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Reality Check: Leveraging policy engagement to increase service uptake and customer satisfaction

Policy management used to focus on implementing traffic shaping, identifying content usage through deep packet inspection, and enforcing rules to keep the network strong and to protect it from abuses such as overuse of flat rate data plans. Little attention was paid to customer behavior which is a huge misstep due to the growing data volumes that today’s mobile subscribers generate and subsequently consume.

This data has the potential to provide communication service providers with a wide range of insightful intelligence to empower them to tailor goods and services to subscribers and increase average revenue per user. This is badly needed as today’s mobile subscribers demand the flexibility on how data is consumed, how they pay, and how they can combine select services to optimize their personal experiences.

For CSPs, this is a huge opportunity to differentiate their service offerings and billing models to target subscriber segments based on their user behavior. CSPs realize that, to provide favorable customer experiences and grow incremental revenue, they must turn their attention to policy controls that focus on individual mobile device connections – the customers. Some service providers have since evolved their legacy network-centric policy management strategies to the next stage, one that is more customer-centric: Policy engagement as we call it.

Policy engagement focuses on, “using policy and advanced analytics with real-time rating and charging” to offer policy management based entirely on customer behavior, according to a Frost & Sullivan Stratecast report titled “Policy ‘Engagement’ Increases Service Uptake and Improves Customer Satisfaction.” Rather than limit customer access by implementing network traffic controls, policy engagement provides a better customer experience through leveraging the growing amount of network traffic to personalize goods and services based on individual customer data usage. CSPs can then offer plans based not only on data type and connection speed, but on factors such as data volume per specified time period, geo-location, individual application usage, historical data usage and personal preferences.

Intelligent policy and charging systems that optimize network conditions based on customer behavior can contextually address network concerns and empower them with policy engagement for increased service uptake and improved customer satisfaction by bringing policy-based control to the customer through an interactive experience. This is designed to engage the customer at the right time with meaningful and relevant offers based on subscriber behavior. Policy engagement solutions operating in real-time can help solve customer experience problems and alleviate customer concerns, including pricing flexibility, customer notifications and customer-defined mobile plan control.

This transparency of providing customers intuitive data plans at the point of interest allows them to purchase the services that they want, when they want them. To further validate this, Stratecast indicated that policy engagement “has identified a means to provide service differentiation to its service provider customers” and that “customers have real choice in the options they select, at a time when such choice is most relevant to them.”

These promotions are easy to understand and more importantly, relevant. It’s simpler to track how long you’ve watched streaming mobile videos versus how many megabytes have gone by. It is this transparency that helps prevent perhaps the most frustrating form of unfavorable customer experiences – bill shock – as in the case with most network-centric policy management scenarios. The transparency that customer-centric policy management provides helps eliminate the causes of bill shock and enables better customer relationships.

Gone are the days of using policy for just network control and optimization, without a customer focus,” the Stratecast report indicates. “Bringing policy-based control to the customer through an interactive experience is the absolutely correct position to take.”
While increasing data volumes require policy to keep networks optimized, the focus now must be on the experience of the customer, through strong policy engagement practices. Providing the customer with consistent and rapid access to network resources is a necessity for all CSPs. Customer experience quality, and the increasing desire for personalization of service offers, now mandate an evolution to a customer-centric business strategy.

This blog was published by RCR Wireless on Aug 13 Click Here