Customer service & innovation: Melita invests in big data

Melita_HaraldMalta’s leading telecoms operator plans to invest in data to improve its services. Melita’s new CEO, Harald Roesch, discusses his strategy.

 

Data must first be categorised

“As a telecoms operator, Melita has access to significant amounts of structured data on its customers”, explains Harald Roesch. He identifies three main types: personal data (age, gender, location, etc.), sensitive data, such as call behaviour, sites visited and channels watched, and customer feedback, which is recorded in its CRM database. Naturally, this data is of value. “While our data isn’t as precise as Google’s or Facebook’s, we are the only player to have access to certain types of data, in particular on behaviour, and we intend to take advantage of that.” Before the data can be used, however, the legal framework governing its use must be analysed. “We are currently in talks with lawyers over privacy protection and other issues.”

 

Customer relations: using data to better serve customers and secure their loyalty

For Harald Roesch, the main use of data will be to improve customer services. “This is my top priority as head of Melita and big data will be an essential component in achieving it.” He lists three priorities: first, customers must be informed of the state of the network in real time. To this end, Melita is developing a mobile application linking each customer’s network data to the company’s IT systems. As soon as a problem arises, customers will be alerted on their smartphone and will not feel the need to call the company. “This will free up customer services.” Next, he intends to better qualify customer requests. “We can use data, for instance, to know how many times a person has already called customer services. From the third call, the customer will be directly put through to a specialist.” His final priority is securing customer loyalty. “Behavioural analysis may soon help us to recognise customers who are planning to cancel their contracts and offer them a better price or a gift just before that happens.”

 

Working with the best to innovate on the market

“We are watching predictive, artificial-intelligence technologies with great interest.” Harald Roesch reveals that he is actively monitoring companies specialising in data that could support Melita during its transformation. At the same time, he is recruiting data scientists who will be able to turn Melita’s data into meaningful information. “Whether we are talking about monetising information or creating new solutions, an initial investment is needed to use big data, and we are prepared to make that investment.” A final project the CEO is working on is a rating system for TV channels, i.e. the possibility to measure the number of spectators watching any given TV channel in real-time. This solution is not yet available in Malta. “We now have sufficient data to offer this service to channels and thus indirectly to advertisers.”

 

This is a promising start, and we will see initial results by year-end.

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