TM Forum – CEM

On October 5th a group of colleagues participated in the CEM Futures Action Days in Dusseldorf – a two day workshop focused on Customer Experience Management. The main focus of the workshop is to collaborate in identifying the vision and roadmap of customer management, enabling digital service providers to improve in customer satisfaction, loyalty, revenue, reduce company costs, etc.

The first exercise we worked on was to list, describe and prioritize a set of best customer journey experiences. The top identified journeys were:

  • Learning about new products and services
  • Purchasing new product and services
  • Responding to a campaign
  • Using product/services
  • Payment
  • Getting help/support
  • Providing feedback

What is a good Customer Experience?

Another exercise was to identify adjectives to describe and enable a good Customer Experience. So for example:

  • Proactive/Predictive – by anticipating customers when solving problems
  • Simplicity – by reducing the complexity of products and channels
  • Personalized – by offering a personalized interaction
  • Emotional – by empowering the customer and making him/her feeling in control. The aim is to let customers have a special feeling for the brand, experiencing it as ‘cool’
  • Trustworthy – by delivering promises and matching expectations
  • Transparent – by making sure the customer understands costs, services and products offered by the brand; by allowing access to information and notifications
  • Secure – by making the customer confident of his/her actions
  • Fast – by increasing the time to market and availability in multiple channels
  • Engaging – by offering friendly and confident interaction
  • Consistent – by offering the same experience across multiple channels

These adjectives were then elaborated on by identifying how to objectively measure their value (CEM metrics). For example: Simplicity of business web interaction with customer would be measured by the number of interactive steps, abandon rate, orders fails; or Emotional aspect could be measured via the amount of comments in social networks linked to the brand, the duration of loyalty of the customer, etc. A varied set of metrics is also provided by TM-Forum in the Customer Experience Management Solution Suite.

What are the Challenges in CEM?

CEM priorities from Telco operators point of view changed in the last decade, going from reducing corporate costs to increasing customer satisfaction and revenue. This change of direction has resulted in new challenges like:

  • Human Interaction
  • Seamless E2E experience
  • Generational Experience
  • Transparency at the eye of customer
  • Zero touch
  • Internet of Things

Who are currently the leads in Customer Experience Management?

In the USA, supermarkets and fast food chains are leading in Customer Experience Management, while Internet and TV Service Providers are at the bottom in CEM maturity. Why? Possibly because customer expectations are well known at supermarkets and fast food chain (customers know what products can be found at supermarkets) and human interaction is still an important factor to meet customer satisfactions.
Some other companies have re-adapted their business idea to promote a better customer experience. In the case of the GoPro camera, GoPro extended their online sales portal to a platform for video sharing. The initiative brought about a large participation of users who published and shared their experiences on the portal. The GoPro brand has thus become a ‘cool’ trend and the camera an ‘enabler’ to share experience and engage the customer.
Another example is DELA, a Dutch funeral parlours company, which introduced the initiative ‘Say it now’ to encourage people to record a video for their loved ones and share it on the DELA portal. Even for a solemn ‘product’ like this, a large number of users joined and engaged in the initiative. This initiative changed the feeling towards the brand.

In conclusion, CEM has become an important factor in the digital era and ecosystems. Being able to manage customers experience in the right way would only rise company benefits. TM Forum offers several tools, like best practices, models, customer journey matrixes that would significantly help in enhancing a good customer experience for the digital market.

The workshop was a good experience and can be used as a reference at Liberty Global. Working as an online solution architect at Liberty Global requires making choices not only based on technologies, but also on trends and methodologies, in order to design solutions to engage, facilitate and improve customer experience over web channels. This workshop experience has sparked an even more keen interest in CEM development and its practice is a good instrument in improving my personal baggage of expertise in the digital domain.