What is customer agility?
Put simply, customer agility involves leveraging big data to understand and predict customer needs, solve problems and put customers in control.
It starts with the desire of end users to be self-sufficient. They are accustomed to doing things in real time, using any device, and want apps and other means of self-care – including personalized services, setting budget thresholds and parental controls. They basically want to find, get and pay for the services they want, when they want them.
For operators who can achieve customer agility, this is great news. A positive and stimulating experience creates demand and reduces churn, driving top line revenue/ARPU and, by improving operational efficiency (reducing customer care call duration and mean time to repair), both the operator and the user benefit. The mission is to leverage your OSS/BSS assets and big data to generate actionable insights that drive personalized offers and a differentiated customer experience.
Making customer wishes come true
Sheryl Kingstone, Research Director at 451 Research, has said, “The ability to measure end-to-end customer experience is really what’s going to provide [operator] differentiation for the future.” (Watch the full video here.) This can be done through analytics.
As customers use your network and services, big data analytics let you gain insights about them and then make improvements in the appropriate business process areas. While streaming a video, playing the latest game with friends or making in-app purchases, user activity generates data about their needs and preferences, as well as the quality of their experiences. Analytics also let you monitor the network in real time to short-circuit problems and make sure service delivery is as it should be.
You can assemble and associate seemingly unrelated data elements from diverse sources to drive closed-loop marketing, customer care, charging and operations actions, change bandwidth and provide real-time notifications and offers to consumers based on their behavior. Context-based offers and services can actually anticipate customer desires before they are even fully apparent to the customer. In terms of a positive experience, that is hard to top.
Self-care tools integrated, with other OSS/BSS, empower users to subscribe to or purchase those and other products, take advantage of discounts or just-in-time promotions based on their immediate need, and request and update account information to stay informed about costs, balances and bonuses in real-time. Operators should therefore develop and promote a tool that is intuitive and customizable, allowing customers to manage and modify their service at will, across all touchpoints.
Read the research report
Research firm STL Partners interviewed a number of telecom operator executives several months ago. Their recent research report, “The ‘Agile Operator’: 5 Key Ways to Meet the Agility Challenge,” discusses the findings. On the subject of customer agility, it states:
“Providing the best possible service is paramount to the Agile Operator. The Agile Operator understands the customer’s experience of the service and gains insight into customer behaviour to develop and refine services.”
The executives interviewed were well aware of what’s needed. In order to provide the required level of service, they identified two key components of achieving customer agility:
1. Provide a simple, intuitive and customizable self-care platform
2. Use big data analytics to understand customer usage, experience and context
How Customer Agile Are You?
What is your company doing to achieve customer agility? Have you implemented big data analytics? A new self-care platform? If you have, are they affecting ARPU and customer satisfaction? If you haven’t, what are your plans? Tell us in the comments.