4 things to consider for successful CEM
The benefits of Customer Experience Management (CEM) are clear to see, but how can operators actually manage the customer experience on a day-to-day basis? And what tools can they use to do so?
Successful CEM promises excellent returns for operators, with companies such as Turkcell reporting a 20% decrease in customer complaints and a 17% increase in NPS after optimising their CEM strategies, says Chris Mathews, chief technology officer, SysMech.
However, the road to happy returns may not be without obstacles. CEM can present to operators a wide range of challenges that must be addressed, and there are a number of key issues that may need to be dealt with surrounding effective CEM.
- Internal communications: The required processes surrounding CEM crosses departments and skills, which may require new communication channels within the organisation.
- A culture change: The whole business culture needs to change to put the customer first, requiring a shift in focus from management, a new department and roles, new tools, and new targets.
- Identifying the pain points: Operators have reams of network and assurance data, but it isn’t organised around the customer and so will not indicate where customer satisfaction is suffering.
- Getting to the root of the problem: When customers do complain, engineers have to go in and out of different systems to find the root cause of a problem, which can be slow and expensive.
Moving Beyond Point Solutions
Traditionally, mobile network operators have used a whole host of tools to support provisioning, billing, customer care, marketing and network optimisation. Different departments have used specialist solutions to meet their individual needs, however very few of these actually span more than one or two functions. With the up-rise in importance of CEM, these point solutions are no longer fit for purpose.
There are a range of customer experience management solutions available on the market, but very few of these solutions actually started life solely as CEM tools. Instead the traditional tools have been developed and refined to meet CEM needs.
There are two key segments in which most big data tools can be found in a mobile network operator:
- IT: Tool sets include team management solutions, trouble ticketing solutions and customer relationship management solutions.
- Networks: Network tools cover OSS and BSS, including performance management and service assurance solutions.
On initial thought, IT tools may seem like the best approach, since they already have customer details and trouble ticketing information. However, what else is there to consider?
1. Multiple data feeds into one centralised system
Most CEM initiatives will require multiple data feeds to be centralised into one system, to allow for data correlation and trend analysis. Traditional IT tools will already be set up with customer data, however are not designed to take in more than a handful of data streams. Network tools however, are usually designed to take data from multiple sources, therefore are better adept for this.
2. Real-time data availability
To make effective use of the multiple data feeds going into the software, a number of these will be needed in as near real-time as possible. Both IT tools and network tools offer varying levels of ‘real-time’ ranging from 15 minutes to 5 seconds. An effective CEM system will need to be as close to real-time as possible, for 10’s if not 100’s of data feeds, therefore must have the power and capacity to handle this if they are to be used by customer care teams.
3. Big data visualisation functionality
Of course, to really gain valuable and actionable insights from all this data, operators require customer experience management solutions with advanced visualisation functionality. Network tools really stand out here, since visualisation is key when it comes to managing the masses of big data created from each network element. This functionality enables operators to visualise the customer experience geographically, see peaks and troughs in social media mentions and sentiment and easily see the network performance for VIP customers to name but of few use cases.
Monitoring such volumes of data regarding customer session KPIs, linking customer issues with network issues, capacity issues, etc. cannot be achieved solely with smart visualisation. The automation of monitoring of each session, SLA breaches, degradations, and negative trends is required. CEM tools must offer a complex range of automated intelligence, such as root cause analysis, service impact analysis, SLA breach detection and KPI trend monitoring. This analysis should be available at all levels of granularity, such as national, regional, per technology or vendor, by radio cell or CPE, handset type, and customer. This intelligence must be actioned upon automatically, whether it is with an alert, or a trouble ticket, or a policy change.
It is clear to see there are a number of considerations when selecting the most appropriate customer experience management solution. The solution must be able to handle multiple data feeds, have real-time functionality for these, offer advanced visualisation, and ideally be equipment vendor agnostic.
The author of this blog is Chris Mathews, chief technology officer at SysMech