Do you love your telco provider? How far does your loyalty extend — would you stay after 24 hours of constant call drop outs? A week of slowing app response times? A month of missing text messages?
When you stop and think about it, telcos have a pretty tough gig — customer expectations are at an all time high, and they often get all the blame for poor performance (even if it’s a device or app causing the problem) and rarely get the credit when things are working well. Never have I stopped to thing “Wow, that web page loaded quickly, what a great job my MyTelco does!”, but often have I found myself thinking “Argh! Damn MyTelco can’t even load a web page!” when the wait is a little too long.
Communication providers are facing difficult times as competition continues to intensify, giving customers increasing choice in selecting products and services. Most telcos offer similar services at similar prices, making it nearly impossible to find a sustainable competitive advantage based solely on price or products. Add to that the fact that new entrants to the market bring alternative services with an inherent ability to innovate faster than traditional communication providers.
With unlimited access to information via the Internet and social media, consumers are well and truly calling the shots. Consumers expect quality experiences — with the brand, the product or service, across all interactions with the provider. They don’t just expect a better service, they demand it, and are quick to share their experience with friends, family and complete strangers via social media.
Which begs the question: How do you define “good” customer experience?
The CIO of Cablecom defines it as when “the customer is happy and recommends you and your services to others”, whilst the Innovation Officer for Customer Experience Management at SFR aims for a “consistent experience, connected interactions, personalised, rewarding relationship”. The Head of Customer Experience at Vodafone, Qatar sums it up perfectly as “leaving your customer feeling valued and delighted with an element of surprise”.
Of course, the ability to leave each and every customer feeling “valued and delighted” first and foremost requires to you know and understand the individual customer — what they value and what they expect from their telco. This requires understanding of their historical usage patterns, where and when they access services, who they communicate with, how they preferred to be communicated with.
Easier said than done….or is it?
Customer Experience Analytics analyses all of the network activity generated by subscriber’s usage of various services — voice, SMS, mobile search and smartphone apps — across all devices and locations to measure the quality of experience. It answers questions such as:
- How many dropped calls or failed SMSs has this customer experienced? Is it getting better or worse?
- What is the quality of music or video app streaming for this customer as they go about their day? How is it for other customers in the same geographic area with a similar or different smartphone/tablet device?
- Is the quality of service varying depending on the time of day or week, or around specific public events?
Armed with this valuable insight, service providers can see a 360 degree view of customer experience with the network and identify issues that lead to poor customer satisfaction, low Net Promoter Score and eventual churn.
Customer Experience Analytics helps to measure and improve customer experience with the network using advanced analytics of customer network activity across locations, devices and apps. It helps to:
- Optimise customer experience across voice and data services using a scoring mechanism;
- Reduce operational costs and increase operational efficiencies;
- See quality of service from a customer perspective;
- Make smarter prioritisation of investments by real impact on customer experience;
- Achieve fast time to value.
So how does it work?
Large volumes of raw usage data from network data sources such as voice/SMS CDRs and Data Network Records XDRs are captured and transformed in real time using streaming technology. This data is adapted into multidimensional models for voice and data experience, and stored in a cost-effective, scalable Hadoop-based data platform.
Using advanced analytics, a customer experience score is calculated for each individual customer based on their actual network experience.
These highly valuable insights about individual subscriber experience is then further rolled up into network-level activity experience profiles, and visualised for business users in a series of interactive dashboards and reports.
This was the approach taken by one of the largest communication service providers in the US. Increasing use of smartphone and mobile apps were driving up the volume of calls to their support centre and they were fast becoming the first point of call for device and app issues. Unfortunately support staff were not properly equipped to deal with these types of issues, resulting in longer call handling times, poorer customer experience and increased risk of customer churn. Using Customer Experience Analytics, they now capture, in real-time, information about how individual customers are using devices and apps across different network locations and provide that much needed insight to call centre staff, empowering support teams to quickly resolve support issues and reduce the need to escalate calls. As a result, they reduced call handling times by 33%, reduced call escalations by 50%, and improved staff productivity and morale.
For all the telcos out there (especially mine!), is understanding your customers behaviour and experience of your brand important to you? Do you want to provide the best possible level of customer experience? Hopefully the answer is a resounding “Yes!” —> here’s where you can get started.