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Applying Business Intelligence Analytics Becomes Imperative for Outsourced Services

Mahesh Dhillon
Friday, April 29, 2011
Mahesh Dhillon
Competition drives efficiency in our world. There are numerous industries exemplifying this, world over, including; automobiles, consumer electronics, travel sectors, and others. Companies in traditionally oligopolistic industries (with three to four major players controlling majority of the market) now with changes in technology are exposed to the harsh reality of competition i.e. provide more creative pricing, better customer support/experience, differentiated product/service mix and more.

The case in the telecom, cable, and broadband industries (“Operator(s)”) is no different. This is an industry going through drastic changes, where at one time, the end customer was subject to limited choices, technologies, and was at the mercy of the operator with regards to both pricing and customer support, today has significant power. This reality is starting to slowly sink in into the operators but many still continue to think from an angle of managing churn versus taking the changed environment as an opportunity to differentiate themselves (from the competition) along any or many of the various dimensions discussed earlier.

Operators have numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves routinely when they interact with customers/subscribers in answering their questions or resolving their issues via the phone, chat or email support channels. This opportunity though exists, is limited or deeply constrained as this function has been greatly outsourced to third party call center service providers. These providers support the customers, manage the customer experience, and contribute in a very significant manner to the customer perception of the operator. Supporting customers is a critical issue and given the uptick in competition, if operators expect to continue down a growth path, the customer care process must be treated with a core competency and most likely, outsourced.

The change in the competitive environment now requires companies to be more aggressive and try answering the five chief questions; what, where, who, why and how. Clearly these questions can be answered by evolved technologies such as Business Intelligence which companies need to invest in real time or near real time.

The evolution of the telecom industry of India serves as a remarkable case study for understanding the complexities of developing successful and long term customer relationships. With convergence of voice, data, video, and wireless; competition and growth are going to go hand in hand. If growth and relationship with current customers is not managed effectively leveraging smart BI driven processes and delivery partners who get it, both the brand and future business opportunities are likely to be impacted negatively.

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