Telcos must leverage data to better-serve customers
The short-term health emergency created by COVID-19 is leading to a long-term financial crisis that’s likely to be felt for some time whilst the global economy slowly recovers.
Yet while analysts estimate that numerous sectors have already lost between 50% and 80% of pre-crisis revenues, with few opportunities for immediate revenue recapture, telecommunications companies are experiencing growth.
Now viewed in many countries as an essential utility, the phone and internet services telecoms operators provide are proving crucial. With demand for network usage skyrocketing for work and leisure, telcos must adapt their network infrastructures to maintain reliable connections for business and personal customers.
“Data and analytics are already vital to managing the networks, but telcos also need to make use of such solutions to protect and fully operate their core business functions, and potentially even unlock new growth opportunities in the future,” says Andrew Vayro, Client Director – Credit Risk and Collections Decisioning for Experian.nl.
Improving online customer acquisition capabilities
Now more than ever, the importance of telco services for the growth and survival of business has become clear. As consumers are asked to hunker down at home for work and leisure, the appetite for services that support employee home-working as well as TV, streaming and entertainment offerings is at an all-time high.
As providers of these services, there are significant opportunities for telcos to grow their subscriber-base through dynamic marketing, but that needs to focus on online campaigns and services to bring in and keep customers. The shift towards customer convenience and round-the clock self-service options has been underway for some time: the pandemic has simply ramped up demand even further.
Now highly targeted and personalised cross-channel communications are putting an end to the days of campaign marketing. Yet despite advances in online technology, digital modes of transacting can continue to fall short of customers’ evolving expectations.
Improvements to digital acquisition capabilities will not only drive subscription growth, but also play a vital role in enhancing existing customer relationships by making the process of acquiring new products both faster and frictionless. By using data to drive online marketing campaigns, while understanding and rectifying any pain points for existing customers, telcos will be able to boost subscriber numbers – and keep them.
Better-serving customers now for long-term loyalty
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a sudden impact on European countries, with most entering lockdown. As a result, many of us are relying on digital routes to retain contact with colleagues, family and friends, and demanding increased data services and bandwidth.
Since this shift comes at a time when many businesses and customers are experiencing decreases in revenue, telcos that offer packages of extra bandwidth on top of customers’ paid-for quotas at no, or at low, cost during the pandemic are likely to create longer term customer loyalty.
Customer analytics can be a powerful tool, helping to uncover win-win opportunities for both the business and their customers. Selecting customers for campaigns based on data-driven segmentations, models and analytics on propensity rates, for instance, will help identify those who are most likely to become long-standing customers.
By performing an economic analysis of providing free bandwidth or offering core services on a free trial basis, decision-makers can also assess the return on investment of specific actions, and select the best options for growing revenue long-term, whilst supporting customers’ social distance activities.
Creating societal value
In many countries, internet and phone connectivity has been classed as an essential utility for many years, providing value to societies through the sector’s core competencies in managing communication and data exchanges.
In the face of COVID-19, many telcos around the world are already offering a host of innovative services, with governments and organisations increasingly using cellular data to track and control the spread of the virus. Specialist COVID-19 online information hubs, for instance, are providing dynamic updates on incidents and developments related to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, other providers are partnering directly with governments to circulate important risk advice and promote key recommendations, including broadcasting crucial public messages to their entire customer bases or specific high-risk regions.
Some telcos are already stepping up to help maximise the resources of healthcare providers, whilst supporting social distancing. A number of telecommunication companies, including Telefόnica and BT, have partnered with healthcare providers to facilitate telehealth consultations, and others, such as Vodafone and VEON, are even providing free data and voice communication to frontline staff.
Ultimately, it’s the telcos that leverage alternative data, advanced analytics, machine learning and AI that will be best-placed to roll-out critical services such as these, and benefit society as a whole.
Experian is here to help
Visit our COVID-19 Resource and Support page for the latest white papers and other information relevant to the business resilience of you and your customers.
For many businesses, telco services remain essential for the survival and growth of their operations. The scope for telcos to increase revenue may still be small, but the reliable provision of core services will create lasting societal and well as customer value.
If you’d like to find out how Experian can support you through this crisis please get in touch with your Experian account manager today or contact us here. We’re on hand to help you and your customers emerge from this crisis even stronger.