European mobile operators could save up to $4.6 billion (€4 billion) by implementing a streamlined customer relationship management (CRM) solution across all consumer interaction channels, a new report has claimed.

Opex could be slashed by up to 4.5 percent through the implementation of “omni-channel” CRM systems that provide operators with a single customer overview across all delivery channels, research conducted by consultancy firm Northstream on behalf of AsiaInfo found.

As well as helping operators deliver consistent customer service whether in-store, online or via other channels, the study claimed that omni-channel CRM made purchasing channels “transparent”, meaning operators could begin transactions on one channel and carry them over to another in a single unbroken process.

The result is that operators can avoid the duplication of work, as well as simplify customer renewals and the acquisition of new customers, IT software vendor AsiaInfo claimed.

The findings, based on case studies and expert interviews from the telecoms industry, highlighted that while mobile operators currently use a “multi-channel” approach to customer service, for example, using social media to interact with customers, often conversations were not properly logged into customer profiles and were discontinued as a result.

AsiaInfo added that the same was true as customers were moved across other channels, concluding: “The current multi-channel approach to CRM is not only incomplete but contributes to a deteriorating customer experience.”

Northstream CEO Bengt Nordström commented: “Ironically, we found that knowledge about customers at the service provider end is becoming more and more incomplete as the different channels are not sharing their respective customer data. For instance, a customer’s online/self-service transactions or dialogue with a call centre are often not visible to staff at the stores.

“One of the key benefits of multi-channel to service providers should be improved customer understanding and information, delivering an improved personalised experience.”

[Read more: Becoming a digital business requires more than absorbing new tech]

Andy Tiller, VP of Product Marketing at AsiaInfo, added: “Omni-channel is the answer to reduce that complexity and provide a streamlined process to deliver better CRM and significant savings to the business.

“However, this can only be fully achieved through a fundamental IT transformation to next generation CRM architectures that deliver the necessary flexibility.”

 

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