Press Release

Two in three telecoms companies in EMEA are looking to new data sources to help them make better decisions, according to research for Experian conducted by Forrester Consulting.

Telecoms providers face a range of challenges, including increased customer churn and rising operating costs. They are countering these challenges by focusing on new strategies and initiatives to drive and maintain growth.

Experian’s Priorities, challenges and the role of data and analytics as an accelerator of strategy report found that 66% are focused on revenue growth, digital transformation and increasing fraud prevention, while 55% are prioritising accelerating the time to decision within customer onboarding processes.

Key to achieving these successes will be how providers use data, and 66% are exploring new non-traditional data types, such as open banking data, to help them do so. In addition, two thirds (66%) are specifically focusing on making better use of in-house data to improve operational performance.

“The findings demonstrably show that telecoms providers across EMEA have a clear vision of what their business priorities need to be, with the focus on revenue growth, digital transformation and fraud prevention. However, it also shows work is still required to achieve those goals, particularly through cost management measures,” said Mark Heaven, managing director, Telco EMEA at Experian.

“There are many strategies providers can harness, such as deploying machine learning across the organisation and making better use of new data sources for better decision-making capabilities. By doing so, they will be able to work more effectively with customers to help them find the right and most affordable products, helping to reduce churn and deliver a fully optimised experience.”

More than half of telecoms companies have seen increased applications from both new and existing customers and increased levels of average revenue per unit (ARPU). In addition, increased volumes of new applications from existing customers are widespread.

However, metrics for costs are more challenging. 78% report increased or static levels of bad debt, while 67% said fraud either increased or remained static. The findings also show that 78% report an increase or static levels of customer churn, further increasing total costs through the requirement for additional consumer acquisition. Broadly, 80% of respondents across EMEA reported increased total costs to serve, acquisition costs or collections costs.

More needs to be done to optimise machine learning within the industry. One in three respondents stated they are making no or limited use of machine learning for fraud prevention, data management, acquisition targeting and collections, while the same number believe model deployment processes and explainability are preventing wider machine learning adoption.

Additional findings from the report include:

• A lack of automation in their own tools is highlighted as a continuing challenge by nearly one in three respondents across EMEA (32%)
• Improving the time-to-decision for the customer is a priority for 52% over the next 12 months
• 48% said they are focusing on implementing a fully digital customer experience
• 61% say they need more relevant data to help improve the customer experience, while 49% comment that verifying customers’ identities takes too long
• 26% say investing in fraud protection mechanisms is critical to their business
• Entering new markets and segments is a top priority for 25%

To develop the study, Experian commissioned Forrester to survey 267 senior decision-makers within telecommunications providers in EMEA to understand their views on customer experience, fraud, business objectives and challenges.

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