THE CUSTOMISED POINT OF CONTACT

Undergraduate

Abstract

We have studied CRM in a service provider’s perspective on behalf of Ericsson Microwave Systems AB. The question at issue we decided to investigate is ”How should a service provider set up a point of contact in order to manage customer relations in the 3G mobile Internet?” To reach a conclusion we have conducted a qualitative study including literature survey and three interviews.

This thesis is a design proposal for how to set up an Internet based point of contact in order to manage customer relations in the 3G mobile Internet. In order to get a base of knowledge about customer service we have studied one-to-one customer interaction, Customer Relationship Management [CRM], and contact centers. We have also looked at the telecom business and it’s particular value chain.

The service provider is becoming a provider of subscriptions containing services. In order to provide e.g. network access for the subscribers the service provider must form an alliance with a network operator. This alliance can also be increased with other suppliers of whatever services that adds value to the subscriber. When the service provider forms this value chain, it is the requirements / demands and needs of the subscriber that sets the framework of what to include.

The point of contact can be seen as processes that help the subscriber manage her subscription. The processes we have identified as the core processes in the point of contact are sales, order handling, problem handling, and invoicing and collections.

With 3G the services will become more complex not only because of the technological possibilities, but also because the service providers will build alliances with the most suitable partners. That implies co-operation on an organisational level when the subscriber has a complaint regarding her subscription.

The service provider should provide multiple channels for interaction with their subscribers. The subscriber should then be able to adapt the content in these channels to suite her own personal preferences.

The point of contact makes self-service possible, but the customers are not ready to take the leap into the fully automated world of customer service and therefore a contact center will still have a place in the foreseeable future.


Background

This thesis is about Customer Relationship Management [CRM] for telecommunications in the 3G mobile network. Ericsson Microwave is aiming to offer CRM solutions to their customers [service provider] worldwide. The service provider will use these solutions to manage their customer [subscriber] relations.

Telecommunications are changing rapidly. 3G is changing the infrastructure and so the way people interact with their surroundings. The service provider is indirectly facing the problem with high costs in setting up the network, which is built by the Network Provider. As always, the subscribers are the source of income, (along with advertisers and sponsors), but since the products/services are similar among competing service providers the focus is on how to create a long lasting relationship with the subscribers. Furthermore, this relationship must be manageable in a cost-effective manner. CRM makes this focus possible and, if implemented correct, will manage the relations cost-effective (Storbacka & Lehtinen, 2000).

Purpose

Our purpose with this thesis is to see how CRM could be used for a point of contact in 3G by a service provider. We aim to deliver a design proposal.

Target group

The target groups are employees, service providers, and consultants who are interested in CRM for the mobile Internet but have no earlier experience in this area.

We believe that this thesis will provide them with a basic understanding of the requirements for CRM when setting up a point of contact in the 3G mobile Internet.

Presentation of the problem

The area of the problem is based on some sub areas:

      A relation between a service provider and a subscriber is created and maintained in a point of contact.

      In order to be cost-effective, the relation must be able to be managed by the subscriber through self-care.

      Are there any special circumstances regarding 3G that must be taken into account when managing a customer relation?

This leads us to the presentation of the problem: How should a service provider set up a point of contact