Business Boost: Increases in average revenue per order has led to estimated annualized retained revenues upwards of 10 million.
Mobile communications have become essential to customers. But the growth in the mobile industry also means increased competition for the providers, giving customers more choices and allowing them to select the plan that best fits their needs.
This scenario means that mobile companies are competing both on their ability to offer the best prices and also on customer experience, the latter often being the main differentiator that cements clients' decisions to select a particular organization.
Greek mobile telecommunications operator COSMOTE is well aware of this reality. The company is operating in a difficult business environment with the economic crisis across Europe leading to high unemployment rates, decreasing disposable income, and more price-conscious customers. "The macroeconomic volatility increases the propensity of churn as customers hunt for more economic and free offers," notes Yiannis Tsiliras, COSMOTE's director for consumer CRM and channel management. At the same time, this reality makes it more challenging for COSMOTE to retain its competitive edge, grow, and show a positive financial performance, highlighting the need to retain and optimize customer value in a cost-effective manner while at the same time continue delivering an excellent customer experience. "In this changing environment we acknowledged that one size does not fit all." Tsiliras says.
In order to retain its competitive edge, COSMOTE developed a customer-centric strategy, "Our World is, You." Tsiliras stresses that this goes beyond a slogan and encapsulates the customer-focused strategy in the eyes of both customers and employees. Central to the success of this strategy is the organization's CRM Campaign Plan, a structured and targeted, one-to-one communications architecture across the company's channels which leverages customer contacts to develop and protect average revenue per user (ARPU) while at the same time enhance customer loyalty and customer experience.
An integral part of the CRM Campaign Plan is the concept of making "the right proposition, to the right customer, at the right time, and on the right channel." According to Tsiliras, this strategy created a shift from one-off campaigns to ongoing campaigns that are delivered in real time. Using Oracle's Siebel marketing campaign platform, COSMOTE was able to design, configure, implement, and orchestrate numerous campaigns that were targeted and personalized to the receiver. This infrastructure facilitated the 2010 launch of COSMOTE's CRM Proposals Program, a set of rate plan and add-on offers for the organization's residential post-paid customer base.
The project included an exercise to rerate every customer bill according to commercially available rate plans and add-ons to provide two offers for each customer-one for migration to a new rate plan and a second that includes the activation of an add-on service. Customer data allows COSMOTE to make the offer that the individual customer is most likely to take up. For example, a customer whose usage has been on the increase will be sent a rate migration proposal that would increase his spend while a customer at risk of churn will receive an offer that gives him more value for the same or a lower price. The rerating and customer segmentation process is fully automated.
Understanding that customers are using multiple channels to interact with brands, COSMOTE is broadcasting its personalized offers to each customer across all touchpoints, including inbound customer care, outbound telesales, the company's website, and the mobile app. Tsiliras notes that this multichannel integration engages customers during all interactions with the company. Further, the campaign is being operated in multiple stages, starting with sending customers personalized marketing material on the channel they are most likely to prefer, prompting them to contact COSMOTE's customer service or visit an outlet. Tsiliras explains that customers are prompted to call the contact center or visit a shop and sales agents are steered to propose the exact same proposal during a customer-initiated contact. If there's no inbound contact, a representative contacts the customer proposing the same offer. "All channels are continuously orchestrated according to a single view of the customer provided by the CRM Proposals," Tsiliras notes.
The initiative requires different parts of the company, including CRM, IT, product marketing, sales, telesales, and customer care departments, to collaborate on a day-to-day basis. The key success factor in this organizational configuration has been the sense of common goals amongst the team members and the discipline of operating and optimizing the process from proposition development to execution.
COSMOTE's belief that customers want and expect brands to provide them with offers that meet their changing needs has been confirmed. The ambitious project helped COSMOTE decrease ARPU-reducing transactions by 40 percent last year. Tsiliras explains that the company used the CRM Proposals functionality to provide its retail sales agents with customized rate plan migration propositions for each customer. ARPU dilution was also reduced by 50 percent. These successes led to estimated annualized retained revenues upwards of 10 million.
Further, the project is helping COSMOTE's different channels better understand that each contact is an opportunity to enhance the company's relationship with customers through real value propositions that are a win for both customers, the channels, and the company. "As in any relationship, both parties must get real value so that they feel that the relationship is worthwhile," Tsiliras says.