Importance of Customer Profiling
In my previous blog, I discussed how telecom billing migration challenges can be addressed. In this blog, I have made an attempt to highlight the importance of customer profiling. Over a period of time, legacy systems and data most likely undergo a host of changes, making billing data very complex. For example, many a times one time scripts or workarounds are applied in production to correct data and introduce customer specific pricing plans/offers to attract customers, which otherwise would require major changes in the application. With data residing in multiple systems, forming a 360 degree view of the customer becomes difficult especially when there is lack of product hierarchy in the legacy system. For example, a customer might be allowed to order multiple quantities of a particular product in the legacy system but the new system does not allow such lapses on account of product hierarchy capabilities.
To handle such complexity in customer Data, customer profiling helps becomes imperative for better design and control of migrations solutions.
In addition to customer categorizations like residential, business and corporate types, we also need to look at the various offerings by telecom service providers for better understanding of the customer's data. For example, there are services like Voice and Data (GPRS, Broadband and Internet) and plans like unlimited weekend, unlimited Data download, unlimited evening and weekend, free calls to family numbers etc. Customers who have these services or plans can be considered as vertical functionalities. Then, there are functionalities like payment method and billing frequency (monthly, quarterly) which are opted by customers across the various services and plans. An example of a customer profile would be - A residential type customer with voice service, monthly billing and cash payment can be identified as one profile.
The table below shows one way of customer profiling as an example.
Payment Plan Voice Services Residential Corporate Business Payment by Cash CP1 CP2 CP3 Monthly Payment Plan CP4 CP5 CP6
In the above example, six profiles have been identified. This has to be done across customer types, services etc in order to complete the profiling for the entire customer base. Once the profiling is done on the entire customer database, design and testing of the migrations solution should be done around these customer profiles to ensure a smooth and successful migration.