Take a look at what’s going on in your network through the lens of the customer: Part 1
The telecoms market has become saturated to the extent that communications service providers (CSPs) can no longer compete on price and service packaging.
Starting a bidding war over subscribers is not a winning long-term strategy, eroding revenues to the point where profitability is virtually null and failing to address customers’ central needs. So says Jean-Phillipe Goyet senior director of Product Management at Guavus in the first part of a three-part article for VanillaPlus.
Subscribers don’t want cheap services, they want reliable connectivity and a seamless experience when they’re streaming data, video-calling, or browsing the web from their smart devices. As a result, customer experience has become CSPs’ key product and most important differentiator. Every decision that they make is now being governed by its impact on subscriber experiences, rather than network efficiencies and cost reduction. This has led CSPs to seek a new operational perspective, viewing network-impacting events through the lens of the customer.
In this series, we’ll look at three key areas where the impact of viewing their network and service operations from the customer’s perspective will be most apparent, highlighting how CSPs can use big data analytics to unlock this unique perspective. First, let’s take a look at how to improve service operations and evolve beyond Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measure of customer experience, whilst driving down costs.
An insular view of service operations
One of the biggest challenges CSPs face is that traditional measures of the impact of service quality on customer experience have become less relevant. Drop call and success rates were once great indicators of how good the experience was, but in the age of mobile web-browsing, video chat and data streaming, they are still important but less and less relevant. The advent of next-generation services such as VoLTE muddy the waters even further, as they transcend all tiers of the network. This will make it extremely difficult for CSPs to monitor and understand the impact of service quality on customer experience.
Compounding the problem even further, most of the investments CSPs have made to improve the customer experience have been vertically driven, by care, network or marketing teams. This has created operational siloes, and sometimes siloes within siloes, which makes complete visibility into the customer journey extremely elusive.
Furthermore, the variety of monitoring and reporting solutions that have been deployed are overloading network and service operations teams with alarms and KPIs, without any context around how they are affecting customer experience. This makes it nearly impossible for CSPs to prioritise alarms based on how significant the impact is from the subscriber perspective and to understand what alarms are really problematic and which ones are just symptoms of a larger issue.
In simple terms, this means that CSPs can’t distinguish the woods from the trees. A performance issue might look catastrophic from the network perspective, but looking at it through the customer lens could reveal that subscribers were completely unaffected. As such, that alarm might not be as much of an immediate priority as it may first appear. It works the other way round too; events that don’t look that major at a network level could be far more disastrous from the customer’s perspective if left unattended. So how do CSPs identify the needles in the haystack so they can focus on the bigger picture?
Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes
This really demonstrates why CSPs need to see the world through the eyes of their customers rather than from inside their network. Thankfully, some CSPs have already laid the foundations to achieve this visibility by implementing big data analytics across a variety of functions within the business. However, rather than analysing data in siloes to support specific processes, they must now look to create a holistic analytics layer, understanding the impact of network, subscriber and operations events on the customer experience markers.
Embedding these capabilities and insights into business workflows will help service operations teams to proactively work on the issues that matter most to their customers. Not only will this help to reduce care costs, improve customer satisfaction and NPS, it will also pave the way for CSPs to design “customer-first” compelling offerings.
The author of this blog is Jean-Phillipe Goyet, senior director of Product Management at Guavus. This is Part 1 of a 3-part article.
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