Why Traditional Customer Service Models Just Don’t Cut It: Part 1

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Customer care is changing quickly in the broadband world. Today’s subscribers expect issues to be dealt with immediately and can be driven away by long wait times or multiple inquiries for the same issue. Clearly, substandard service is not good enough — but fast issue resolution involving phone calls and truck rolls can be expensive. How can you provide the level of customer service that subscribers expect and still keep costs down?

The answer lies in subscriber self-service.

Research from the Customer Contact Council has found that customer loyalty has more to do with delivering basic promises than dazzling service. Furthermore, many people actually expect to have the option of self-service when seeking help for a problem. Up to 70 percent of customers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints. However, there is a caveat — if self-service falls short, personal contact as a safety net is an absolute necessity. The message is clear: reduce the work that customers have to do to solve a problem to encourage loyalty and lower churn.

Subscriber self-service has the added benefit of reducing costs. According to the most recent TSIA Support Services benchmark data, incidents resolved via phone average $510, while email incidents average nearly $700. Chat interactions average a much lower $150 per interaction, but still dwarf the cost of web self-service incidents, which average only $4. See the table below for more detail.

The need for subscriber self-service is clear, but what challenges stand in the way of implementing a valuable self-service portal? And how can you solve them? Find out next week in part two.

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