Anthony Thomas, CIO, Vodafone India
Over the last decade, telecom sector in India has witnessed unprecedented growth on the backdrop of new customer acquisitions. Telcos have been on a constant lookout to reach untapped market places and increase their customer base. Also with increase in smartphone adoption, mobile internet usage has witnessed a steady rise. Mobile internet traffic has seen an exponential growth leading to data deluge in last few years. Currently over12petabytes of mobile data is being consumed per month. Consumers have also shown a very keen interest towards adoption of newer mobile apps. This has revolutionized the way we communicate and share information with each other. Now, with the market penetration reaching healthy volumes and customers having an option to let go of an existing service provider and opt for another one, without having to change the mobile number, strategic paradigm has to undergo a shift for telcos. The focus should see a change from customer acquisition to customer lifecycle and experience management. Today there is a need for telcos to overhaul their approach towards customers and reach out to them proactively to prevent churn and increase loyalty. For all this, operators would be heavily dependent on their IT capabilities.
Traditionally, IT has proved to be a backbone for initiatives implemented by telcos for improving customer experience and managing their lifecycle. Some of these initiatives implemented by telcos range from data analytics, evolved CRM application, and need based product offerings, innovative billing solutions, advanced call centre setups, loyalty programs, digital acquisition, mobile money etc. With this, telcos have been targeting to manage brand perception, customer relation/retention, leads’ conversion, and superior customer experience. All these initiatives are aimed at fulfilling consumers ever growing expectations for the personalized services, and memorable experience.
To conclude, telcos will have to keep optimizing the customer experience in order to enhance the stickiness so that they stay on our network perpetually. They will have to keep coming up with innovative customer-centric strategies that can create differentiation in hyper competitive telecom market which not only helps continually raise the customer experience bar but also ensure adequate monetization for the company.