Guest post by Inna Ott, Director of Marketing, Polystar.
The first key asset is the customer base. It’s already clear that LTE subscribers spend more than 2G/3G users: now operators must ensure that their LTE customers continue not only to maintain spending levels but also increase consumption.
Since the customer base is so valuable, LTE and VoLTE operators need to create a deeper relationship with subscribers. They need to meet customer demands, anticipate new requirements and do their utmost to nurture customers.
This requires deeper understanding of subscriber behaviour than has ever been achieved.
“Quite simply, operators must learn to understand their customers at a level that has never been attempted before.”
To do this, they need to be able to uncover the behaviour patterns of all subscribers, to identify specific groups, and to treat customers as individuals. This requires a completely different approach. It demands solutions that enable information and insight to be uncovered at mass scale but with the ability to consider what each and every customer does, what their preferences are, and what they might want to do in the future. Such solutions must be capable of processing data from across the entire network, in real-time, while at the same time providing a detailed view of what users do individually.
Customer insight is the key to this. By capturing detailed information on user sessions, operators can make inferences about the entire user population, while at the same time creating a resource that is personalised to each subscriber.
By obtaining such information and delivering it to the right hands, operators can really start to leverage their customer base.
This will transform their businesses. For example, by learning to identify new groups based on what they actually do and on shared characteristics, operators can target offers and services much more effectively. They can make promotions both to groups and to specific users but they can do so efficiently, as the process can be automated.
Not only can such information enable better, more effective marketing and reduce costs while doing so, it can also deliver better service – helping customers solve problems faster, based on a real understanding of what they want to do.
This will deliver better customer satisfaction, leading in turn to reduced churn, more successful and more personalised marketing and sales activities and better, faster customer care.
The second asset is the network. Given the complexity of LTE and VoLTE deployments, it’s easy to look on this as a cost centre. In fact it’s a key asset and one that, through sensible management and maintenance, will be a significant source of additional future revenue.
In order to more effectively realise network assets, operators have to take a number of steps. First, they must protect their networks, ensuring that they function correctly at all times. This requires information to be captured, in real-time, from network elements and resources. Such information must be aggregated and then correlated, so that a complete picture of network function and end-to-end service performance can be obtained.
While necessary, this alone is not sufficient to help operators secure the returns they need from LTE and VoLTE networks. They also need access to information that helps overcome the significant operational challenges associated with 4G networks. This means not only extracting information but converting it into actionable intelligence.
“It’s the difference between knowing what is happening and really understanding it.”
That’s why solutions that deliver network insight are essential. Further, the insights derived need to be delivered to relevant teams in the operator’s organisation, so that business intelligence is available to the right people, at the right time. Operators need help with this task. They need solutions that capture, interpret and deliver insight that is already optimised for the needs of different stakeholders.
“By presenting information that has already been filtered, processed and analysed, they can focus on what matters – delivering service and operational excellence – and adopt a more proactive stance.”
This helps drive down operational costs as operators won’t lose time searching for answers to known and unknown questions. Let’s take a simple example. Each operator’s customer base uses a slightly different mix of applications and devices. It’s important to know what applications are in use, how patterns change and what demands they place on the network. By understanding this, operators can ensure that their networks are tuned to meet the needs of their specific user base. In the world of LTE and VoLTE, making sure the network is subject to continuous evolution and optimisation will be essential.
A NEW CUSTOMER CENTRIC VIEW
It seems obvious that customers and networks represent unique assets but it’s also clear that operators have to be completely focused on realising value from their network investments and customers. Simply deploying LTE and VoLTE is only part of the challenge ahead. Operators must adopt a new network and customer centric view, in order to make the most of their assets.
This requires a new generation of solutions that are capable of delivering the network and customer insight that will ensure operators capture this value: solutions that not only provide the interpretation of network data but which are adaptable, delivering the potential to uncover new insights and present these to stakeholders and other systems.
These will be the foundation of success in LTE and VoLTE networks, allowing operators to capture new value from their network investments, while at the same time building an entirely new, personalised relationship with subscribers.
Visit www.Polystar.com for further information.
*This article was originally published in TMN-Q Magazine issue 10. You can view the original article and accompanying VoLTE infographic here.