Put boundaries to Revenue Assurance – or Just treat the Subscriber as the metric?

Almost after two months of near-zero activity in terms of blogging, I thought of posing a question about the outputs of ‘revenue assurance’ function and the method of measurement.Before that, may I clarify, I strongly hold the opinion that ‘RA’ as a function has no boundaries– anything that contributes to loss of money for the organization falls under the scope of revenue assurance, because end of day, One has to ‘assure’.

So to start with, think of the situation- for a mis-configured newly launched rate-plan, of which the details of tarrifs are wrongly depicted in the website (this happened to me thrice with my own mobile operator),  a post-paid subscriber who opted for it, was charged wrongly. The subscriber leaves the network, like many others (especially that MNP is available) because of ‘wrong’ charging. At the same time, miscreants who knew of some fallacy in the configuration, used the same to their benefit and was not charged. A group of people made use of the fallacy and got away.

Many a time, this is the exact scenario for an operator. The question therefore is, should the operator create a divide in the RA, FM, CEM and CRM functions? or does it make sense to have a single view of subscribers across the network where the processes are assured as an integral part of the same activity? It seems to me an obvious choice to track the subscribers life-cycle as an integral part of the revenue management activities. Subscribers affected by wrong configurations would not be happy to stay in the network and would leave- thus causing a case for CEM or CRM applications. Complaints in the Customer care about services not available typically point to some problem in the network, which if not resolved would cause customers to churn.

If the subscriber is the dimension of analysis, it would typically tend to serve multiple problems at the same time. More so because, typically all errors ultimately reflect in some way or the other on the customers and their reactions to the same. But since it is the customer driving the revenues of the business, would not tracking the customers be of more significance than having point applications that do not talk to each other, or even creating boundaries viz. revenue assurance, revenue maximization, customer experience management and the such ?

Think about it, a rule that is supposed to find customers making more than x-amount (in $ or duration) of a specific type of calls. This rule if fired in the database, the result set when used in conjunction with link analysis, segmentation and customer profiling, would actually help in finding the customers trying to defraud or the customers actually interested to use a better offering to help their cause (leave the outliers or the false positives, they would always be there).  Then what is the point in trying to have multiple systems, if the subscriber dimension helps. For the same rule, now find, if for all the destinations the calls are properly maturing, and are being charged in the right manner- that addressed the revenue assurance and network error related problems. This is just an example though. There could be hundreds of such scenarios which can be monitored if the customer is treated as the dimension.

Also, understanding the customer’s behavior actually would help in identifying potential problems that may have to be solved. Example, network congestion in festive seasons is a known fact. This is guided by the subscribers’ usage patterns more than anything else. Thus monitoring ‘the subscribers’ would help in addressing the situation before the problem actually strikes. So why create boundaries, when the subscribers themselves can help the business??

That is my thought. What would You say about using the Subscriber as the measuring yard ?
Let me know Your thoughts.

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