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Imagine a better customer experience and improve CEI with network probe data

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

It’s never been more important to maximize customer experience in telecoms, as according to the 2022 State of Customer Churn in Telecom report, customer loyalty in the sector is down 22% post-pandemic – largely due to poor customer experience. While most customers accept that sometimes things will go wrong, they’re not as understanding if it takes too long to resolve their issues or if they receive a poor support experience. Take this typical scenario…

Kids fighting in the car backseat.

It’s 6pm on Friday and you’re setting off to visit grandma for the weekend. It’s a long trip, but you’ve ensured your kids have drinks, snacks, fully charged devices and plenty of games, music and movies to keep them busy and stop them getting bored. After a while though, the kids start complaining that the movie isn’t running properly and you notice the driving directions aren’t updating. A fun trip quickly turns into a nightmare and by the time you finally arrive at grandma’s house you’re exhausted. When you arrive, your dad suggests you check your mobile app to see what went wrong. The app informs you there’s a problem in the area. The fault is causing slow data services, but has already been reported and is scheduled to be fixed. An alert tells you that you should update your OS to the latest version.

The next morning you update everyone’s phones, but notice the service is still slow. You decide to find out what’s wrong and how much longer it’s going to affect your phone. While queueing, you run a recommended self-care check, but since all your family’s devices are showing errors, you decide to stay on the line to talk to an agent. The agent can instantly see the data speed you’ve been experiencing, all the actions you’ve taken so far, as well as all connected trouble tickets and affected services. The slow data speed is a known issue, she says, and engineers are on site and expect to resolve it in the next two hours. The agent apologizes for the problem, credits your bill with five euros compensation and asks if you want to be kept informed.

Later that morning you receive a text telling you the fault is fixed and you notice video is running smoothly. You’re relieved that the journey home is going to be a lot less stressful!

The role of passive network probes in providing excellent experiences and world-class care

Providing better customer support begins with having the right data so that service providers can visualize individual customer (customer-level awareness) and service experience (service-level awareness). Here passive network probes play a vital role by providing granular insights into customer-level quality (QoE) and service-level quality (QoS). This helps service providers understand end-to-end service quality and perceived network experience, empowering them to troubleshoot problems faster and more effectively.

Integrating network data from probes, with data from BSS, OSS and other sources, gives support staff the holistic picture they need to understand what’s impacting the experience of individual customers and services, allowing them to triage customers’ perceived experience faster and more effectively, while taking proactive action to correct any problems. In the example above, the agent was able to instantly identify the individual experience of the affected customer and link this to a previously reported fault. This reduced the stress on the agent and meant they could accurately update the customer and keep them informed.

Three smartphones with the UI displaying how the Subtonomy API for technical support is integrated into the service providers mobile application.
Subtonomy's solution for Technical Customer Support integrated into the service providers mobile application.

The same insightful data can be made available in digital channels for those customers who prefer to use them, as well as to flag up to network operations that there’s an issue and how the problem is impacting customers. By adding machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) into the mix, the entire process can be automated, meaning problems can be identified and fixed even faster, and care and communication can shift from being reactive to being proactive.

As ML and AI learn, they can begin making suggestions to proactively improve network performance for a particular customer or service, acting predictively and preventatively. This also feeds into new KPIs such as customer experience index (CEI), making insight more accurate and reliable (see: The role of probes in the age of CX and CEI).

The children in the example above experienced a slow connection when they tried to play a game on their mobile device, leading to frustration. Fixing the problem required their service provider to be able to detect that their gaming experience was sub-optimal which was facilitated by being able to visualize the end-to-end service layer and how that was performing for the affected customer.

Subtonomy Platform architecture infographic
The Subtonomy Platform collects data from all your different data sources.

ALL the data in ONE place drives better CX

The good news is that releasing the data from its silos and proprietary applications and bringing it all together into one place is exactly what Subtonomy excels at. It doesn’t matter who the probe or application vendor is, or how old the equipment or software might be, we can integrate and mediate the data into a usable format to empower greater insight.

To find out how you can use probe data to improve CEI and fix customer and service problems faster, contact us here. If you’re faced with managing a complex probe infrastructure with probes being sunsetted by your vendor, then read our next blog: The challenge with network probes and how to extend their lives.


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