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Mobile World Congress blog series 1/2 : Not just a world of glowing rectangles

Credit Risk & Affordability Fraud & Verification

MWC16-rgb-whiteWith another Mobile World Congress (MWC) upon us the media focus will largely be on the big brand device launches such as the new Samsung Galaxy confirmed for a launch at the event.   However, with a theme of ‘Mobile is Everything’ running through MWC, the wearables and virtual reality devices will also attract plenty of interest as innovation leads the smart revolution.  Connected living will showcase the economic and environmental benefits of concepts such as Smart Cities, Smarthome, Connected Vehicles and Mobile Health.    Essentially, we will see the industry reinforce its credentials as improving people’s lives as much as quenching the consumerist thirst for the latest, shiny ‘must have’ glowing rectangle.

Blurring the boundaries – traditional fixed line telecoms, mobile operators and TV providers

The rapid pace of data usage results in what was relevant and correct for yesterday needing to adapt equally as quickly.  That is certainly true in the UK market where the lines between traditional fixed line telecoms providers are blurring very quickly with that of mobile operators which, in turn, are blurring with TV providers. The current round of merger & acquisition within the sector is well documented elsewhere with BT having closed the EE acquisition and the proposed purchase of Telefonica UK by H3G working through the European Commission.  These strategic moves are designed to deliver cost efficiencies, economies of scale as well as extend the range of services offered to consumers.  Furthermore, the swing toward offering triple and quad play services results in a convergence of the sector with TV companies launching mobile services and vice versa.

So, with this market consolidation through merger and acquisition, coupled with convergence of services it is becoming increasingly likely that service providers will be left with silos of customer data across multiple CRM platforms without a common way to link these together.  There will be a range of scenarios where portfolios have an overlap that needs to be understood and managed (e.g. separate mobile portfolios now under one stable).

One version of the truth

Without a robust method of understanding multiple relationships with the same customer, and being unable to aggregate the sum of these relationships, organisations will find themselves at a disadvantage.  In a sector with high customer churn rates an increasing focus is given to customer service and experience as a key differentiator.  The organisations that are able to join the dots together and get a true customer level picture of measures such as lifetime value, eligibility for additional products and services, collections & recovery and propensity to churn will have a better chance of engaging effectively with those customers.

Internal creation and maintenance of a single customer view (SCV) is likely to be problematic with limitations on the accuracy and quality of the matching as a result of varied and inconsistent data stored in different formats across a range of platforms. Also, data changes over time as customers move through life changes including changes of name and address.   The lack of a common and robust unique reference number to identify individuals in the UK leads to difficulty matching records together with confidence.  By utilising a range of sources, including credit reference data, ambiguity can be resolved facilitating identification of the same customers across customer books regardless of any name, date of birth or address variations.

Implementing a robust SCV is essential in the evolving telecommunications sector to encourage relevant marketing contacts, effective customer management strategy, understand and act on customer preferences and comply with regulation.  Ultimately, putting customers at the centre and truly providing interactions that meet complex requirements across a wide range of products and communication channels can only be achieved with the implementation of a successful SCV strategy.

‘Mobile is Everything’

Regardless of regulatory requirements, or the technological challenge of managing multiple relationships with one demanding consumer, MWC 2016 promises to demonstrate that the industry has evolved from analogue, through the digital age and into the ‘smart’ era, changing society and driving innovation.

Author: Mel Prescott

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