Closing The Loop – realisable actions to address customer issues to build and maintain brand loyalty
An emerging (and obvious) need for Communications Services Providers (CSPs) is to close the loop as far as customer experience and network operations is concerned.
As an example, recent discussions with an Australian CSP indicates there is still a yawning gap between taking “corrective” actions in the Radio Access Network and then verifying the action in terms of Customer Experience. That is, there is usually some form of aggregated complaint which is analysed from an engineering perspective with action taken to address that complaint. However, there are no formalised or systemised actions to check if those underlying complaints have been resolved. As a proxy for the customer, some CSPs use network probing to be the “voice” of the customer. The cost of probing the 3G and LTE networks at the RAN edge is prohibitively expensive. RNC’s and e-nodeb’s do not have the capability to provide a customer perspective “report” out of the billions of transactions that they need to focus and report on.
There are many aspects of Closed Loop customer experience and the RAN aspect is just one use-case that can be addressed by an on-device APP. Of course, there are other processes that need to be developed or refined to complete a 360deg sweep for care. Most CSP’s are organised in efficient pillars of operations – Networks build and deliver networks, Operations operate them, Product groups own the resultant combination of networks and selling processes, and Customer Care organisations struggle with the complexities of triaging incoming calls. But, most CSP’s are not organised to effectively close the loop with the customer. Smart CSP’s are now addressing this through cross pillar advocacy groups but there is a long way to go to permeate the management lethargy to be effective day to day processes.
On-device APPs are the customer proxy as far as their user experience is concerned and they provide a missing information vector to help close the loop – BUT – the CSP must willingly want to close the loop and be prepared to disrupt the organisation to align towards the customer. The business case stacks up very neatly but in many cases the momentum of business-as-usual and apathy are powerful negative forces preventing the initiative.
It’s an exciting era in competitive communications and telco’s who do not actively address the “closing the loop” challenge are opening up opportunities for customers to churn away from them – a creeping poison that has a very costly antidote if not treated early.