Getting more feedback from your mobile subscribers, without more surveys

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Peter Drucker famously said “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. This holds true also for mobile operators and how your customers experience their technical service. There are many network KPI:s to check subscribers’ service performance, but the most direct way of knowing how they feel is of course to ask them.

The problem is, this may be easier said than done. To know how customers experience their service, there are different ways of getting feedback. You can send out a general survey. Or after a customer has talked to support, a post call IVR Survey can be done or an SMS survey sent out. Though this is valuable feedback to get, it comes with a few drawbacks.

The response rate on these is generally low. Another problem is selection bias, where many subscribers who do respond may be either very happy or extremely unhappy with the service. Having a survey just after interacting with a customer support agent can also have subscribers rating how they found the agent helping with an issue rather than the actual issue.

You can also ask for second-hand feedback from your support agents. This is often really valuable. It may however be difficult to scale and still be consistent since it depends on e.g. the experience of the different agents. To better scale this, there are different companies doing cool things with voice/text analysis to get insights from every customer interaction and categorize potential problems.

But this doesn’t address yet another factor. Far from everyone experiencing technical problems actually reaches out to customer support to begin with. In fact, we’ve previously found 98,5% do not. So how do we know when they are dissatisfied?

By offering them an easier way to engage with you. One approach here is for you to provide self-care, where subscribers themselves can analyze their service performance without the need to reach out to an agent. This lowers the threshold to check an issue while the analyses themselves serve as feedback for how the service is working. And it can indeed make customers more engaged. One of our customers have 75% of their technical claims now coming from self-care rather than by phone. And the reason this percentage is so high is not mainly that phone calls to support have dropped (though they have), but because the support interactions have become so many more.

Increasing the volume of interactions has a value in itself since you get more feedback, but there’s also extra information you can lift from the meta data from technical self-care. It makes it easier to automatically pick up and flag clusters of issues rather than just what an individual is experiencing. Maybe many subscribers have issues in a specific geographic area, or perhaps a phone running on a certain software is starting to experience problems. For you to retrieve these types of insights in real-time can be valuable for customer support, but also operations, where clustered issue updates presented in the NOC/SOC would give an overview of how subscribers are currently experiencing their service.

So self-care is an opportunity for better customer feedback, but unfortunately (as is often the case), it doesn’t come without its own challenges. First of all, it’s critical to have the self-care service bringing actual value to the customer and to set the right expectations. If you promise great troubleshooting and it rarely finds any issues or keeps giving the same generic answers, subscribers will likely leave (now even more annoyed) and never try it again.

The same goes internally for when you analyze aggregated data. If your system draws conclusions that are not necessarily true and starts flagging false positives, people will quickly lose trust that will take time to rebuild again.

But done right, self-care can really increase the amount of customer feedback you receive. This will help you keep better track of your customers’ service experience and it may even help you unveil a few new, surprising insights.

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