On Weds 23rd, thirty intrepid telco markeeters braved the inclement weather to meet in Westminster to hear Peter Crayfourd (Head of Customer Lifecycle Strategy, Orange Group) and Aly Richards (idio, CXO and former Head of CRM, O2) discuss the revolutions that are happening with the world of telco.
Drawing upon nearly two decades in the telco world – working across ntl, 3 and Orange – Peter Crayfourd explained in ‘Always Engaged’ the organisation and technological shifts needed to put the customer at the heart of telco operations, and in particular the necessity to move from business-centric goals (e.g. increase revenue, shift product) to CRM thinking (sustain engagement, increase positive sentiment). Key to this, Peter maintained, was tracking customer interactions over a longer period of time, over as many channels as possible – not just the activities within customer contact centres.
Customer Experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services over the duration of their relationship with that supplier
The problem is telco companies aren’t tracking every customer interaction, let alone over a sustained period. Rather, telco insight and operational strategies are calculated from ‘snap shots’ of a particular sample of customers, usually taken every 15mins over very narrow criteria (such as, how strong network signals are, how many products have sold, how many calls made) . Whereas, Peter was at pains to explain the need to track customers on an individual level for as long as they are a customer. This required a shift, not just in corporate culture, but also systems that can handle the vast amounts of interaction data that comes from tracking telco customers; in call-centres, on websites, across email and in the social cloud.
Aly Richards carried on the theme of continual engagement, examining how the efficacy of the Next-Best-Action technology installed in every telco organisation – which suggest on-the-fly scripts to call centre agents based on known customer data which suggest the best proposition to make, and how a US wireless telco called C-Spire (client) were using ‘Next-Best-Content’ to build on the limitations of NBA.
Telcos have run out of things to say
Aly explained that although Next-Best-Action had been a boon to telcos in the last decade, the initial successes of the technology would eventually stall as NBA is completely reliant on a limited product range to offer each customer.
There are only so many mobile packages or services a call operator can offer you, before you have heard them all. This explains the drop in conversions and accepted propositions for most telcos who run extended campaigns using NBA.
As C-Spire found, using content in digital comms extends the conversation with their customer base and prospects beyond simply trumpeting on about a particular product offering. This made recipients of their emails more likely to engage with C-Spire on favourable terms and not just engage when there was a problem.
Content allows telcos to continue to ‘talk’ to customers about lifestyle interests without necessarily being limited to a small product pool. Futhermore, through content curation, telcos are able to have enough content to have an ongoing conversation with customers, whatever their interests.
Content as a service
C-Spire pride themselves on their brand promise of ‘Personalised Wireless’.
The next extension of the their personalised service brand was to make content a service. Not just publishing content, but actually using personalisation as value proposition to encourage customers to continually engage with C-Spire.
Through using idio’s platform, C-Spire were able to curate and publish content around a wide variety of topics a typical C-Spire customer would be interested in. This in turn was personalised on the web and in emails based on what each customer was reading on-site and sharing on social media. As such, the content was providing utility to each customer by providing them with content which was personalised to their particular interests such as ‘politics’, ‘sport’ and ‘faith’.
Data And Insight from content
The result from having engaged readers on multiple channels is that you can learn a huge amount about your market.
By understanding what each piece of content is talking about by using content analytics, C-Spire can build very detailed customer profiles (insight graphs) of every individual user based on what content they are consuming online.
This in turn was useful for segmentation and campaigns as it allows C-Spire to bracket customers beyond the usual data such as product bought, age, geography and begin to target those with similar or very specific interests.
For those interested in learning more, Aly Richards will be running a ‘Future of Telco Marketing’ webinar on Thurs 14th February at 10AM. If you would like to sign-up, please go here