Feature Article

February 25, 2013

Wireless Companies Increasingly Seeking Customer Experience Management Solutions

Being a mobile customer today is often a source of frustration. The major wireless carriers in the U.S. today have a history of lackluster customer service (several of them often rank at the bottom of customer service rankings). Once upon a time, carriers kept their customers through a mix of legal means (contracts) and gentle blackmail (you can leave, but you can’t take your phone number with you). Given the rise of wireless customers who use pay-as-you-go plans rather than locking into contracts, and thanks to the Wireless Number Portability Act that allows customers to take their phone numbers with them to new providers, wireless customers are getting uneasy about their eroding subscriber bases.

While customer experience management (CEM) has been a concept long present in areas like financial services, mobile companies are increasingly looking to use CEM to offer better customer service and retain customers. Evidence is in the spike in spending in the mobile CEM sector revealed by a new research report from ABI Research.

There is a growing gap between end-user expectation and carrier service delivery which has led to high customer erosion for mobile providers. The pursuit of mobile CEM is an attempt to bridge that gap, giving them the tools necessary to empower them and take decisive actions, as they face increasing competition from over-the-top players, according to ABI Research.

“The Mobile CEM landscape today is dominated by IT vendors such as HP, Amdocs, and IBM which are leveraging strengths in IT combined with a heavy focus on customer analytics and data mining,” said ABI Research’s Aditya Kaul. “However, for CEM to succeed, the network piece including network monitoring, optimization, DPI and policy, has to go hand-in-hand with the IT piece, which is where traditional network vendors come in."

Kaul adds, "Ultimately, CEM only becomes relevant if done end-to-end, with a single point of ownership within the carrier; something like a NASA mission control with a CEM commander at its helm, having multiple views across network and IT domains."

Edited by Rich Steeves

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