Win-win: Driving telecoms network performance to improve customer satisfaction
In the modern world, access to high-quality technology has gone from a preference to an expectation. So much so that, when this tech is not considered fit for purpose by the user, the ramifications for the business can be monumental. With consumers turning to technology to fulfil their every need, from what to order for dinner to improving their health, so too are they using this medium to raise issues when technology does not meet their expectations and standards, says Gareth Lyon, practice lead, Field Service Management at NTT DATA UK.
In the world of telecommunications, the most expensive and prized asset for most operators is the network that provides customers with service. However, while investment in the network itself are significant (running to billions of pounds per annum for major operators), the large number of employees that maintain the network are the frontline when it comes to keeping the real lifeblood of the company satisfied – the customers. So, how can telecommunications companies find a happy balance to drive network performance and keep customers happy?
Network performance and customer satisfaction
We’ve all experienced the frustration that comes with poor signal. Most consumers have become used to quick and constant access to everything that their mobile devices provide them access to. So, what happens when this is interrupted?
Consumers have long memories when it comes to being let down by a provider. In short, poor network performance means customers receive a poor service. Not only does this disappoint the individual, it also has wider implications on the business itself, as it can cause that person to spend less with the provider, or even leave the company altogether.
From the operators’ perspective, unhappy customers actually cost more than those who are kept satisfied. These dissatisfied customers will spend more time on the phone to the call centre and potentially require engineer visits to resolve their problems. Both situations will result in staff spending time and resources on resolving issues that could have been avoided altogether.
Additionally, unhappy customers will tell their friends and family about the poor service or experience that they have encountered and will likely not take services from the company in the future. In the long-term, this could have a ripple effect which proves devastating to the company in question.
So, what should network operators bear in mind when it comes to keeping customers satisfied and coming back for more?
Put the customers at the heart of every decision
As an operator, choosing the right network strategy is difficult. While investment into quality technologies and performance analytics to pinpoint upcoming problems is important, the main consideration that should influence everything the operator does is what would work best for the customers.
For example, network maintenance is an unavoidable aspect of many services, which, in the long run, will be beneficial to users. However, if this also results in major interruption of network or limited service, it can also involve complaints and negative feedback. By developing a fully integrated planning regime using AI, operators can plan for work to be done during quiet periods to limit disruption as much as possible.
Another important element to consider is ensuring the workforce is encouraged and empowered to go above and beyond when it comes to customer needs. A happy team will often result in a happy customer base. By aligning your company culture and worker skills, network and customer needs can be met and exceeded.
In addition, network performance, internal costs and customer satisfaction are undeniably linked. All three aspects are understood to guide and drive investment decisions. By creating a financial model that links all three elements, operators can monitor performance while improving customer value. This is win-win for both the business and the customers.
By tying customer satisfaction, cost to serve and network data together, operators can improve network performance and customer satisfaction simultaneously. This can only happen if the customer is at the heart of ever network decision, investment and improvement.
The author is Gareth Lyon, practice lead, Field Service Management at NTT DATA UK