Grameenphone is Bangladesh’s leading mobile telecommunications service provider. The company operates more than 13,000 cell phone base stations at approximately 7,000 locations across Bangladesh, and it has about 5,000 employees. An additional 300,000 people are employed as dealers, retailers, vendors, and contractors. Grameenphone also has two contact centers in Dhaka, with a total of 1,500 employees.
Until late 2009, Grameenphone used approximatley 40 applications to manage customer interactions, billing, and campaign management functions for its cell phone subscribers. These applications were not integrated, which meant it took too long for the contact center staff—who had to switch between multiple screens—to handle customer calls. This affected the level of service they provided to subscribers.
The applications didn’t provide enough information to help calculate the average revenue per user and perform demographic segmentation of customers. Grameenphone also believed its customer churn rate (the proportion of subscribers who leave during a given time period) was due to product offers being irrelevant to subscribers, and it needed more data to address this.
In March 2009, Grameenphone engaged Oracle Partner Wipro to deploy Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) products: Siebel Communications, Siebel Campaign Management, Siebel Configurator, Siebel Lead Management, Siebel Quote and Order Capture, Siebel Order Management, Siebel CME eService, Siebel CME eSales, and Oracle Telecom Sales Analytics.
The CRM system enabled fast and effective order management, reduced call handling times and subscriber churn rates, increased the number of targeted marketing campaigns that can be created each month, and helped convert more leads into paying customers. Customer data, such as names and addresses, and transaction information, such as prepaid phone details, are stored in Oracle Database 11g.
“The Siebel CRM and communications system helped us create more targeted campaigns and has improved customer service, which played a key role in the 56% growth of our subscriber base to 36 million in two years,” said Asif Naimur Rashid, general manager and head of enterprise planning, Grameenphone.
Grameenphone subscribers consist of prepaid (97%) and postpaid (3%) cell phone users, who interact with the company’s two contact centers in Dhaka to inquire about new and existing cell phone services and available value-added services—such as missed call alerts and ring back tones—and to provide feedback or information about problems with their services.
Siebel Communications provides around 3,500 Grameenphone employees and partners with a 360-degree view of individual and corporate customers’ account details—and information about previous interactions and actions taken—on a single screen. By reducing the number of clicks to access relevant customer information, Grameenphone has dramatically reduced the amount of time to handle customers’ calls.
Siebel Communications enables Grameenphone to handle customer inquiries around 166% faster, on average. Related calls are now completed in about 45 seconds, compared to more than two minutes previously.
“We have also reduced the time it takes for contact center agents to complete a request for existing customers’ new cell phone services, from 90 seconds to around 45 seconds,” said Rashid. “We can now handle approximately 50,000 of these service requests daily.”
The Siebel system gives Grameenphone a deeper understanding of customer attributes—such as age, airtime, revenue generated, and network use—and other customer business intelligence and analytics, helping to provide more efficient service.
It also allows the company to target specific customers with more appropriate offers. Previously, Grameenphone lacked customer information—such as insights into customer preferences—on which to build targeted campaigns.
The company runs customer retention and acquisition campaigns, such as bonus talk-time, SMS, and free minutes bundled with new connections, and cross-bundling with new handsets. Using Siebel Campaign Management, in just six months, Grameenphone gained the ability to create and tag around 300 new campaigns per week, compared to between 30 and 50 per month before the system was implemented.
The campaigns are automated through Siebel Campaign Management, using templates from offer and campaign libraries. Previously, creating this content and related user interfaces could take up to two weeks. The company is now creating more targeted offers, resulting in a 56% increase in subscriber numbers—from 23 million to 36 million—between late 2009 and 2011.
“The Siebel CRM system has improved customer service, and allowed us to improve our targeted campaigns. This has played a direct role in increasing our subscriber base,” said Rashid. “We have significantly increased the number of calls per day to 120,000, up from between 50,000 and 80,000 calls per day.”
Around 300 sales employees use the Web-based Siebel Lead Management to capture and store customer lead information in just a few minutes. Previously, they would write this information down in a spreadsheet while on the road and key it into the system when they arrived back at the office. It would take up to one day for the data to be stored.
“We have converted 20% more leads into paying customers because we have access to customer preferences and other information that ensures we offer them the right product,” said Rashid. “Customer churn rates have also been reduced because we are personalizing cell phone offers to customer segments. For example, we now offer reduced rates for calls at night, particularly to the youth segment.
“We can more easily identify opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell cell phone offers—such as ring back tone services, data packets, and voicemail—to our customers as telemarketing and sales teams can easily access customer information, and create more targeted offerings,” added Rashid.
Grameenphone staff also use Oracle Telecom Sales Analytics to generate charts, models, and diagrams that help them monitor the progress or success rate of certain campaigns, the sales revenue, and the profitability generated from these cell phone offers. This enables managers to determine where to focus future marketing resources. The company plans to use this information to generate sales campaigns, like location-based retailer incentives and dynamic pricing based on usage.
Siebel CME eService and Siebel CME eSales are used by 3,000 partners and retailers to manage customers. Grameenphone has developed a light-weight CRM system based on these modules, which the distribution system uses for services like SIM replacement, selling value-added services, and service provisioning. This enables staff to serve customers more efficiently because applications load faster.
Sales agents use Siebel Quote and Order Capture to customize mobile offers for corporate customers and to convert customer leads into paying accounts.
Grameenphone also implemented Siebel Order Management, which significantly reduces the time it takes to fulfill orders for prepaid cell phone subscribers. Orders are captured and the delivery status known within a few seconds because the system sends each order with the desired attributes to Oracle Fusion Middleware, almost instantly.
Grameenphone selected Oracle because it is a market leader in Bangladesh and offered a practical, integrated solution that would meet the organization’s requirements.
“Oracle’s Siebel CRM system was selected because of the diversity of its communications modules,” said Rashid. “When you look at the various modules, you can see that the integration is seamless.
“Oracle’s product roadmap has been more visible than the competitors, and Oracle has a proven track record of providing excellent after-sales service at Grameenphone,” he added.
The system was rolled out between March 2009 and February 2010. Initially, the Siebel system was installed and tested to ensure it ran smoothly before it was implemented across the organization.
“A key part of the implementation was migrating data from 40 applications to the new Siebel system,” said Rashid. “We worked closely with Wipro during this data migration exercise, which was challenging because data was changing every day.”
Initially, Wipro helped Grameenphone determine its business needs and map out its requirements. Wipro then provided technical training on how to use the applications.
“The transformation took more than three months,” said Rashid. “Oracle University provided the technical training for the IT people, and Wipro did a fantastic job implementing the CRM system.”