Vodafone readies for CRM big-time

Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. is trying to better understand its customers, hoping to use IT to increase the degree of self-service and cut costs.

The mobile telco is looking for both a supplier and systems integrator for a major customer relationship management (CRM) project.

Aware of the high failure rate for CRM projects due to too much focus on technology, Vodafone CRM project manager Susie Kelt says the emphasis in this project is on a transformation of Vodafone’s business.

“For Vodafone it’s all about how we can improve our customers’ experience and our own business efficiencies. Hence we are starting with changes required to deliver our vision, and expect the technology solutions to support these rather than be the answer to all our woes – which is where many of these projects can fail.

“Our desired outcomes are to have a much better understanding of our customers and their needs, and to be able to offer them multiple access channels to our staff and partners. Doing so in an efficient manner will obviously increase customer loyalty while reducing our operating costs.”

The mobile company issued a proposals tender in September for a CRM software provider and an information tender for a systems integrator in November. It will announce the successful bidders together.

The multimillion-dollar project, which will also replace the existing billing system, is to span New Zealand, Australia and Fiji and encompass customers, business partners and staff, says Kelt.

Kelt says apart from customers using “self-care” facilities, the project will cover 1100 “heavy” users and another 1400 “light” users in Vodafone’s sales channel.

Kelt says the total project will be implemented in phases with phase one likely to be completed within nine to 12 months. The timeframe forecast to complete the transition is two to three years, though there will be ongoing improvements beyond that.

Kelt envisages that the project will also require hardware upgrades.