Taking the Customer Experience Mobile


Taking the Customer Experience Mobile

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  April 29, 2013

People are increasingly on the move. And they want to be able to conduct business and manage their personal lives from wherever they are and whenever they have a free moment to do so. As a result, businesses are catering to the new mobile lifestyle. At the same time, businesses are enabling their own employees to leverage the flexibility and real-time responsiveness that mobile can help deliver.

“?Customer Experience Management, or CEM, is a buzzword these days in mobile,” notes ABI Research (News - Alert). “While CEM has been applied across verticals such as financial services, transportation, food and beverage, it’s only recently that CEM has been applied in mobile.”

ABI defines CEM as relating to customer care, subscriber data management, billing and charging, policy, device management, service assurance, network analytics, and network operations. And it values the CEM market at $1.3 billion this year.

“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,” says Aditya Kaul, practice director. “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.”

Among the carriers bringing a mobile component into their customer care operations is Telefónica Spain, which is using a tool called NICE Mobile Research at its Movistar business. The solution will serve as a bridge between Movistar’s self-service mobile app and the contact center. That’s because all information about the customer’s activities in the mobile application are automatically transferred to the contact center and immediately displayed on the agent desktop. And that will enable Movistar agents to help customers in what the companies say is a highly personalized manner.

“We believe that our outstanding customer service is a key differentiator in our market, and one way to strengthen our position is to make sure that our mobile application delivers a complete customer experience and resolution,” says Mario Soro, director of CRM technology at Movistar. “NICE Mobile Reach offers a unique, real-time connection between the self-service channel and the contact center, and will enable us to provide personalized and effective service to our mobile customers.”

On a separate front, and as discussed in this issue’s Perspective column, AMDOCS earlier this year unveiled a suite of solutions dubbed CES (News - Alert) 9 that seamlessly connect its customer management, billing, OSS, CRM and network controller. As a result, mobile customers for the first time can see their experience from the device down to the network.

One of the biggest advances in this new solution will allow carriers to let their customers take advantage of self-service on the devices they use. For example, a tablet user will be able to upgrade his or her data account without having to call a customer service representative. The company believes the release will actually allow 80 percent of common transactions to be completed without a call center call-in.

Carrier iQ offers iQ Care, a mobile client-based solution that can enable wireless service providers to lower their customer care costs, do more effective network planning and optimization, and improve the customer experience. The product, which is also being used by some enterprise customers and embedded by select mobile handset manufacturers, became generally available earlier this year.

Ben Bergeret, vice president and general manager of devices, explains that 7-year-old Carrier iQ was created after its founders became frustrated with the lousy cellular coverage where they lived and their carrier’s apparent inability to do anything about it. So they founded Carrier iQ, which delivers software that sits on your mobile phone to collect information on the performance of the phone and the network to which it is connected, and deliver those details to a Hadoop-based big data system. These parameters can include phone battery and memory usage, application memory and performance, phone and application connectivity times, and much more.

One large tier 1 carrier that uses the solution says its business has been transformed as a result, says Bergeret.

“We give them an outside-in view,” he adds.

When a subscriber calls customer care, Carrier iQ delivers to the help desk agent details on the status of the caller’s phone – including information on when and how the device/service fell outside expected norms (for example, 40 dropped calls, 10 abnormal shutdowns, etc.), a daily activity summary, overall performance of various traffic types, and more. That way, rather than just suggesting that callers reboot their devices, these reps are armed with the information to provide more user-specific solutions, Bergeret says.

That’s clearly good for subscribers, and it’s great for mobile operators, which as a result see reduced customer care call handling times of 20 percent, he explains.

The Carrier iQ solution also can result in fewer needless mobile device returns, which bear enormous costs – almost $8 billion in 2013, Bergeret says. He adds that if you can eliminate just 40 percent of no-fault-found returns you can realize major savings.

Of course, the opportunity to leverage mobile to target customers, and deliver more efficient and personalized customer service and content, can be applied to a wide array of industry types. 

OpenMarket’s (News - Alert) Mobile Engagement Platform enables enterprises of all stripes to deliver mobile messages in an effort to optimize customer communications, improve client experience, drive brand awareness, and/or generate new revenue. The SaaS-based solution can leverage SMS, MMS, push notifications, e-mail, voice, and IVR. 

Enterprises are using this for corporate communications including company announcements, emergency alerts, payroll reminders and employee feedback; customer service, including balance alerts and bill reminders; operations and logistics, such as order alerts and shipping notifications; point-of-sale applications, including receipt delivery and mobile ticket; sales and marketing, including special offers, polling and promotions; security, including password resets and user authentication; and work force management, including for logging hours and shift change notices.

A company called Revelation, which provides online and mobile qualitative research tools, recently launched Revelation|Next, a qualitative consumer research platform that leverages mobile devices and the web to capture in-the-moment consumer behaviors and insights.

“Consumers live via mobile and the web and qualitative research needs to go where they are, and provide a social experience. Revelation|Next is the first mobile + web qualitative platform that captures the feel of social apps,” says Steve August, CEO, Revelation, whose Revelation|Next platform can be white labeled.

Another company, DoubleDutch, offers a mobile conference application for the events industry. Companies like Cisco (News - Alert), Roche, Wells Fargo, Lowe’s, and Bristol-Myers Squibb use DoubleDutch at meetings and conferences worldwide.

The goal of this solution is to create maximum social engagement within the event app to deliver deeper insight for event organizers and sponsors.

Apps based on DoubleDutch allow event attendees to review sessions, bookmark favorite exhibitors, and meet other attendees. And it allows event organizers to promote and offer related sponsorships around specific content and events.

“We just used the DoubleDutch Events app at our recent National Kick Off, and the insight and engagement we gained was incredible,” says Jed Ayres, senior vice president of partner management and marketing at MCPc. “Our entire organization loved the app’s social features and super speed. Attendees were more connected and informed than ever before, and the best part is, it’s all measurable! This type of app would be beneficial for any event organizer or attendee, because it quite simply delivers feedback, speed, and value unlike anything we’ve used before.”

ClearSlide, a provider of a web-based sales engagement platform, recently announced a mobile set of products designed to deliver pitches, presentations, and proposals to engage customers more effectively and shorten sales cycles.

ClearSlide Outside has a mobile-optimized interface that allows sales teams to access their key pieces of collateral, presentations, and proposal documents from anywhere. ClearSlide Remote is an iPhone (News - Alert) app that enables sales people to select and drive their presentations from their iPhones.

“To build a successful sales organization, field sales reps need to have access to the collateral and information needed to have personalized conversations with prospects and customers,” says Al Lieb, CEO of ClearSlide. “Today thousands of customers depend on ClearSlide as their sales engagement solution to engage customers and close business faster. With our innovative mobile platform initiative, ClearSlide is transforming the way field sales organizations sell on the road by giving them quick and easy access to their collateral, but also providing them with in-depth analytics and insight into how their collateral is being used.”

ApartmentGuide.com is among the users of this solution.

"We sync our presentations to our iPads and take them out in the field,” says Leslie Serpas, market sales manager for ApartmentGuide.com. “In a small market, it is very important to be able to meet with our clients in person. ClearSlide Outside is easy and works very well by allowing us to customize presentations for each specific client we are meeting with."

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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