I am, like most consumers, always looking for the best deals! Towards the end of contract period is when I am most active in looking for the best phone deal I can get! What makes my task very difficult is that all major service providers seem to provide similar offers with seemingly no differentiation in price for similar “service plan” as can be seen from my recent research below. While on the face of it they all look similar, the unit rates of each service may be different which would dictate what you end up paying in your monthly bill, which usually ends up higher than you anticipated! Was the switch worth it! Did I make the right choice on the Rate plan? Could I have optimised my tariff better?
This time around, I tried to do something different using the data my service provider makes available online, much as what most others do these days! It gives me access to my detailed usage including every call, SMS, internet, e-mail access usage data, including date, time, whom I called etc. All I had to do was download the usage data into Microsoft Excel and compute my mean usage over the last 6 months across the various types of services I have used. Then download the rates for these service types that each of the service providers charge. It is then easy to compute how much savings I could make for each of the alternative plans that I was contemplating. The table below reveals the truth of savings across different plans by varying monthly commitments, all computed from my mean usage data by different service types and applicable rates that each service provider charges for the plan, including Peak, Off-peak, Off-net, On-net etc.
Every service provider has the detailed usage of their customers’ data which is their ultimate weapon that their competitors don’t have! Even my bank provides me with detailed usage across all my savings, credit card and investment accounts. Coming to think of it, it is not “rocket science”, for them to make use of such data to enhance this as a value-added service to their customers. Better still, they can use the data themselves to optimise the tariff and re-investment plans at all times to ensure that their customer don’t defect to competitors. Can there be better way for agility in customer retention?
My experience with searching for the best phone deal points to a new wave of business intelligence for customers, known as Consumer Intelligence. It is worth taking a look at what the Teradata CTO, Stephen Brobst, says about the future of such analytics for Consumer Intelligence and how the Teradata Chief Customer Officer, Alan Chow, talks about earning loyalty while saving costs in his view point.