What Exactly is Quality of Experience, Anyway?

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We’re always talking about the importance of the customer experience and measuring quality of experience (QoE), but what exactly does this mean?

A recent Incognito poll of service providers highlighted that measuring subscriber QoE can be tricky, since it can be difficult to determine exactly what subscriber QoE refers to. The survey indicated that:

  • More than half of service providers either don’t know whether they are measuring subscriber QoE or simply don’t bother measuring it at all.
  • Despite this lack of understanding, about half thought they were meeting subscriber expectations.
  • More than one third consider the subscriber QoE delivered to be above average or excellent.

And yet despite this rather upbeat view, broadband service providers routinely rank lowest on consumer satisfaction indexes*.

This points to a few possible conclusions:

  1. There is no real consensus on what QoE actually means.
  2. Few providers understand what metrics are available to measure subscriber QoE.
  3. Providers may be harboring a false sense of security. It’s easy to think that subscriber expectations are being met if you don’t hear differently — or if you don’t know what to measure.

Unfortunately, simply assuming the best without seeing any metrics ignores important network-wide factors such as customer churn rates, bandwidth congestion, and broadband speed delivery, as well as factors on the subscriber level such as signal interference and the performance of various service packages.

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So — what should you be measuring to determine subscriber QoE?

It depends how you define QoE. Some options for measurement include:

  • Real-time bandwidth congestion
  • Historical data and trend analysis
  • Capacity growth planning
  • Subscriber self-service portals
  • Identification and analysis of top users
  • Proactive identification of potential network issues
  • Alerting customers of potential quality of service (QoS) issues
  • SLA-based QoS analysis
  • Identifying and eliminating errors in the back end
  • Tailoring offerings or add-ons based on subscriber consumption history
  • Fraudulent access blocking
  • Support call volumes

Clearly, subscriber QoE can’t be determined by a single measurement. Rather, it’s the sum of all customer interactions from the beginning to the end of a subscriber’s term with their chosen provider.

This might mean looking at factors on the subscriber side such as speed and price. It also may relate to quality of video and audio streaming. It could include the relationship a subscriber has with their provider’s call center.

It’s one thing for a service provider to think they are delivering consistent QoE for subscribers — but what do customers think?

Find out the results of a recent consumer poll in the 2016 Broadband Consumer QoE Survey Report,  a free ebook available now.

*Source: American Customer Satisfaction Index 2015

 

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