Towards real-time customer experience prediction for telecommunication operators
Telecommunications operators (telcos) traditional sources of income, voice and SMS, are shrinking due to customers using over-the-top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp or Viber. In this challenging environment it is critical for telcos to maintain or grow their market share, by providing users with as good an experience as possible on their network. But the task of extracting customer insights from the vast amounts of data collected by telcos is growing in complexity and scale everey day. How can we measure and predict the quality of a user's experience on a telco network in real-time? That is the problem that we address in this paper. We present an approach to capture, in (near) real-time, the mobile customer experience in order to assess which conditions lead the user to place a call to a telco's customer care center. To this end, we follow a supervised learning approach for prediction and train our Restricted Random Forest model using, as a proxy for bad experience, the observed customer transactions in the telco data feed before the user places a call to a customer care center. We evaluate our approach using a rich dataset provided by a major African telecommunication's company and a novel big data architecture for both the training and scoring of predictive models. Our empirical study shows our solution to be effective at predicting user experience by inferring if a customer will place a call based on his current context. These promising results open new possibilities for improved customer service, which will help telcos to reduce churn rates and improve customer experience, both factors that directly impact their revenue growth.