We ended the first part of this blog series about Experienced Based Charging by explaining how, when customer experience proves unacceptable or below identified thresholds (regardless of whether the customer expresses dissatisfaction or not), mitigating action could and should be immediately taken.
Records or alerts pointing to a service quality failure can be sourced from multiple locations within the network. For instance, they might include threshold event notifications gathered in real-time, service performance information sourced via DPI, information sourced from analytics applications and, importantly in the context of today’s telco economy, feedback from OTT partners. With regard to the latter, it’s not just end-customer issues that EBC addresses; it’s an important factor in ensuring productive partner relationships too. The bottom line is that proactive problem-solving equals a better Customer Experience, whoever the ‘customer’ is.
Although thus far we’ve categorized EBC as an OSS-related use case, there’s also an argument for considering it an extended CRM function as it’s essentially a gateway to managing the customer effectively via sourcing and processing data. It’s the raw data that alerts you to what, when, where and how your customers are utilizing your service and you won’t understand the experience they want let alone deliver it without that data. Here, then, is a fundamental principle: Good data is prerequisite for EBC and EBC is indivisible from effective CRM.
This is interesting from the point of view of where a data management application sits; is it, and is EBC, a traditional mediation tool? Or a part of the OSS infrastructure? Or BSS? Or customer care? Whatever the answer it’s unavoidable that, while you can deploy the world’s best CRM product, its ability to deliver what customers want is entirely reliant upon the data it’s fed. In light of this reality, the Experience Based Charging Use underlines that effective data technology has to be able to operate ‘horizontally’, across multiple Use Cases.
Returning to the statistics at the start of the first blog, it’s easy to quantify the potential impact of EBC. A Tier 1 carrier with 100M subscribers experiencing a 2% churn rate is losing 2M customers a year. With revenue lost as a result pegged at around $1,000 per customer, the numbers on the table are significant. If proactive, Experienced Based Charging can persuade only 5% of those churning customers to remain loyal, up to a $100M in revenue will be saved. The ROI is clear, particularly given that the investment in EBC applications required to achieve this is minimal in comparison.
Can we expect to see Experience Based Charging become commonplace in the telco arena in the coming years? We think it’s safe to say that new and innovative strategies in the area of churn reduction are required and that EBC is one of them. Given the ease and relatively low cost to implement, as well as the potential ROI noted above, a better question might be why not EBC? The requirement is urgent.
Other Blogs in this series: