SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Web 2.0

Web 2.0: Blog Post

How Customer Service Can Enable Customer Retention, Rather Than Cause Churn

We all love a good moan, whether it's about the weather, the government or traffic

We all love a good moan, whether it's about the weather, the government or traffic - not forgetting bad customer service. However, the problem with the latter from a merchant's perspective is that negative talk naturally damages reputations. Furthermore, discussions on positive customer experiences, that could potentially restore dented names, are seldom conversed.

However, for CSPs, the cost of bad customer service is proving to be more than marred reputations. On a global basis, around 20% of mobile customers churn as a direct result of poor customer care[1]. CSPs are under immense pressure to remain profitable and thus preventing customers from churning is a key priority. Therefore, it's no surprise that CSPs are investing heavily in their CRM systems. Analysys Mason predict customer care system revenue will increase 6.1% and 6.6% CAGR in EMEA and NA, respectively, over the next 5 years[2].

The ‘next gen CRM' is being largely constructed on what the modern customer is demanding: a personalized service that is available on multiple platforms, covering multiple packages (if applicable). Most of us, at some point, have experienced the frustrations of calling up your quad-play provider with issues covering more than one service, only to have to be transferred from one rep to another as they do not have access to what is referred to as a 360◦ view. In fact, moving towards an integrated customer care system (one that sits across multiple BSS systems and services enabling a holistic view of all customer data held by the operator) was stated as a key recommendation for all CSPs in a recent report by Analysys Mason[3]. However, in a survey conducted by Light Reading, operators regarded integrating data sources as their primary operational challenge[4]. The difficulty is that CRM deployment requires seamless BSS integration.

Having a holistic, or 3600 view of the customer will not only enable Customer Service Agents to provide a better quality of service, but also allows them to discover and act upon sales opportunities. In short, it will free staff from non-profit administrative tasks, caused by burdensome, siloed systems and allow them to spend more time selling. The KPIs for building a more cost-efficient CRM, and providing a better quality of service, are similar - meaning that if you meet the KPIs for one, you'll meet them for the other.

Understanding the need for such features is what led to the creation of AsiaInfo's ‘next gen' CRM solution - the VerisTM CRM. Designed specifically for the telecommunications industry, it is a highly innovative and carrier grade system boasting a low cost of ownership (through deployment on blade servers and using cloud based, multi-tenant architecture). It provides a full 360 degree view of every customer, including interactions through all communication channels (Facebook, Twitter, Web and Mobile Self-Care, SMS, Retail Stores, Contact Centre, Email, etc) and is fully integrated with Billing and Business Intelligence systems, enabling real-time customer insights. The superior customer service enabled by Veris CRM empowers CSPs to differentiate, allowing customer service to become a factor toward customer retention, rather than customer loss.



[1] Accenture, ‘Maximizing Customer Retention', May 2012.

[2] Analysys Mason, ‘Customer Care Forecast', October 2013.

[3] Analysys Mason, ‘Customer Care Forecast', October 2013.

[4] Light Reading, ‘Monetizing Data: The Role of BSS in the Digital Revolution', November 2013

More Stories By Claire McMahon

Claire McMahon is the International Telecom Analyst at AsiaInfo-Linkage, the supplier of the world's most advanced software solutions and IT services to the telecommunications industry.

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