The telecommunications industry has long tried to crack the code on one of its biggest challenges: reducing customer churn. Telecom companies’ customer churn rates average around 30-35% a year, representing millions of customers and billions of dollars lost as companies constantly work to replace lost customers with new ones. Customers may switch providers after a few poor experiences in service or quality, yet once they’ve made the decision to switch, they are gone before the telco can address the issue — and it costs five to 10 times more to win them back than to keep them.
More concerning than the individual consumers jumping between wireless plans are the service providers’ VIP customers, accounts that often represent a large portion of a telco’s revenues and an even greater portion of profits. These VIP customers may not be as quick to move, but cumulative negative experiences can result in customer churn that is potentially devastating, as these customers are extremely difficult to replace.
Telecommunications companies need to proactively manage the customer experience for their VIP customers. Yet unless VIP customers consistently report problems, it can be extremely difficult to track problems and issues that may be degrading the customer relationship. Account managers and customer service representatives can only do so much on their own. Telcos need the ability to access and analyze customer and technical data in realtime, with alerts that ensure service providers can resolve issues and proactively communicate about problems, to deliver high-quality service and keep the customer relationship healthy.
The Striim platform enables telecommunications companies to quickly ingest call data, as Call Detail Records (CDR’s) are occurring. The platform brings together partner feeds, including parsing, partner, and roaming data in realtime, to standardize and correlate with the VIP list. This allows companies to layer on customer data, command and result codes, and other reference data that provides context. Telcos can then identify and act immediately on errors, quality issues, and other situations that are outside the norm, to head off potentially negative consequences on customer experience.
Additionally, our product allows telcos to continually adapt criteria and patterns using a standard, SQL-like language, which enables business analysts to analyze, slice and dice data with agility and without the need for intervention from IT. Business users can easily correlate and examine different kinds of data together in real time.
By continually querying the data in real time, and offering the ability to slice and dice the data in different ways depending on the needs of the business, the Striim platform allows telcos to be alerted to issues immediately so they can quickly resolve them, ideally before the customer knows they have occurred. The ability to act and remedy issues immediately helps to keep customer satisfaction high and prevent customer churn. This real time control over customer experience for telecom companies’ highest-value customers allows them to deliver true “VIP” treatment — and retain their most important customers.
Lu, Junxiang, Ph.D. Predicting Customer Churn in the Telecommunications Industry, Sprint Communications Company.