In last week’s blog, I covered the customer lifecycle, which includes two essential categories: Customer Service and Retention.
According to research with Tier 1 partners, we discovered several themes that fall under the categories of Customer Service and Retention, such as agent handling practices, issue resolution times, and retention efforts. The work an operator conducts to optimize these essential components of the services lifecycle are directly related to quarterly churn rates.
The truth today is that we live in a world where social currency, Twitter remarks, and angry forum echo-chambers have actual impacts on the user perception of a business. While conducting research with our Tier 1 partners, we learned that resolving customer issues quickly and with high satisfaction was key to ensuring that customers were retained. But additionally, it helps to ensure that a brand name isn’t perceived negatively, which can create risks during an operator’s ‘Discover’ efforts.
American business tycoon and world-famous investor, Warren Buffett, has a quote which fits perfectly in the context of customer care:
There are numerous challenges currently facing operators within the customer call center. In order to understand how customer interactions occur and learn how to examine some of the real customer metrics, we needed to dig deep into the minutiae with our Tier 1 partners, asking question such as:
- How long does an average customer care call take?
- What is the education and skill level of the customer service representative (CSR) team?
- How frequently are calls escalated?
- How often and how quickly does a call result in a truck roll?
- How many steps are involved in resolving a basic issue such as a bandwidth speed test?
- How many systems are used in the RCA of the call?
Essentially, we want to know what key metrics of success were being measured during a customer call.
Through our research, we observed how operators were managing their call centers, and then went through the various troubleshooting flows and permutations. Once we had hard metrics, we identified problem areas that our partners were dealing with in terms of issue resolution, and then we began a journey to develop a solution that would address a number of these challenges.
We created a list of goals for a solution that would simplify and enhance the customer care process.
We wanted to:
- Reduce the time it took to resolve a customer issue
- Eliminate the necessity to troubleshoot from multiple OSS systems. Specifically, reducing the need for multiple screens or tabs and related copy/paste actions between each
- Simplify the complexity and reduce the number of steps for customer issue resolution
- Reduce the frequency of call escalation
- Cut down on the number of expensive truck-rolls
- Provide a means for tech-savvy subscribers to resolve issues entirely on their own, without the need for customer support
Armed with this data, we started on the journey to develop a solution for our partners. A solution we call SmartCSR.
In the next part of this series, I’m going to take a closer look at the Use category, focusing in on ways that operators can ensure their subscribers are actively using the services that they pay for and how over-the-top (OTT) services are transforming how broadband is becoming an increasingly critical facet of our lives. This will also include how network planners can make smarter network capacity investments, and whether rolling out FTTx, DOCSIS 3.1, or a converged network is the best path forward.