|B/OSS Insider Blog|
Can Self-Service Reduce Churn?
By Sham Careem
On-device self-service has been proven a powerful tool in reducing carrier OPEX. What isn't often mentioned is how viable on-device self-services are in reducing CHURN. Mobile self-services are about much more than simply viewing a phone bill; they create an opportunity to directly engage customers and encourage them to get the most out of their devices, products and services. Intelligent self-services directly affect customer satisfaction, which, in turn, directly influence CHURN.
We already know that even basic self-care improves customer satisfaction: “Customers who use self-service capabilities have a higher level of satisfaction with customer service." (Analysys Mason Mobile Self-Service: the future of customer engagement, 2012). It is then interesting to understand how a more advanced self-service, including individualized FAQs based on the user's device, products and services, and personal profile helps enable operators to proactively address issues and interruptions to the customer experience. For example, operators are able to see if a segment of users has difficulties with a certain handset model or understanding features on a new smartphone and can direct users to case-specific assistance directly on the device. The issue then revolves around simplicity of collating information on common issues, concerns or problems faced by end-users, and mapping this to profiles or segments. If it can be done accurately, on-device self-service can become a key factor in improving customer satisfaction, and hence driving down CHURN.
Talking a more proactive approach, end-of-contract push notifications and promotions can reduce CHURN by pushing relevant, personalized products and services to subscribers at the very moment they are most likely to CHURN. An on-device self-care interface can effectively be used as an m-shop, pushing individualized recommendations as contract expiration approaches. We know that mobile self-care user interfaces are regularly accessed – customers are expecting (and even requesting) the option to access and manage their account details while connected via mobile devices, and once they begin to use the self-service interface, they continue to do so (Analysys Mason) – providing an ideal channel to engage subscribers. For example, operators can recommend upgrading to the latest smartphone for heavy data users. This can be coupled with instructive images of the device, a short video explaining device functions, peer reviews, etc ... all personalized and within the user device, including a simple click-to-purchase and contract renewal option.
Why send email, or worse still – snail mail? Operators can attract subscribers to renew their contracts via the mobile device – their naturally most utilized, most accessed communication channel. This preemptive action, combined with on-device self-service, diminishes customer frustration, eliminates the need to contact the call center for many issues, and increases customer satisfaction.
Users' choice of carriers continues to grow, and many no longer require a contract, which makes CHURN reduction an important priority for operators. There is enormous opportunity surrounding on-device self-service. These personalized services give users a valuable reason to stay with or switch mobile service providers, and give operators a direct channel to their customers. Isn’t it time for operators to bring the battle for CHURN reduction onto the devices (and into the hands of the customer) they have direct access to?
Sham Careem co-founded Momac, where he has worked for the past 10 years on portal strategies and customer-experience solutions for leading mobile operators. Careem, the company's CEO, is responsible for Momac Group strategy, corporate development and commercial activities.