem with implementing WiMAX is that mobile operators had to build it from the ground up since it’s not backwards-compatible to any existing UMTS standard. Despite WiMAX’s decreasing popularity, LTE is thriving in China, India and elsewhere. In fact, according to a Global mobile Suppliers Association report in May, there are 208 operators worldwide investing in LTE—98 more than in June 2010. Do you believe WiMAX will survive as a niche tech with this rapid rise of LTE, and if so, for how long?

Nation Multimedia…
More Plan to Buy Smartphones: Survey
The popularity of smartphones is both undeniable and rapidly growing. According to an online survey conducted by Nielsen, almost 42 percent of online customers in Thailand without smartphones said they will definitely, or are likely, to buy one in 2011. At the end of 2010, Nielsen survey research showed that Southeast Asia’s average smartphone ownership was 25 percent. Will Wang, director of the firm’s telecom practice, states that while Thailand still awaits the arrival of a full-scale commercialized 3G network, citizens are willing to buy a smartphone so they can integrate with social networks and enjoy gaming experiences via Wi-Fi or existing data services. However, it’s important to remain focused on what will keep smartphone users satisfied, especially as smartphone usage increases. As Oliver Suard points out, it’s critical that industry leaders remember to focus on customer satisfaction on all types of mobile users, and remember to also cater to those who do not own an iPhone or are heavy users of mobile broadband value-added services.


Clear and realistic goals are key when building customer loyalty programmes

Posted: May 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Clear and realistic goals are key when building customer loyalty programmes

By Samantha Tanner, Telecoms IQ at IQPC

It’s a key aspect of any marketing campaign—rewarding those who are loyal to you, so that they remain your customers. All businesses or brands do it in some shape or form, but how effective is your strategy?

New research into the way that loyalty marketing programmes work shows that currently around 65% of marketers believe that the key result of these campaigns is to entice new customers. The report, produced by Forrester Research, also shows that 40% believe their customer loyalty strategies are erratic and have unclear objectives.

This is a worrying statistic for brands and, indeed, customers. With competition high and a number of brands vying for the attention of the same segment of customers, rewarding them for staying loyal is a key aspect for any campaign.

Additionally, half of marketers interviewed for the research believe that their customer loyalty incentives are not in sync with their brands’ key marketing messages, causing confusion and uncertainty. So what can the telecoms industry do to ensure that their loyalty incentives are employing the right tactics in order to reward their customers and improve upon their service?

At a Customer Experience Management in Telecoms event, Peter Spencer, director of solutions incubation and thought leadership for the Customer Experience Transformation Program at Alcatel-Lucent, explained that: “Customer experience encompasses all interaction between a customer and a brand. If you understand which parts of your customer experience are important and where the critical decisions happen, then you are able to target your investments appropriately. It relies on a whole varied range of factors which need to be taken into account.”

In an age where word of mouth can circumnavigate the globe within seconds due to social networking platforms, it has become essential to correctly train employees, so they are able to pass on their knowledge to the customer. This is your first stage of creating brand advocates and rewarding them for being loyal to your brand.

Secondly, optimise your OSS so that you live up to your service fulfilment in offering a better quality of service and are completely transparent within key aspects of your customer experience programme. For example, if you are new to number portability, how are you going the extra mile in order to provide a superior network and service for your customers?

Finally, your long-serving customers are ultimately costing you less money and are promoting your products and services; surely they deserve to be rewarded for this? This is where your customer loyalty programme should start—with the aim to reward customers for their loyalty in order for them to feel appreciated.

This post was created from content on the upcoming Maximising Loyalty & Profitability event being held in Vienna in May. To find out further information and to read articles in full, please visit www.loyaltyandprofitability.com.