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Enhancing Customer Service for CSPs: Proactive Solutions and Self-Service Tools

Updated: Jul 2

Customer Service Feedback Loop for CSPs

Customer service has often been a reactive activity for CSPs. When customer complaints come in, they are, at best, mapped to known network issues, such as provisioning, terminal, or coverage problems. This "best case" scenario assumes that tools exist and are available to customer service, indicating issues based on the measured experience of the customer. It also assumes that the customer service representative has the ability and competence to use this information to provide the right advice to the customer. In the worst case, the customer is given standard advice, such as restarting their phone, waiting for a new SIM card, or being asked to call back in a few days if the problem is not resolved.

Addressing customer service complaints efficiently

If many complaints are registered from the same area or about the same topic, there may be a more or less manual way to report back to the NOC/SOC to check if there is an ongoing issue not yet reported. This can be a valuable but rather slow way to identify issues that have not yet been detected by the surveillance tools at hand. Another drawback of this procedure is that, even for major issues, based on our experience, no more than 1-2% of subscribers will actually contact the carrier. The rest are either unaware of the problem or silently dissatisfied with the level of service provided, which, of course, also poses a risk for churn.

In our opinion, the best way to remedy this is to increase touchpoints with customers and provide a more transparent way to communicate using available information in smarter ways. Allow customers to perform self-diagnostics through digital channels like an app, chatbot, web, smart IVR, etc. Provide customers with responses to known issues, recommendations for workarounds, or instructions on how to remedy the problem themselves.

We have seen that even with a limited scope, substantial gains can be achieved, such as 20% fewer calls to customer service and 300% more touchpoints. Ideally, providing self-service can lead to both more efficient customer service and more customer touchpoints, resulting in a better customer experience and reduced churn.

Leveraging customer service touchpoints for better network management

All these touchpoints themselves can provide even more benefits, as they are a valuable source of information. Consider a scenario where a major issue in the network generates a significant increase in touchpoints towards customer service and through various digital channels. A platform handling this kind of communication should be able to measure the density of calls and provide deeper analysis based on the calls. This can provide useful and actionable statistics, notifying customer service that a high density of touchpoints is addressing the same issue.

The statistics could also generate an alarm towards the NOC/SOC, providing a heads-up about how an issue is notably affecting customers, valuable whether the issue is already known or not yet discovered. This can thus provide a good tool for operations to get more information about the extent of an issue and how to prioritize resources for troubleshooting and mitigation.

Though silos need to be broken, many operators still have a huge gap between operations and business. Bringing these worlds closer offers numerous benefits. For a long time, service assurance vendors have offered analytics tools and platforms to facilitate the business side in managing customer experience, roaming reporting, customer service tools, etc. This is all good, but the customer-facing part of the operator has very valuable information to feed back. To do this in an actionable way, it must be automated. By providing more self-service and diagnostic tools to customers, the information collected will be a valuable asset to optimize and prioritize service and network operations.


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