EECC ‘Best Tariff’ Compliance Is Not Enough: Discover the Benefits of a Proactive Way Forward
As the December deadline comes to a close, it’s only natural for telecoms to feel a little unsure about where they stand with respect to EECC. After-all, compliance most-likely requires changing some long-held business practices. While some just want to get it out of the way, others are taking a proactive stance resulting in an uplift across multiple KPIs.
EU’s Single Market Strategy
At the end of 2018, the European Electronic Communication Code (EECC) was adopted to set ground rules for the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy. Its aim is to consolidate the existing telecom framework across the EU, providing legislative future-proofing, promoting new communication services, and preparing for up-and-coming technologies such as optical fibre and 5G.
Moreover, the code addresses end-user protection, in form of alignment of security requirements, strengthening protection in emergency situations, and enhancing consumer rights when switching internet access services.
Though one provision stands out: the best tariff obligation. Inspired by a 2009 Belgian Telecom Regulation Authority (TRA) law, the change requires regulated providers to inform customers about the next best tariff available to them in hopes to, among others, eliminate ‘sleeper’ contract prolongation.
“In addition, and at the same time, providers shall give end-users best tariff advice relating to their services. Providers shall provide end-users with best tariff information at least annually.”Source: Article 105, page 144 – Official Journal of the European Union – DIRECTIVE (EU) 2018/1972 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 11 December 2018
Thus far, pressure has only been felt by National Regulatory Authorities (NRA’s), obligated to transpose the legal framework into national law by December 21st, 2020. But there’s no getting around it, the EECC’s collective adoption will shift pressure to telecoms, expecting immediate implementation or else face financial reparations.
So what can telecoms expect next? Belgium, already familiar with the best tariff initiative, details new deadlines for local telecom operators to provide solutions by mid 2021. It’s only a matter of time until other EU member states follow suit, so choosing the right strategy should be on the forefront of every EU telecom’s thinking.
But which strategy is the right strategy?
Compliance—Is It Enough?
In order to attain best tariff compliance, telecoms will have to think on their feet. Sure, their current billing system can be adjusted—at a cost—to include a compliant offer at the end of an invoice at least once a year. But what tariff should be offered?
Billing systems just aren’t built to provide in-depth recommendations, especially ones deep-rooted to dynamic company initiatives, let alone ones that are tailored to the unique needs of the customer.
Good recommendation systems deliver personalized content, which are highly relevant to the customer’s current situation. As such, two seemingly like tariff subscribers might receive separate recommendations due to their differences in usage history, hardware preferences, billing period, and more.
This keen eye for tailor-made best tariff recommendations not only boosts customer loyalty, but sets the scene for high-quality products and superior service—think innovative products customers actually want, instead of just selling on price. Ignoring this factor can lead to a risk in margin dilution, where customers move to indicated tariff offers that naturally push more towards down-selling.
Oh, and remember our ‘sleeper’ contracts? A sudden activation of these ‘sleepers’ might trigger a surge of requests for a better deal, causing potential pricing churn risk. Or worse, the realization that they’ve been allowed to sleep for so long, might cause them to invest their loyalty elsewhere.
Still thinking about going the compliance route? With options to drive engagement, brand loyalty and up-/cross-sell of products, it might be worth a second look to take a more proactive stance.
Choosing a More Proactive Solution
For Clintworld, EECC’s Best Tariff initiative is nothing new. The directive was inspired by a similar 2009 Belgian law, urging our clients BASE and Colruyt Group to rethink their best tariff recommendation during their billing process. From our experience, taking a proactive stance wasn’t a one-off quick fix, requiring an ongoing programme of monitoring across interdepartamental activities, but the results were well worth the effort.
Both Belgian telecom operators employed Clintview, an all-in-one pricing simulation and analytics software built specifically for telecom companies. Attached to their billing system the software provided an automatic analysis of customer behavior and product usage, while the simulation engine computed results for hundreds of price plan-option-combinations for every subscriber in the selected customer segment.
Colruyt automated their credit calculation on a monthly basis, compared their prepaid offer against not only their own best product, but the best product on the entire Belgian market, which enabled them to compute, tailor and display targeted best tariff offerings to their clients.
BASE, on the other hand, was able to show the right tariff to the right customer at the right time, simply by integrated the Clintview solution with their Ericsson’s BSCS billing system.
Ultimately, achieving a similar solution for your telecom is possible with the right tools and approach. Here’s what’s in store:
Gain a competitive edge: Since the EECC best tariff initiative is new, most regulations will come into play mid 2021. Implementing innovations ahead of the competition ensures a head start on gains, even a quick grab on market share.
Your definition of best tariff: Currently migrating or pruning your tariff plans? Nowhere is it defined what a best tariff is composed of, so why not have it aligned with company objectives? Offer the highest price to result in a deal, up-sell something highly relevant, or provide an optimal win-back—depending on the individual scenario.
Driving engagement: Best tariff is not an obligation, it’s an opportunity to leverage a new communication channel. Use customer behavior to compose personalized recommendations that provides a smoother buying experience, happier customers and a considerable increases in the possibility of a conversion.
Interested in a proactive approach? Get the critical support necessary to take your best tariff initiative to the next level. Contact us today to find out more.