The telecom market in India is hyperventilating with reduced tariffs. Despite being amongst the lowest priced markets in the world, operators are competing to further reduce tariffs. In all this mayhem no one seems to be looking at creating competitive differentiator based on customer centricity!
As Peppers & Rogers Group's Rogers explains, "The ability to predict is an essential element for creating compelling customer experiences, because anticipating customer needs and behaviors allows a company to proactively engage customers with customized interactions that are both relevant and timely. Customers don't simply want companies to collect information about themselves-they want (and expect) that insight to be used to add value to the relationship." In the old direct marketing paradigm, the predictive problem was "Which customers are most likely to buy product X." From a customer-focused perspective, however, the question is transformed: "Which product is most likely to be needed and wanted by customer X?"
Going forward, subscriber acquisition for new services will certainly remain a value driver, but a less important one given that there will simply be less market growth to be captured. The focus, then turns toward three key areas:
- Achieving a leaner operating model to protect profitability as business economics get tougher.
- Extracting more value out of the operator's customer base by going one step further than current efforts-We call this "Customer value management."
- Most critically creating a Customer experience differentiator which will pull customers in rather than push them off the services. With number portability fast approaching in the Indian market, this may be an important lever to pull.
IT & business often do not get each other's agenda!
But I believe Marketing can play a greater role in partnering the CTO/CIO in driving innovation as an agenda. Innovation need not be about path breaking moves ,it can in fact be about incremental moves made which lead to a game changing innovation.
As an example a marketer who constantly looks to drive marketing with data would eventually create a latent demand for a Data warehouse!Also as the data based marketing culture builds up there would be need for cutting edge Analytics solutions. Often business managers do not have the patience to invest time in understanding the IT point of view. However look at it from a marketing perspective: as an example if you are a large bank in a growth economy like India, you may have 3-4 million customers transacting with you over just a few contact channels (inbound calls) every month. Imagine the power of what customer interaction technology can do to improve the customer experience for those customers.
Increasingly for Marketers , customer engagement is becoming even more important than Customer loyalty. Using every touch point to improve the customer experience is a key Marketing agenda! Marketers do not have an option but to understand IT better and in turn they can find ways to help IT innovate continously!
Here is an interesting article on How CIO's can drive innovation!