WELL BEYOND THE BASICS:
WELL BEYOND THE BASICS:
SELF SERVICE FOR CORPORATE CUSTOMERS
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1
2. IMPORTANCE OF CORPORATE SEGMENT 2
3. FROM DE RIGEUR TO DIFFERENTIATOR 3
4. WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT CORPORATE SELF SERVICE? 4
5. WHAT’S NEXT… 6
1. EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW
Corporations represent the most profitable and technologically
advanced segment of the communications market today. Due to their
size and complexity, they have billing, service and customer
management needs distinct from those of the consumer segment.
Customer self service--empowering customers to self-manage
significant aspects of their relationship with the service provider--is
an integral part of service providers’ efforts to differentiate
themselves from competitors. It has been shown to be especially
useful in helping to capture and retain the corporate customer--when
This paper provides guidelines for service providers seeking to
establish robust self service capabilities for corporate customers that
will serve as a competitive advantage. It discusses the challenges of
corporate self service, why it’s fundamentally different from self
service for residential customers and how service providers can help
corporate customers to “help themselves.”
Want to Learn More About Serving Corporate Customers?
Amdocs offers a comprehensive whitepaper on corporate customer
needs for business and operational support systems. The white paper
entitled “Understanding The Complex Needs of the Enterprise
Customer” is downloadable now from the Amdocs website
2. IMPORTANCE OF THE CORPORATE SEGMENT
Corporations are the most profitable and technologically advanced
customer segment in the communications market today. They
historically have higher average revenue per user (ARPU) and higher
recurring revenue per user (RRPU) than the average individual
consumer. In the European wireless market, the corporate segment is
the fastest growth segment, with a compound annual growth rate
(CAGR) forecast to reach as high as 15% by 2009 (see Figure 1).
Given the tremendous revenue and growth potential of the corporate
segment, it is not surprising that a service provider’s ability to
acquire, retain and grow corporate accounts is a key determinant of
its success over the long-term. Many service providers have
established strategies with which to target corporations in hopes of
offsetting declines in their traditional core businesses and consumer
segments. These strategies often involve self service, and so must take
into account the complexity of most corporate customers’ self service
needs In fact, if the self service offering doesn’t adequately address
and absorb this complexity, simplifying the experience for the
corporate user, it loses its power as a differentiator.
FIGURE 1: 18%
SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SME) ARE THE FASTEST-
GROWING MOBILE SUBSCRIBER GROUP IN WESTERN EUROPE 350,000
(PYRAMID PREDICTIONS, MARCH 2003) 14%
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
LSE SUBS CONSUMER SUBS SME SUBS BUS, SUBS AS % OF TOTAL
3. FROM DE RIGEUR TO DIFFERENTIATOR
Service providers have offered what we know today as “web self Managing communications services can be time-consuming for
service” since the late 1990s in varying forms, such as stand-alone companies. Without self service, imperative activities such as bill
websites or customer portals. The primary function of web self analysis and cost allocations can only be done using CD or printed
service historically has been to provide access to corporate account reports that lack the real-time capabilities and flexibility required by
and billing information, with the aim of driving down call center communications managers. Providing effective self service to this
costs reducing telephone billing enquiries. segment could be a real win, for both corporate customers and
service providers. (See Table 1.)
Early attempts to implement advanced transactional self service
capabilities like online bill payment and account maintenance were Providing robust self service capabilities is not just a “nice to have” for
not consistently successful. As outgrowths of legacy systems corporate customers. It is an essential part of the corporate customer
developed on a line-of-business basis, they lacked the systems experience that can drive choice of provider, as much if not more
alignment required to complete end-to-end transactions. The result than price. The easier and more transparent the experience, the more
was channel, process and data inconsistencies and, worse, valuable it is--and the more likely to generate loyalty and long-term
inconsistent, frustrating experiences for providers’ most lucrative customer profitability.
SERVICE PROVIDER BENEFITS CUSTOMER BENEFITS SELF-SERVICE BENEFITS
THE YANKEE GROUP, 2003
Improved customer satisfaction and retention Accurate and timely information
Increased intelligence about customers Increased accessibility and 24x7 availability
Increased up-sell opportunities and revenue Improved solutions to business objectives
Lower offline interaction and administrative costs More integrated solutions to business objectives
Reduced call center reliance and staff levels Automated troubleshooting process
Improved process integration and Increased and faster access
Differentiation of customer service Targeted problem resolution
Consistency in level of service Targeted product and service information
4. WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT CORPORATE
As discussed above, corporate self service has different and more > Account Management: Corporate customers need to manage
complex requirements than self care systems for residential account information as it exists in their backend systems, so self
customers. But self service has another, less obvious benefit: service portals can add tremendous value just by allowing end
if implemented well, it will be adopted at greater rates. Let’s explore users to structure account information the same way. The creation
how these two factors fit into the differentiation equation. of user-defined virtual hierarchies based on billing and customer
care information supports end users in critical daily tasks such as
cost center reporting.
4.1 COMPLEX REQUIREMENTS > Ordering: Not only do self service portals need to manage bulk
add, change and cease, but further complexity is added when
Stand-out self service for corporate customers goes beyond billing customer-specific pricing, work scheduling, installation issues, and
and account management functions into the realm of “e-service,” physical inventory are needed to complete complex orders.
which is the powerful combination of transactional capability
combined with the ability to find information quickly and > Support: Entering and tracking trouble tickets is a fundamental
consistently across channels. In which ways do requirements for requirement but support for corporate customers is based on
corporate users differ from those for residential self service users? specific service level agreements, which could entail integration
between even more support management systems.
> Service Dashboard: Corporate account administrators increasingly > Analytics: By exposing data and processes to end-users, service
rely on their self service portal to be a “dashboard” where they can providers are now more frequently asked to give end-user the tools
quickly assess the state of the relationship with their service to slice, dice and analyze the data. Not just billing data but
provider. All aspects of the service relationship--financial, network, also order and service-related data for cost control and capacity
service-level agreement (SLA), inventory, contract status--should planning.
> Corporate Branding: Self service sites often become highly visible
> Portal As Workspace: Differentiating portals enable complex tasks tools used by corporate employees and so must support corporate
such as bulk ordering, SLA and contract management, price customers’ branding guidelines.
negotiation, and in-portal analytics. Notifications of events and
changes to services need to be provided in real time and the tools These requirements illustrate the fundamentally different and more
to address these changes are provided in the same workspace. complex nature of corporate self service. Furthermore, in order to be
> Billing and Payment: E-billing has long been considered the a differentiator for the service provider, corporate self service portals
bedrock requirement of self service. But alone, it’s not enough. must allow customers to own and manage complex business
Differentiating corporate self service also requires: dynamic bill processes and data that have traditionally been exclusively controlled
presentment, (allows data from invoices to be manipulated and by the service provider. Analyst firm IDC calls this the “integrated
analyzed within the portal), dispute management (reduces time to portal” (see Figure 2), which acts as the primary system that bonds
payment for the service provider while increasing customer the customer and service provider. While these requirements for the
satisfaction), and expense management (powered by personalized integrated portal make for more complex self service deployment
address books and offering split statement capabilities to simplify projects, the rewards of successfully building it are real.
employee expense allocation).
THE INTEGRATED PORTAL
THE CHANGING FACE
OF TELCO PORTALS: THROUGH 2006
BY RONA SHUCHAT
CARRIER RESOURCES CUSTOMER RESOURCES
BSS EDI A/P
NMS EBONDING MANAGEMENT
OSS INVENTORY OPS.
REPORTING CARRIER CUSTOMER REPORTING
STAFF MANUAL STAFF
OTHER INTERACTION OTHER
4.2 BETTER TOOLS, MORE ADOPTION
As the expression goes, “If you build it, they will come.” That can be There is also evidence to suggest that end-users of self service for
said of corporate self service. Research shows that well-built enterprise voice and data services are more satisfied than users in
corporate self service portals are adopted at a very healthy rate, other industries. Commenting on the results of the Service and
indicating that investing in rich functionality quickly pays off. Support Professionals Association (SSPA) benchmark study
For example, a May 2006 IDC report, The Changing Face of Telco (see Figure 3), industry-expert John Ragsdale observes, “Service
Portals by Rona Shuchat, looked at adoption of the self service portal providers should consider themselves lucky because (the) corporate
functions of leading US-based service providers. The following segment is very receptive to having better self service tools. At a
results were stated in the report IDC report: minimum, I would advise service providers to assess their investment
in corporate customer self service because of this.”
> 80% of orders were originated electronically in Q1 2006.
> Electronic ordering has grown from 22% in 2003 to 40% adoption
> Use of electronic maintenance tools for tracking and reporting has
grown from 36% in 2003 to 74% in 2005.
Global Crossing’s command:
> Nearly 50% of major enterprise customers are showing portal
usage. Multinational corporations tend to require more account
support, alongside portal usage.
> 43% of trouble tickets are entered online through the portal.
SATISFACTION WITH SELF SERVICE AMONG
CUSTOMERS OF ENTERPRISE/DATA SERVICE
PROVIDERS VERSUS OTHER INDUSTRIES.
SOURCE: SSPA 2006 BENCHMARK SURVEV DATA
SCALE: 1=DISSATISFIED, 5=VERY SATISFIED
INDUSTRY ENTERPRISE VOICE/DATA 05
5. WHAT’S NEXT…
Investing in corporate self service is becoming an ever-more pressing > Shared Business Rules and Process: The idea of the integrated
priority for service providers. While customer service for large portal implies a new level of shared responsibility and access to
corporate customers will always include the personal, human aspects account data, service metrics and even the business rules and
such as focused, dedicated account management and call center processes that govern services. Self service not only should expose
agents, there is a clear customer mandate for improving the these business rules, but act as a point in which end-users can
effectiveness and functionality of self service portals. configure rules based on parameters the service provider defines.
In this way, service providers can start to define the bounds of how
What can service providers do to keep ahead of the curve and processes such as notifications and approvals are carried out while
provide self service that continues to drive value and customer giving end users the flexibility to shape rules to fit their processes.
loyalty for corporate customers, despite their inherent complexity?
These four capabilities show strongest promise for differentiation ABOUT AMDOCS AND AMDOCS SELF SERVICE
today: Amdocs has a proven track record of supporting our customers’
corporate lines of business. The world’s leading wireless service
> Blending Personal and Automated Service: Corporate customers providers, including AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Vodafone and
demand personal attention and better self service tools. many others rely on Amdocs to support their valuable corporate
Companies that can get this mix right will engender more customers. As the customer experience systems innovator,
satisfaction and loyalty from its most valuable customer segment. with solutions spanning BSS and OSS, Amdocs continues to
To this end, service providers should start to look at collaborative develop our in-depth knowledge of the corporate customer’s
technologies that are intended to blend the agent presence and web complex requirements, identifying best practices and building
technologies. Service providers are starting to roll out chat and capabilities to better manage and support the needs of this
co-browse features to corporate clients so that self service portals increasingly strategic segment.
can more cross-over into personalized service when customers
need it. The Amdocs Multi-Channel Self Service Solution combines
industry-leading Amdocs software applications, focused
> User Management and Personalization: The full range of implementation and systems integration services, and business
corporate self service functionality has been largely limited to consulting services that help service providers optimize the
account management personnel who oversee corporate performance of self service channels. With more than a decade of
communications activities. It is likely that companies will want to experience in self service, Amdocs is a recognized leader in self
allow individual corporate end-users access to their individual service for corporate customers. To learn more about how Amdocs’
corporate accounts to perform more tasks directly, such as expense self service solutions can help you address the needs of the corporate
management and split statements. Broadening access will require segment, visit us on the web at www.amdocs.com
self service systems to have robust authorization and user
management features that will provide users with access to
personal information (such as address book and preferences) and
scalability to the corporate account.
> Network, Inventory and SLAs: Self service portals already deliver
rudimentary reporting on network, inventory and SLA status.
Service providers now need to enact improvements that will allow
end users to dynamically drill down into network-facing
operations-support systems, like they already do for customer-
facing business-support systems like billing and customer care.
In addition, the same reporting and analytical tools for billing
should be used for network and inventory analysis.
Amdocs combines innovative software and services with deep
business knowledge to accelerate implementation of integrated
customer management and dynamic banking by the world’s leading
service providers. By delivering a comprehensive portfolio of software
and services that spans the customer lifecycle, Amdocs enables
service companies to deliver an intentional customer experience™,
which results in stronger, more profitable customer relationships.
Service providers also benefit from a rapid return on investment,
lower total cost of ownership and improved operational efficiencies.
A global company with revenue of more than $2 billion in fiscal
2005, Amdocs has about 15,000 employees and serves customers in
more than 50 countries around the world.
For more information, visit Amdocs at www.amdocs.com.
Amdocs has offices, development and support centers worldwide, including sites in:
THE AMERICAS: ASIA PACIFIC: EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA:
BRAZIL AUSTRALIA CYPRUS HUNGARY THE NETHERLANDS SPAIN
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For the most up-to-date contact information for all Amdocs offices worldwide,
please visit our website at www.amdocs.com/corporate.asp
Copyright (c) Amdocs 2006. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or distribution other than for intended purposes is prohibited, without the prior written consent of Amdocs. Amdocs reserves the right to revise this document and to make changes
09 in the content from time to time without notice. Amdocs may make improvements and/or changes to the product(s) and/or programs described in this document any time. The trademarks and service marks of Amdocs, including the Amdocs
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