The UK mobile telecommunications market is one of the most competitive in the world and, as a consequence, customer attrition or ’churn’ is high. In 2005, as part of a strategy to build on its market leadership, Vodafone UK began the quest for a competitor intelligence tool that would help its sales advisors reduce customer attrition and secure new sales. Vodafone wanted a service that would deliver timely, accurate information on the tariffs, deals and handsets being offered by its competitors to the employees that need it most the customer facing staff. After a rigorous analysis of competitor intelligence offerings from over a dozen providers, Vodafone UK selected CInergy’s Accelerated Intelligence™. The service delivers same day market tracking and analysis of key competitor information from other mobile operators, major retailers and mobile virtual network operators.
Quarter by quarter reduction in churn Measurable improvements in conversion rates Integration with retention and sales strategy Easy deployment with minimal impact on IT/CRM systems Partnership approach to implementation and training
With thousands of tariff, handset and offer combinations available in the market, keeping contact centre advisors up to date can seem an impossible task. Vodafone UK recognised this challenge and identified that it required a competitor intelligence tool that would help it to retain existing contract customers, notably at time of contract renewal, and attract more new customers. The company had initially considered developing its own solution, but had soon found that this would have been excessively costly both in financial terms and in the amount of resource required and identified that this was not its core area of expertise. Vodafone UK also found that there was a dearth of competitor data that was comprehensive and accurate enough for advisors to rely on during high pressure customer negotiations. The company therefore sought a partner which understood the specific challenges of the mobile telecoms market and which could apply that expertise to the data it delivered.
Business Objectives “This has been an excellent implementation for CInergy, and Vodafone’s innovation and dedication to the project has enabled it to achieve very good results from the CInergy AI™ system”. Brian Boroff, MD, CInergy International Vodafone UK’s brief was that it wanted to understand its competitive landscape more clearly, to enable it to respond swiftly and effectively to customer requests and to ensure that it had a clear picture of how its offers stacked up against the competition. Specifically, the company wanted this information to be available not just to the management and marketing functions, but directly to advisors in its contact centres who deal with customers day to day. The company also wanted a system that would not have major implications for its IT platforms and which could be integrated into the existing desktops used by contact centre advisors, complete with Vodafone corporate branding. Finally, Vodafone UK needed an expert in the field that could provide end to end support from designing the service, through to delivery, advisor training and rollout across the organisation.
The Solution: CInergy AI™
CInergy had already developed its Accelerated Intelligence™ (AI™) competitor intelligence platform for the mobile telecoms market at the time that Vodafone issued its RFP in 2005. By designing an appropriate interface and tailoring specific service modules to meet Vodafone’s needs, CInergy was able to meet the criteria detailed in the RFP and to deliver a fully working system in a very short timeframe. After a successful trial, the service was rolled out to the majority of Vodafone’s contact centre community around the UK during 2006. Key features of Vodafone UK’s implementation of CInergy’s AI™ include: Comprehensive tariff and promotion monitoring Handset / device tracking with up to date pricing from all major competitors On demand, side by side comparisons of different deals, tariffs and handset options Expert analysis and scripted points that enable Vodafone sales advisors to demonstrate ’why we’re better’ Fully branded interface to match Vodafone UK’s Intranet Reliable, accurate data analysed by teams with mobile telecoms knowledge A hosted, secure platform
Delivering Accelerated Intelligence™
Vodafone and CInergy worked closely together to ensure that Accelerated Intelligence™ would deliver optimum benefits in terms of improved customer retention and sales. This partnership approach has enabled Vodafone to achieve a swift return on its investment. The company has found that its levels of churn have decreased as more sales advisors become familiar with the system and are able to integrate the CInergy AI™ functionality and information into their acquisition and retention processes. CInergy supported Vodafone in the development and delivery of induction training on Accelerated Intelligence™ for all contact centre advisors with access to the system.
Now that the system is in use, short refresher sessions delivered in the weekly advisor meetings ensure that all advisors are kept up to date as new features are introduced. Since CInergy AI™ was launched in 2006, CInergy has worked with Vodafone to implement two major upgrades to the system, as well as providing regular enhancements to the interfaces, functionality and database content based on feedback from the advisors who use CInergy AI™every day.
“Since we’ve started using the system, it has contributed to a fall in our churn rates quarter by quarter, ensuring we remain highly competitive in the UK market”. John Coulstock, Senior Manager, Vodafone UK
As John Coulstock, a senior manager at Vodafone, explains, “We launched Accelerated Intelligence in Q3 2006 and it is currently in use by a large number of our contact centre advisors. Since we’ve started using the system, it has contributed to a fall in our churn rates quarter by quarter, ensuring we remain highly competitive in the UK market. We’ve found that the more our agents use the system, the more sales they are able to close. The CInergy AI™ application has become an integral part of our customer retention and sales strategy.”
Vodafone has now renewed its contract with CInergy for an extended term. CInergy’s AI™ service has delivered a range of benefits to Vodafone including: A contribution to a reduction in contract churn since its launch in Q3 2006 Improvement in the rate of saves in consumer and enterprise customer bases Reduction in call handling time Increased ability to set deals in a market context leading to better acquisition performance Improvements in operational efficiency by eliminating onerous, manual data collection Improved reporting, trend prediction, forecasting and analysis Clear understanding of competitor offerings to improve key pricing messages in advertising, dealer negotiations and channel marketing
CInergy AI™ Content Modules CInergy’s AI™ is a powerful platform which is modular to suit the needs of today’s mobile operators: Tariff and price tracking Detailed handset and device information Channel specific deals and advertising Source: Vodafone KPIs, December 2007
CInergy’s Accelerated Intelligence™ has contributed to a 18.6% reduction in churn since its launch in Q3 2006. As Brian Boroff, MD of CInergy concluded, “This has been an excellent implementation for CInergy, and Vodafone’s innovation and dedication to the project has enabled it to achieve very good results from the CInergy AI™ system.”
Vodafone UK Contract Churn Within OneYear of CInegy Al Rollout
About Accelerated Intelligence™
CInergy’s Accelerated Intelligence™(AI™) puts competitive information into the hands of customer facing teams, enabling them to counter competitive offers and achieve higher retention and sales performance. The service enables service providers to significantly improve the number of sales they close in a single call, helping to drive down the cost of customer acquisition and retention as well as improving revenues. Accelerated Intelligence is proven in the UK mobile telecom space having worked with four of the UK’s main network operators, delivering an average incremental customer save rate of 1.59% and reduction in call handling time of 22 seconds. CInergy International was set up in 2003 to deliver customer acquisition and retention solutions to providers of mobile and fixed telecom, broadband and digital television services. ™
About Vodafone UK
Vodafone UK has 18.4 million customers and is part of the world’s largest mobile community offering a wide range of voice and data communications. The company is committed to providing mobile solutions that allow both consumer and business customers to make the most of now. Vodafone customers can now use Internet on your Mobile to view and navigate web pages and their favourite sites such as YouTube, eBay and the BBC. In addition, Vodafone connects customers across the globe with roaming agreements worldwide. It provides 3G roaming in 29 countries and offers great roaming value with Vodafone Passport.