How do you ensure a better customer experience with SMS and Voice? When a customer switches from one telecom operator to another, PortingXS facilitates number retention for every type of phone number. We spoke with Tim Leliveld, Area Manager at PortingXS, about their smart application of SMS and Voice for an optimal customer journey.
PortingXS facilitates the administrative and technical activities of the porting process for telecom operators. Tim Leliveld: “We have been making this process possible in the Netherlands since 2001, and internationally since 2007. The porting process means that users can switch between operators and their phone number, so if you go from Vodafone to KPN or from KPN to Telfort, and keep your telephone number. This can be your mobile number, fixed number or service number.” This procedure is easy thanks to the porting process of PortingXS.
- Founded in 2001
- Active in 22 countries, with around 150 telecom operators as customers
- Almost 70% of the market share in the Netherlands
- PortingXS porters 100,000 numbers per month in the Netherlands and 250,000 worldwide
It all started with SMS
Tim: “We are constantly working to arrange the porting processes for the operators so that customers have fewer questions. If you inform the customer well, this leads to fewer customer calls, which is important, since every call to a call centre takes 5 minutes to process. If you inform the customer well, he can make a good start with the switch to his new provider.”
Notifications via SMS
They do this, among other things, by sending notification messages via SMS. Tim: “There was a time when we also sent out letters. Fortunately, we no longer do that, because it is not only bad for the environment, but also a hell of a process. All our communication now takes place via phone, SMS, IVR or e-mail.”
PortingXS required a reliable SMS platform for notifications and authorization purposes, which also provided insight into the status of SMS messages. PortingXS uses SMS for multiple purposes. When a request for number porting is made, for example from Telecom Operator A to Telecom Operator B, a notification message can be sent via SMS with the note that this mobile phone number is ported on date X to the new operator of the customer.
Authorization via SMS
SMS is also used to authorize a number port request. It’s important to have absolute certainty that the request is correct, and the user of the mobile number approves the application. For this, PortingXS sends an SMS message containing a ‘Smart Validation’ code that the customer can then send back for verification. This ensures that the user of the mobile number authorizes the porting. Depending on the wishes of the telecom operator, SMS is used in the most appropriate way.
Voice API solution
In addition to SMS, PortingXS also wanted to use Voice for authorization. Tim: “Customers in the porting process don’t always have the possibility to send out SMS messages, for example if they have a prepaid account, but no longer have credit. Usually this would mean that they would first need to top up and spend 10 euros. However, once your number has been transferred to another operator, they will lose that credit again. To accommodate these prepaid customers, we have provided a free 0800 number via CM.com. They have no additional costs to incur, and they can always reach and validate us as long as their number is active.”
PortingXS has also built a user-friendly Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application with the CM.com Voice API. Customers can now authorize porting via this spoken menu on the 0800 number. Via a voice selection menu, the user can confirm that his or her number can be ported. For example, the user is asked to enter his mobile phone number to verify the telephone number.
“Because we don’t want to put too many actions in the hands of the customer, we’ve also set up an IVR”, explains Tim. “At the moment that we don’t receive a response in time, the customer is automatically approached via the IVR. With key answering they can confirm that they want to port. That puts the dots on the I’s for us.”
“Welcome to Telecom Operator X’s number portability line. This call is used to confirm that you want to keep your current mobile number and transfer it to Telecom Operator Y. We ask you to enter the 10-digit mobile number, you want to keep and transfer, after the beep, followed by a hash.”
Thanks to the tools of CM.com, PortingXS has no further worries for notifying and authorizing users. In addition, PortingXS always has insight into the status of messages. Tim: “The service of CM.com is really good. If I need my contact Michiel Mikx, I can always call him. But that also applies to your operations department. If we have questions we really notice there is a team with expertise that quickly responds to all queries. In the portal we can see exactly which messages have been sent and what has arrived. It’s just nice to do business with a company that has the same way of working as we do. ”
The future of PortingXS
PortingXS has grown considerably over the years and has concrete plans to continue that growth. Tim: “Our goal is to be the market leader worldwide in 5 years when it comes to number retention and the central database (CRDB) solutions that we supply.
For example, we are working with CEIR systems (Central Equipment Identity Registers). With this we try to exclude cloned devices, foreign devices or devices originating from fraud or theft from the network. By building a whole ecosystem around it, we can strongly reduce fraud and robbery of phones.”