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    Mobile operators in EMEA too slow to make decisions on customers – Experian

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    Telcos are passing up on Open Banking and other unconventional data sources

    Two in three telcos in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) desperately need to use new intelligence gathering techniques so they can make wiser judgements over their customers, according to banking data specialist Experian. In the majority of cases the will is there, so is the data, but the tools are suited to a bygone age.

    The majority of telcos say data has improved the average revenue per unit (ARPU) of each customer but it’s not enough. They need a better sense of who their customers are, what they are doing and what they want. The other problem is the data overload caused by the blitz of new applications that developers can spin up easily using the cloud.

    As telcos face challenges like customer churn and rising operating costs they are adopting new strategies for growth. According to Experian’s new report Priorities, challenges and the role of data and analytics as an accelerator of strategy 66 per cent are focused on revenue growth, digital transformation and increasing fraud prevention. However, 55 per cent of the telco sample are ‘prioritising accelerating the time to decision within customer onboarding processes’.

    The key to achieving these successes will be how providers use data, says Experian. Two thirds are now exploring new non-traditional data types. The same proportion are crying out for better use of in-house data to improve operational performance.

    A lack of automation of their own tools is leading to slow decision making. Half (48 per cent) of the telcos are too focused on the ambitious target of improving customer experience when there is a more immediately achievable goal of knowing the customer and making quick decisions.

    An alternative sample of 51 per cent say decision times are more important than the ‘full digital customer experience’ and 61 per cent of telco staff quizzed by the report compiler, Forrester Consulting, say they need need ‘more relevant data’ before they can start to improve the customer experience anyway. 

    Half (49 per cent) said that verifying customers’ identities takes too long while a significant minority (25 per cent) say better intelligence is needed for exploration as entering new markets and segments is a top priority.

    “Telcos across EMEA have business priorities of revenue growth, digital transformation and fraud prevention,” said Mark Heaven, MD of Telco EMEA at Experian, “but work is still needed to achieve those goals, particularly through cost management measures.”

    “There are many strategies providers can harness, like machine learning across the organisation and making better use of new data sources for better decision-making,” said Heaven

    To develop the study, Experian commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey 267 senior decision-makers within telecommunications providers in EMEA to understand their views on customer experience, fraud, business objectives and challenges.