Customer Experience Management – now the value becomes clear

Huawei knows what it’s doing with Customer Experience Management (CEM). Maybe I am late to appreciate what all the fuss was about, but I can’t say that over the five or so years that CEM has been one of the hottest topics in telecoms I’ve noticed any big difference in the quality of experience of the service providers I use.

It is possible that they have in place something as sophisticated as the system showcased by Huawei at its annual Analyst Summit in Shenzhen. A system that collects deep data across broad aspects of your experience, that can be combined with transactional data about you, and evaluates whether you are worth treating differently.

Using CEM to help prioritise network and serice optimisationSimple framework for using CEM and transaction data to prioritise network and service optimisation [Adapted from Huawei]

For network and service optimisation, this is tremendously useful of course. Analyse customers according to their experience and value, then identify those who are big spenders with poor experience of the service, drill down into what’s causing the specific problems, on a user-by-user basis if necessary – perhaps a cell with insufficient capacity that’s in a place where the big spenders often go – then prioritise those problems. That’s a smart way to use CEM – and it’s something a traditional network-KPI-based system couldn’t do.

(If my mobile service provider is reading this, can I assume my transactions reveal me to be a “value seeker” and that however bad my experience, improving it will be some way down the list of priorities?)


Huawei’s Jonathan Hopkinson said that CEM was rising up the corporate agenda in service providers, and that investing in CEM systems no longer required a leap of faith; the evidence base is building that the right system has measurable impacts on churn and Net Promoter Score, for instance.

He also said that the amount of data a communications service provider now knows about its customers may lead to actions being taken that might prompt customers to think “how did you know that?”; they might even find it a little creepy – in the same way that targeted online advertising based on usage and browsing  patterns still has the power to surprise.

The future for broad, deep CEM is good. One of the service providers Huawei has spoken with believes that in the future, it may earn more revenue from its understanding of its customers than it does from selling them services directly. That is proof, I think, that CEM has intrinsic value.


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