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Telecom CRM: A perspective from the customer experience management

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29

Jan, 2015

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Telecom market today is an extremely competitive one with multiple players, varied technologies, comprehensive value chain and more importantly caters to varied set of customers. Over the period of decade or decade and half, the market has grown from few billion users to a service that is measured in per capita. During this time, the outlook towards the service delivery has also evolved into a sophisticated combination of services and offers. This gave birth to the need of a comprehensive solution stack that can recognize the need for the same, understand the need and address it successfully.

The telecom solution generally comprises of various components like Billing, AAA, PCRF, PCEF, OCS, and OFCS along with the CRM which front ends the entire stack. Most CRM in the market today are made by the generic solution providers which are suitable for enterprise B2B markets. B2C markets in various fronts are still dependent on sporadic solution providers even today due to one reason. The flexibility in terms of a B2B market CRM is more towards the feature richness and user flexibility while on the other hand, a B2C CRM should focus more towards the flexibility of supported business models. Hence, most generic CRMs do not address the needs of the Telecom Operators.

Some key features that are vital for the functioning of the telecom operator in terms of the CRM are:

  1. Customer Acquisition
  2. Campaign Management
  3. Lead / Order Management
  4. Partner Management
  5. End User Self-Care
  6. Customer Service
  7. Discounting and Voucher Management

Customer Acquisition:

In a telecom scenario, customer acquisition can happen in multiple ways i.e. through website, through 3rd party website, on-site customer executive, channel partners, etc. The customer acquisition management system needs to communicate seamlessly with the various systems and successfully process the requests, on real time. The ability of a system to acquire customers from multiple platforms simultaneously is the corner stone of the CRM solution.

Campaign Management:

A telecom operator has comprehensive needs in terms of the campaign management, be it sending an update about their balance, voucher confirmation to the successful bill payment. A flexible campaign management is required to send out messages (SMS / Emails) based on the various system generated triggers. This is vital communication method to keep the customers updated with the changes in their account.

Order Management:

From the building the flexible products to effectively charging them based on usage, order management is one area which saw considerable amount of development went in during the past decade and hence highly evolved. A typical order management platform allows definition of various price plans, service bundles, charging tiers; attach inventory items like routers to the plan and usage based billing. The order management also addresses the various use cases like prorate rules, validity & conflict of vouchers, limiting the usage, etc.

Partner Management:

Volume of sales through channels is phenomenal in terms of the telecom industry. In an attempt to take the services to the customers and reaching out to a large base of customers, telecom operators have taken to the masses as resellers. Vendors with local presence have turned into resellers for telecom operators’ Subscriber Identification Module (SIMs) and vouchers. In the process of automation, these vendors are to be given CRM to access the partner level features to complete their part of process. The importance of understanding this process of to make the customer acquisition cycle as mundane and streamlined as possible to enable maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

End-user Self Care:

With a sub base running into millions, telecom operators are always trying to enable customers to solve their problems without any human intervention. Users love this because the turnaround time for resolution of a problem is very less or recharging an account is pretty simple and straight forward. On the other hand, operators can spend their time, money and efforts on delivering better service rather than interacting. End-user self-care does this with perfect harmony. A user can simply punch in his / her credentials, select the category of action, then the particular action and he is good to go.

Customer Service:

Customer service quality is the corner stone of the telecom vendor offering and also a key competitor differentiator. Customer service executives need to have a system that can provide a comprehensive view of the account at the right time. Customer service module should cover the comprehensive use cases of all the possible challenges a customer service executive faces and address the same. It should also set the hierarchy rules for escalating a problem. With all the mentioned features, a perfectly functioning customer service module allows telecom users to have a brilliant customer and issue resolution experience.

Discounting:

Offers was one way to attract customers but today in an era where every operator can replicate any offer, discounting technique is used to align to the customer needs. While customers have daily consumption of telecom services, they also have special requirements like when on vacation, one needs roaming, when travelling to another country, international roaming is required for the specific time. These use cases can run into an exhaustive list. Capturing these discounting details and productizing them is a one important aspect of a Telecom CRM.

With the right solution, an operator will have the ability to understand the customer behavior, improve account hit rate and improve the user experience and thereby increasing the bottom line, in a sustainable manner. One key aspect of such a solution is that they should seamlessly integrate and communicate with other solutions in the eco-system.

By : Kasyapa Malladi

KasyapaMalladi works with SURE! as a Product Marketing Specialist in Broadband. Kasyapa specializes in budget based marketing campaigns, strategy implementation in developing economies and in fostering and sustaining partnerships. Kasyapa’s experience includes Marketing Strategy for Cloud products in developed markets.

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