How to enhance mobile network quality with customer feedback
Customer service has often been a reactive activity for CSP’s. When customer complaints come in, they are, in best case, mapped to known network issues, like e.g. provisioning, terminal or coverage. “Best case”, since this is provided that tools exist and are made available to customer service, indicating those issues based on the measured experience of the customer. It also assumes the customer service representative has the ability and competence to use this information to provide the right advice to the customer. Worst case, the customer is given standard advice like e.g. restart phone, wait for a new SIM card to be sent or simply be asked to call back in a few days if the problem is not resolved.
If a lot of 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 not yet has been alarmed by the surveillance tools at hand. Another drawback with this procedure is that even for major issues, based on our experience, not more than 1-2% of the subscribers will actually get in contact with the carrier. The rest is either unknowing of the problem, or may silently be dissatisfied with the level of service provided, which of course also may be a risk for churn.
The best way, in our opinion, to remedy this is to get more touchpoints with the customers and by providing a more transparent way to communicate, by using the available information in smarter ways. Let the customers do self-diagnostics through digital channels like an app, chatbot, web, smart IVR etc. Provide customers with responses of known issues, recommendations for work-arounds or how to remedy the problem themselves. We have seen when providing this kind of functionality that even with a limited scope, substantial gains can be won, e.g. with 20% less calls to customer service and still 200% more touchpoints. So ideally, providing self-service can provide both a more efficient customer service, while still gaining more customer touchpoints and a better customer experience, and hence prevent churn.
Now, all these touchpoints themselves can provide even more benefits, as they themselves are a very valuable source of information. Let’s think about a scenario when there is a major issue in the network generating a lot more touchpoints towards customer service and through various digital channels. A platform handling this kind of communications should be able to also measure the density of calls, and maybe also provide a deeper analysis based on the calls. This can provide very useful and actionable statistics notifying customer service that a high density of touchpoints is received, addressing the same issue. The statistics could also generate an alarm towards the NOC/SOC, to provide a heads-up about how an issue is notably customer affecting, valuable both if it 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 siloes are to be broken, many operators still have a huge gap between operations and business. By bringing these worlds closer, there are lots of benefits to be made. For a long time, service assurance vendors have been offering analytics tools and platforms to facilitate the business side to do customer experience management, roaming reporting, customer service tools etc. This is all good, but at the same time the customer facing part of the operator has very valuable information to feed back. To get this done in an actionable way, it will have to be automated and by providing more self-service and diagnostics tools to the customers, the information collected will be a valuable asset to optimize and prioritize the service and network operations.