Using subscriber intelligence and AI to boost operator revenues
The traditional telecoms industry is going through massive disruption. Traditional revenue streams for communication service providers (CSPs) are in decline, while stagnant regulations threaten market nimbleness.
To make matters worse, global digital platforms – including Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon – are entering the core telecommunication market with innovative business models and technologies, leaving many CSPs to wonder if they can keep up or if they will be displaced. Digital natives are monetising consumers’ data and selling advertising space in order to provide services to users that are generally free.
It is very difficult to compete with free, but it is possible to remain competitive despite this challenge. To do this, CSPs are looking to new platforms that will enable them to leverage their unique position to generate revenue streams, says Dan Faulkner, SVP, Communications Service Provider Business, Nuance Communications.
At the heart of the IoT
CSPs are uniquely positioned at the front and centre of today’s evolving connected ecosystem – powering the data that gives mobile devices, services and the Internet of Things (IoT) access to content and connectivity, while also often providing direct access to content and services for the smart home.
One way that CSPs can take advantage of this unique position is by continuously analysing offer conversion rates, subscriber profiles, content usage, and network activity, in order to more accurately create and place offers that are tailored and relevant to each subscriber.
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and behavioural data, CSPs can ensure that they present the right offer at the right time using the right channel for each subscriber. This helps CSPs connect subscribers with the most relevant and valuable services.
The art of upselling
Undoubtedly, the primary benefit for many CSPs is the opportunity to generate additional revenue, as AI can help CSPs connect subscribers with the services that they want most.
Beyond upselling, the right offer at the right time can also increase customer satisfaction because subscribers get what they want. For example, using AI to help consumers find the video content that like will not only increase video on demand purchases, but also reduce churn and generally increase the time on the device – all of which drives more revenue to the CSP.
Upselling is a fine art – the wrong offer at the wrong time is spam. For instance, offering someone with a prepaid subscription, which includes a fixed amount of high-speed data, who has run out of data a few days before the end of the month the opportunity to buy a small amount of data (which happens to be the right amount to get them through those next few days based on your usage profile) at a good price would be a valuable to the consumer. A week later, it is useless and just spam.
Driving new revenue
For CSPs looking to take advantage of subscriber intelligence to generate new revenue streams, there are three models that should be consider to reflect the different types of customers.
For subscribers with a post-paid account, CSPs need to target them with content and services that encourage them to use their high speed data services. This way, when they are running low on data they may appreciate a personalised data pack tailored to your usage. Alternatively, they may upgrade their account.
For prepaid subscribers that are running low on credit, CSPs should offer incentives to top up at that moment. For example, when a consumer that has low balance but tries to browse, the CSP can incentivise that customers to top up by saying “you’re going to run out of data soon, if you top up now by £2 then you will get free data for the rest of the day”.
CSPs should also look to offer subscribers targeted content to upsell. For example, for someone who frequently downloads health and fitness apps, a CSP could offer on a subscription to health and wellbeing articles, such as “if you do, it’s 99p a week and if you sign up now then the first week is free now.”
No matter what the approach, subscriber intelligence and machine learning is enabling CSPs to create new avenues of revenue in an increasingly competitive market. As the way that users consume both content and data evolves, CSPs must adapt and drawn upon the historic data of their customers to our effectively monetise their services.
While the telecoms industry is facing increasing pressure on traditional revenue sources from competitors, regulation and digital disruptors, CSPs are now finding themselves at the centre of connected ecosystem that will increasingly be at the core of all the products and services we use. This provides greater and more diverse opportunities than the telecoms industry has every faced before – if they are able to harness it.
The author of this blog is Dan Faulkner, SVP, Communications Service Provider Business, Nuance Communications
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