Today’s competitive market is reducing margins and driving enterprises from customer acquisition to customer retention approach. The need of the hour is customer centricity, to create products around customer needs.

Telecom service providers, unlike online industries like Amazon, Apple, Google and eBay, store customer data in silos due to the inherent complexities in the service portfolio. This in turn impedes 360 degree view of the customer and adversely impacts customer loyalty.

“There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing …”

Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, at Techonomy Conference 2010

The first step towards customer centricity is to break these silos and transform them to a unified platform that gives a 360 degree view of customer data and then pool all customer data into a central warehouse that maps different lines of businesses to a customer.

“The teams merged but the systems didn’t, so from the outside it looks like a merged company, but from the inside we see a mobile customer, a TV customer, an Internet customer, but sometimes they can all be the same person.”

Martin Péronnet, Monaco Telecom CEO, from

The second step is to use this unified platform to deliver customer knowledge that will be used by marketing to send relevant offers for up-sell and cross-sell. Further, you will have to move into interactive operations by identifying customers (based on daily usage)who are prone to move to another operator. These customers are given personalized and relevant offers to retain them. The final step is to align all departments in using the consolidated customer data in their day to day operations to provide a superior customer experience.

Customer centricity is not about replacing your existing systems, but it is simply a realignment of your processes for business agility and operational efficiency.

What customers really want. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2015, from

Need the right data to make the right decision

Recently I read a blog post by Mr. Przyklenk, senior manager, digital insights, for TDBank Group. Big Data is the next “BIG” thing, but is this “BIG” thing applicable for everyone, is the “BIG question.

Let’s consider TDBank Group, the second largest financial institution in Canada.  They began re-evaluating their customer data when branch traffic declined without a significant increase in digital transactions. There are five major challenges referred as 5 S’s, the bank was facing while data analysis.

  • Siloed: multiple systems for different lines of business to connect to customers
  • Structured: several layers of data ownership, governance and access levels, requires vast institutional knowledge
  • Super-expensive: internal cost structures including chargeback models for processing time and bandwidth
  • Strange: systems are older than the analysts using them and the information generated is difficult to understand
  • Speed: financial institution mainframes offer faster processing speed but without structured data analysis cannot be effective.

A huge amount of unstructured data from multiple sources is dirty and data analytics cannot make sense of it.  Prospects and customers expect personalized and relevant offers based on behavioral and relationship data, which cannot be achieved with the above challenges.

Among customer data collection and analysis, enterprise should invest in centralized data warehouse, data management platform and customer journey mapping.

Centralized data warehouse will consolidate all the customer data which in turn will help marketers spend more time on launching campaigns rather than consolidating data.  This consolidated warehouse can also be integrated with other applications like CRM to make customer data available to all stakeholders. A data management platform and customer journey mapping will provide a single customer relationship across different lines of business with a personalized communication. Finally these changes in an organization will provide a 360 degree view of your customer.

Big data is needed to better understand the customer, but you need the right resources and equipment to fully understand it to generate results.


Britt, P. (2014, December 17). Forget Big Data; Focus on Relevant Data. Retrieved December 30, 2014.

Need for automated revenue assurance in telecoms

The practice of revenue assurance has evolved from simply identifying leaks to being the process through which continual improvement could be driven.

  • TM forum (Revenue assurance – quick insights)

*A single person uses 3-4 different types of telecommunication services in a day. Let’s consider India that has a population of around 1.2 billion with 2 plans being offered by a telecom service provider (TSP) and 2 telecom services are being used by each person. 4billion+ bills are generated considering each service and each plan differently. Imagine the bills generated by TSP’s around the globe.

The revenue assurance team comes into picture due to the possibility of overbilling and under billing. Revenue assurance team audits few bill from each batch to maintain bill accuracy. But the team cannot audit all the bills generated. Apart from the fact that the manual audit is a costly affair, the possibility of erroneous billing still exists.

TSP cannot create a positive experience with an overbilled monthly statement. And if the same situation repeats, the customer would go ahead and avail the service of another TSP. Now, if a telecom subscriber was under billed for the services availed, the TSP is losing its revenue.

So, the big question for the TSP’s is how to ensure it doesn’t under bill or over bill its subscribers. Transform your manual revenue assurance into an automated process.

The automated billing assurance system:

  1. Eliminates human errors in misinterpretation of plans and services activated for each subscriber. Thus, ensuring accurate billing for the different services availed by a subscriber.
  2. Automates the audit of bills by referring the services availed by the subscriber, and validates the same with the billing system. Thereby eliminating any computational errors in the bill presentment.

Accordingly, by ensuring error free bill presentment, the TSP is in compliance to the regulations of metering and billing, and the assurance of accurateness is also established. This would certainly be a game changer for Telco’s in the field of revenue assurance and would aid the TSP in battling the subscriber churn rate due to erroneous billing. The automation of revenue assurance would be a cost effective way of putting a lid to the revenue leakage for the TSP’s.

*Values were considered to show importance of revenue assurance. No real time values were used.

Acknowledgement – special thanks to Praveen Y (Analyst at Intense Technologies) for providing information on this domain

Enterprise Agility in Public Sector Insurance

Indian insurance market today is primarily dependent on push, tax incentives and mandatory buying for sales. There is very little customer pull, which will come from with increasing savings and disposable income. With the recent increase of FDI limit to 49% from 26% has put more pressure on public insurance companies to maintain their market share.

Public Insurance Systems
Premiums from Life Insurance is decreasing since 2011 and there is no significant growth in Non-Life Insurance premium from 2012 (growing population, vehicles should increase premiums collected every year). India’s population is 1,22,88,88,667* and only 20% are insured i.e. 98,31,10,933 people are uninsured. Working population is 49,15,55,467** that can afford insurance. With these numbers, India’s insurance adoption rate and the premiums collections are decreasing every year.
*Accurate data was not available, forecasting was done
*Data based on, 2001


Source – Data from IRDA

Digital Solution
Current projections show that, by 2030, the global middle class could constitute 50% of the world’s population. Today’s low income consumers become tomorrow’s middle class. Insurance companies need to effectively target emerging customers through awareness (marketing), affordability (products) and accessibility (ease of purchasing, servicing and claims handling). A digital solution will build enterprise agility helping public insurance move away from pull strategy and engage people with a push strategy.

IRDA is trying to make people aware of the benefits of insurance. They are successful in getting 20% of the total population insured, but the other 80% of the population is not aware or they are not considering insurance important.
Alerts Management – Insurance companies should remind people constantly through SMS, e-mail and IVR, the important of insurance and the benefits they will reap from it.
Campaign management – Definitely public insurance companies are publicizing their schemes and products through media channels but a measurement of every campaign is needed. A digitalized campaign management solution would give public insurance company’s information on which campaign was effective and how many products they sold through that.

Insurance products should be created based on the needs of the customer to attract more customers.
Analytics- Have an analytics solution in place to constantly monitor your customer’s behavior through available external databases to give them products they need the most.

Interactive e-mail- Have a push mechanism email strategy solution, where the solution should mail all relevant products to existing/prospect customers to give them more available options. Customer should be able to view all available products within their mailbox instead of getting redirected to the company web portal.

Purchasing, servicing and claims handling
Make your customer onboarding and other transaction simple to pass on their experience to their friends and family.
Self-care portal – An integrated self-care portal that can be used to browse through products, online purchase, submit claims and take feedback or requests. Centralized application that should integrate with existing processes to create a uniform platform.
Onboard- use digital onbording solution for faster onboarding clients. Research shows that many people change their mind half way through onboarding process. Do not lose a customer with snail onboarding.
Interactive e-mail – Integrate the web portal into a PDF and give greater control to the customer.


YOY Life Insurance Premium with and without Digital Solution

• The above calculations are based on historical data
• These approximate statistics are used to show the benefit of a digital solution


YOY Non Life Insurance Premium with and without Digital Solution

• The above calculations are based on historical data
• These approximate statistics are used to show the benefit of a digital solution

Benefits with Enterprise Agility

  • Increase insurance penetration in India (SMS alerts in rural areas).
  • Increase in premium with alerts about insurance to everyone.
  • Faster time to market new insurance products.
  • Relevant offers are sent to customers for generating revenue.
  • Centralized application can be accessed by clients and business users.
  • Enhance customer experience and reduce client acquisition.
  • Provide specific, focused and timely marketable messages
  • Revenue realization by upto 35-40% per customer segment
  • Ability to analyze transaction information and make payment though the interactive PDF provides useful insights and greater convenience to the customers
  • Targeted and personalized promotional offers and interactive hyperlinks that lead to more information about the offers enables customer to be better informed

Is on boarding a game changer for customer centric businesses???

To stand out in today’s increasingly digital world, enterprises need to adapt to change by tapping into market, understanding the trends and anticipating what’s next. This digital world is not just technology, strategy and business, but cultures that are changing rapidly.

This is the age of the customer and onboarding is the first impression of your service. Make your first impression the best one since you do not get a second chance at it. Enterprises are transforming their processes to match customer requirements; customer is the king as your competitors are just a click away. Give your customers a convenient automated method to onboard faster thereby improving your customer experience and loyalty.

According to a recent survey published in The Wall Street Transcript, 98% of global banks have lost deals and revenue due to poor onboarding process. Around 20% of respondents indicated a loss of 25 – 50% loss of new business opportunity. This devastating lifetime customer value impact is due to long and non comprehensive view of the client onboarding process. The onboarding process has manual workarounds and lacked basic workflow automation. Primary reason for slow onboarding is snail background checks that lead to impatient customers dropping out in the middle of the process.

Before Digitalization

Onboarding was a background process where marketing executives would sell products and onboarding team would come into picture when the customer is ready to come aboard. Therefore 80% of client acquiring activity was done by marketing and 20% was done by onboarding team. Onboarding was never developed and enterprises did not see onboarding as part of customer experience.

Demand for Digitalization

Customers want to spend less time in onboarding and more time using your service. Wants to be treated like a king and have your services at the tip for instant satisfaction and interaction. Various channels of communication with transparent transactions and unified silioed approach.  At the end customer centric onboarding is what is expected by every customer. 

Advantage of Digitalization

Effective onboarding will mainly automate data entry to reduce operational costs, faster turnaround time, promote go green initiative and100% compliance. Other benefits are reduction of client attrition, improves cross-sell up-sell and increase brand loyalty. A happy onboarded customer would share the experience that is nothing but an indirect marketing of your brand.

Digital onboarding

With the increase in client onboarding processes, digitalization is part of transforming an enterprise into customer centric business to catch up with your customers. This world of diminishing margins, increasing regulatory pressure, increased capital requirements and stress on speeding time to revenue can get a digitally transformed high quality first impression.


Connect your digital resources from inside to outside the company to stay ahead in digital race: Digitalized Customer requirements

In this global digital world new digital services are raising the bar of enterprise offerings. Customer behavior is rapidly shifting as more people use digital devices and platforms intensively. Customer is slowly changing into ‘e-customers’ with the use of internet, mobile devices and social media on the rise.

To survive this digital world enterprises are becoming customer centric and the most efficient ones are leading the race. The approach for customer experience must be re-mastered; highly interactive, personalized and consistent communication across multiple channels is the key for enhanced customer experience.

Enterprises are digitally transforming rapidly not only their products but also their workflow. Enterprises are investing heavily in their own customer data and data from external sources like social media, where people comment freely about products and companies. Data analytics then plays a vital role in transforming this data into meaningful information that again decides on what has to be offered to the customer to improve experience.

Digitalizing processes would connect the sales team, marketing team, customer care, management and other departments together to share information for better customer experience and loyalty.

Enhancing customer experience with

Unified Platform – existing legacy processes should be transformed to a single application catering to multiple users for consistent communication. Single application will reduce operating costs. Communication will be consistent across all customer communication channels.

Email – engage customers with interactive documents for a two way interaction and reducing the numbers of calls to CRM. Customer appreciates communication through a digital copy rather than CRM.

Mobile – today’s mobile mind shift requires enterprises to communicate on the go with digital customers. By 2017, 88% of the US adult online population will own smart phones and 54% will own tablets*.

Print – in this digital age there are customers who prefer communication through physical copy, provided it is personalized and relevant.  Physical documents are one of the strongest ways to communicate with a customer.

Self-care – give a personalized self-care portal to customers for a two way automated communication and a greater control over communication.

We have moved to a digital era and companies are trying to match with the customers digital expectations. Enterprises will start transforming business support system in a digital way to make a first step towards digital revolution.