Leveraging Internal Data to Create a Holistic View of Your Customers

Published: January 17, 2011 by Guest Contributor

In an attempt to out-innovate competitors, today’s communications companies seem busier than ever. The number of new products, services, devices and bundles continues to skyrocket, giving consumers more shiny new options than ever before.

A double-edged sword
More choices means greater opportunity to cross-sell, upsell or otherwise optimize customer value. But there is also increased risk, due to process or information gaps between internal acquisition, billing, account management and collections teams.

There are also threats from the outside.

Avoid being hit by “cyclers”
These include hard-to-monitor, multiple-account households, and high-risk account “cyclers” who attempt to game the system by manipulating personal data; for example, providing different information when opening an account, buying a device or activating service. Undetected, such activity can severely impact corporate profitability.

Fortunately, you can gain a clearer picture of both positive and negative activity by using assets and resources you already own.

Extra benefits. No extra cost.
The first step is working with IT to better mine internal data by linking disparate databases together (tips and best practices will be presented in future posts).

This will give you a holistic view of all accounts. Experian recently did this with greater-than-expected success. In a similar effort, one utility we know identified more than $2.5 million in uncollected bad debt from current, active customers.

What benefits can you expect?
Besides gaining insight into driving the full value of multi-product customers, linking together internal data sources also enables you to:

  • Illuminate resell/cross-sell opportunities and unfulfilled revenue potential
  • Mitigate risk by identifying low value, high risk customers, and fraudulent behaviors
  • Help in-house credit professionals “bridge the gap” with marketing and work in a more collaborative and integrated fashion
  • Improve the customer experience across sales and support

Best practices yield best results
You already own the data you need. The secret to success is linking it together and putting it to work—without burdening already overworked teams. A structured set of best practices can make it happen.

So what say you? What challenges does your communications company face with regard to customer data?