The Circumference of Customer Experience Management – A Telco View

If 80% of Customer Experience (CE) were due to Telco network services, then what is the remaining 20% due to? 33% of the remaining will be due to the...


If 80% of Customer Experience (CE) were due to Telco network services, then what is the remaining 20% due to? 33% of the remaining will be due to the Service design and 66% based on service operations, which includes front and back-office staff and other CE enablement foundations.

Realizing A Fully Engaged CEM Program from Technology Functions

For an End-to-End (E2E) Customer Experience Management (CEM) to exist, pro-activeness in handling Service Quality Management (SQM) must thrive across the length and breadth of all Telco services. With most CEM solutions focused mainly on the Network part, Telco Business Support services are missing in the real act of facilitating CEM at customer touch-point. Poor Business support services performance plague service personnel performance, and results in poor Human-to-Application engagement. This leads to service lapses with potential ramifications on customer stickiness.

In typical circumstances, Customer care is screaming back to IT about customer requests that have yet to be fulfilled or incomplete. Scenarios of such will lead to failure in delivering the required performance or promised service availability. Customer become irritated/annoyed/angry at failure to deliver what was requested. The potential exposure in the business process managing the customer request following an offline caveat could lead to revenue assurance gaps and the customers trust in service could be shaky.

 

 E2E Technology focus Vs. Network CEM focus

 

Technology assurance for E2E CEM must go beyond just the Telco Network services (SMS, VAS, Voice, Internet etc) into service offered at touch-points. A bad Customer Experience for an order-to-activate interaction when a customer walks into a Telco’s Customer Care center, may influence Customer decision to remain with the Telco. In essence, it doesn’t matter where the Customer Experience was perceived, after-all, if the customer touch point cannot offer a differentiation ceteris paribus, then the Customer touch point also becomes a key “battlefield” for retention management.

Telco IT, has a skin in the pain of “pinching” the E2E CEM goal. IT cannot resort to reactive remedies and methods as means to manage and support service delivery. IT has a “dog in the fight” to assuring quality is upheld and improved based on the overarching retention strategy of Telcos. For a complete, concerted and visible effort to unleashing the full “potency” of CEM Technology solutions, the missing gap is with Telco IT, and must be closed. Technology collaboration between functions (Network, IT) must therefore resort to “repainting” their E2E CEM strategy to span functions, domains and platforms (FDP) in order to realize true proactiveness in Service Quality Management for the support of an E2E CEM program.

 

How Can “Service Quality” in Telco IT be Realized?

1. With Business Processes that manage and interface all Customer interaction and touch-points (including Call-Centers, Shops, other Business halls etc).

What’s good here is a big chunk of the “work” in the area of business process identification, mapping into technology applications and their associated metrics have already been done for Telecos that wish to remain within best business guidelines. There is no need here to re-inventing the wheel. TMForum frameworx have enriched business process with structured degree of decomposition into business activities for all varieties of Communications Service Providers – Telephony, Internet, Fixed, Convergent or Digital Services Players. It provides Communications Service Providers full access to benchmark and improve their current business processes and service management strategies. The added advantage for Technology functions is the map point into IT Service Management foundations IT Library ITILv3. This makes it easier facilitating Technology to Business alignment by having technology functions report and manage towards what is business relevant.

Referring to the TM Forum Business Process Framework – Sub. 1.1.2.4, the Service Quality Management sub-process is presented below. Deriving a CEM model requires encapsulating proactive traps for service degradation visibility and rapid yet structured acts to return the quality to appropriate service levels.

TMForum Service Quality Management

 

The key functional sub-process activities with the TM Forum SQM process include ability to Monitor, Analyze, Improve and of-course as with everything else in a managed environment Report (MAIR) on Service Quality.

Assuring the services Telco’s provide to meet the promise of customer expectations is equally a key ingredient into Customer delight. Maintaining appreciable levels of Service experience is a critical piece to Customer retention, therefore the act of looking at Technology in a holistic way is essential to the goal of ensuring there is “no stone left unturned” in the Telco CEM program. This includes all Technology and associated Products and Product Performance, Services, Service Applications, Service Performance, Service Specification, Service Test, Service Trouble, Service Usage and Supplier/Partner Performance.

 

2. Identifying, Understanding and managing Services as they are used at touch points.

Match the business strategy or operational risk management strategy across touch-points. Telco’s must apply risk management to their Customer Experience Management programs. Where the service has a potential of poorly being delivered, say from a particular Customer touch point, it will be prudent to remap the Service to a different touch-point or function by focusing on CE. This step is important as it also feeds into deriving the cost of service delivery at touch-points, and at what CE promise the cost-benefit scale is tipped negatively.

By applying CEM delivery on a risk-importance to customer-service delivery scale at touch-points, Telco’s can reduce the impact of service delivery issues, reduce cost overheads and enable clearer service level engagement. Likened to the Financial Sector, Banking offices have different service capabilities by using risk-importance to weigh in on availed service by area / location in order to provide best services for a targeted CE. This approach however requires clear communication plans to support the engagement mode.

With services clearly mapped to their associated delivery touch-points, Telco’s can manage key IT Service Quality metrics through:

  • Responsiveness – Reacting quickly and positively.
  • Assurance – Confidence for service delivery completeness.
  • Tangibles – Communications collateral availability and resources related to Telco services.
  • Empathy – Translating Customer needs into sense of fulfillment priority.
  • Reliability – Performing the promised Services dependably and accurately.
The IT RATER model provides a Service Quality fulcrum to overlay associated IT tools on the CE delivery intentions in order to engage proactively with rich and full visibility. Using RATER, it’s possible to apply the TMForum SQM model to IT and better manage Human to Business Support application interactions at touch points, whilst applying improvements on key quality indicators identified as pertinent to bettering CE.

If Not E2E Customer Experience, What are you Selling?

The Technology value proposition rings in the opportunity to turn CE into a service that can be delivered to customers as a means to offset cost of CEM programs. Of course every customer want’s to feel like a “king”, and the ability for Telco’s to segment their customer base for differentiated CE is a potently profitable dimension into loyalty and retention schemes.

Looking at what the Financial and Airline industries do, Customer Experience is an “envelope” to delivering core services (ticketing and flights services) but with a new or added differentiation. The reason why customers will opt to fly with one airline over the other is not because of the aircraft make, but essentially for the level of experience they enjoy throughout their interaction. Telco’s looking to improve their Customer Experience must seek an E2E model as a basis to deliver a differentiation envelop. With differentiated touch-point services coupled with enablement of new offerings, e.g. OTT care-services, Telco’s can competitively better the local appeal to brand by not only focusing on network CE, but E2E services.

Without forgetting the initial steps into defining and delivering network services, it’s imperative that considerations are made during new service concept and design phases, to go beyond reliance on only Use-cases that look at customer-end access to the service. Ring in Care and Support Cases as part of the full case derivatives for all new services to be launched. With the inclusion of Care and Support cases into the various touch-points engagaement, Telco’s are basically ensuring the promise of CE meted out meets or exceeds customer expectations.

A holistic approach to services concept-to-market management, must also ensure Marketing, Sales, Customer Care, IT and Network functions work collaboratively on what Technology can do to assure planned CE Indices (CEI) are measurable and attainable. Plans must include service interaction capability, problem resolution tracks, assurance tracks, resource management, business capacity requirements into technology demand management, automation processes, service performance measurement as well as management and reliability classifications for each new service to be made accessible on the network as well as touch-points.

 

So…

The talk about Telco CEM continues unabated. There is no room for rest. Complex solutions utilizing insight driven Big Data solutions are already becoming evidently advanced in their ability to provide pro-activeness in Network service problem identification and neutralization. But Telco’s must as well look holistically at CE from the customer life-cycle on the Network and as well within the E2E Technology operations in order to fully realize the full value of driving CEM.

The opportunity therefore remains that without fully managing business processes, touchpoint services and IT services as part of the Network CE program, the promise now of delivering real E2E CEM just from one function is flawed.

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