BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

NSN Gives Facebook a New Status

Nokia Networks has developed a Facebook app that enables service provider customers to manage their accounts, buy and activate new services and share offers/experiences with their contacts via the social-networking platform. (See NSN Unveils Customer Care Facebook App.)

The vendor, which has a significant focus on customer experience management (CEM) within its Business Solutions division, is encouraging service providers to use Facebook as a way to engage with their customers on a regular basis and within an online community that many end users are now comfortable with. (See Xtract, NSN Team on Social Analytics and NSN Preps for New SPIT Sortie.)

NSN tells Light Reading that while the app is being trialed by a number of unidentified service providers, it won't be ready for commercial deployment until the first quarter of 2012.

Why this matters
This is an interesting development for two reasons. One, it takes CEM very firmly into the social-networking world and, if the app has been developed with enough functionality, could transform a service provider's customer self-care strategy overnight. Facebook is essentially a ready-made customer engagement portal for service providers with a lot of young customers. If NSN's development takes off it should herald a whole new sub-genre of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) developments based around social-networking capabilities.

And that's significant given that CEM is becoming ever more important to communications service providers (CSPs) looking for ways of retaining their customers and encouraging them to spend more on additional services.

That brings us to the second point. This looks like a very contemporary way for CSPs to engage with an important customer demographic, but is it still too early for the traditionally risk-averse operator community to adopt such a tool, especially given that a key feature of the app is the ability of end users to share their thoughts about and experiences of new offers and services? That could have a downside as well as an upside and that might worry service-provider marketing departments.

For more
CEM is all the rage.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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