Customer Engagement Score Is One Metric that Really Matters

How can mobile network operators (MNOs) really measure how well they’re doing in providing services to customers? Trying to assess today’s many mobile services in a way that enables quality to be improved can be both wide-ranging and complex. But a new approach that uses what we call a “customer engagement score” may offer a way to better help MNOs to better understand and serve their customers.

Measurement is crucial in mobile. It enables both MNOs as well as consumer brands to understand not only how specific mobile services satisfy a user, but also allows them to see the whole picture of how a user engages with an MNO or a brand, and how a user responds to new services. For example, to maintain a competitive advantage, MNOs must constantly measure and evaluate capabilities like the size and reach of their roaming coverage areas while at the same time assessing their pricing plans to keep pace with competitors’ offerings. Likewise, as another example, brands need to be able to measure simple metrics, like how many users have downloaded their apps, as well as more sophisticated determinations, such as how successful a response they receive to mobile marketing campaigns.

It’s fairly easy to measure products like the number of phones sold or tablets shipped, but as the challenges above show, when trying to measure what and how mobile services are used, MNOs and other mobile players have to go beyond the basics. Fortunately, a new approach we’ve been working on at Syniverse may offer a way to effectively combine many different elements of mobile services into one score. This score is based on customer engagement, and the first version of the score is designed to  present a composite measurement of how subscribers use roaming services when they travel.

At the core of mobile services is a subscriber’s engagement with an MNO’s network. MNOs can see through all of the complexities of a subscriber’s engagement with the MNO’s network. Subscribers can choose to use their MNOs’ partner networks while traveling or find alternative ways to communicate, such as using Wi-Fi. In these ways, subscribers’ engagement with a network is the ultimate valuation of MNOs’ relationships with their customers.

To take this a step further and attempt to measure customer engagement in more depth, Syniverse’s Global Business Analytics team has developed a new model that seeks to measure how subscribers use roaming services on a foreign network on a typical day. Our model measures four areas:

  • Data, text messaging and voice usage patterns
  • Depth of engagement
  • Frequency of engagement
  • Average time between roaming events on the network.

With the data compiled from these critical areas, we’re able to calculate a composite score representing a collective view of how customers engage with their MNOs’ partner networks to roam. Using this customer engagement score, we can then begin to better help MNOs drill down into various segments and better understand customers on a number of levels. The potential of this granular insight opens a new world of possibilities for better serving the needs of users in real time.

The range of different areas that can be evaluated with our customer engagement score include the following:

  • Response to targeted roaming service offers and marketing campaigns
  • Analysis of segments such as  “silent” roamers, high-value roamers, text-only roamers and voice-only roamers
  • Reaction to price plan changes or new service offerings
  • Usage at large-scale events such as the World Cup
  • Engagement by device type (smartphones, feature phones, tablets, etc.)
  • Health of mobile network (traffic levels, trouble reports, roaming registration attempts and failures, etc.)

We’re optimistic about the potential of this customer engagement score and other similar measurements now emerging in the mobile industry. Extrapolating a composite score through the right mix of measurements shows real promise in helping us understand the minds of customers in more detail. This information can enable MNOs – and, eventually, brands and other mobile players – to better improve customer service and deliver more personalized mobile offerings in a number of ways.

I welcome your thoughts on this topic. Do you think measuring customer engagement in more detail can help us significantly improve service to mobile users? Please leave a comment.

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Kevin Watts is a former Senior Business Analytics Director at Syniverse.

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