Customer Experience – Customer Experience

The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.”
John Russell
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You must be wondering whether the heading above is a typo? It’s not. Let me explain.

This is the fifth post in my Customer Experience series. The previous four have been built around the perspectives of the OSS vendor’s customer (ie the CSP or enterprise clients). This post takes the perspective of the customer’s customer (ie the CSP‘s subscribers or the enterprise’s customers), a perspective that’s rarely considered by OSS vendors (in my experience at least).

The experience of the customer’s customer could be summarised as “out of sight, out of mind” by OSS vendors.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
There are four scenarios that I’d like to highlight with regards to the customer’s customer:

  1. Service activation – Once a customer places and order, they want it activated quickly, on the agreed time/date and without inconvenience
  2. Service reliability – Once the service is activated, the customer wants to be able to rely on it 100% of the time
  3. Dialogue  – between customer and customer’s customer as it relates to service outages, degradations, billing issues, service changes, customer portals, etc

There is also a fourth one, which is relatively new (at least in terms of being widely required). It relates to 4. service analytics. With so many organisations now having a major reliance on on-line revenue streams, telecommunications services are now a pivotal part of their supply chain. Being a vital part of their supply chain means that they want to monitor, manage and derive insight from this part of the supply chain. The OSS potentially has the ability to provide this information to customer’s customers, but tends to do so in a relatively unsophisticated way, if at all……yet.

WORKING BACK

  1. Service activation – Not only does the customer’s customer want faster activation times, but it significantly benefits the customer too (ie faster time to revenue, improved efficiency of resources, etc). OSS are often great at tracking activation times, providing valuable feedback, but the next iteration is to provide insights into how activation processes and resource utilisation can be streamlined to actually improve activation times
  2. Service reliability – As far as the customer’s customer is concerned, OSS provide benefits that are invisible, yet have definitely benefited the customer’s customer experience. The OSS are invisible because they have provided CSPs with pre-outage alerts and then coordinated outage response to improve reliability for customer’s customers. The next OSS evolution is predictive analytics on network health data to improve service reliability further for customer’s customers.
  3. Dialogue – Interestingly, CSPs often equate quality with service reliability. Unfortunately this is not always true, as described in this earlier post about defective quality analysis. For the customers, quality is just as likely to be equated to the external parts of the solution, the parts that they interact with, of which dialogue is a key component. OSS vendors and CSPs alike, often don’t monitor and refine their end-to-end customer dialogue processes. These E2E processes are likely to involve coordination across contact centres, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), OSS and others, providing easily consumed, high-quality information for the contact centre operators who are engaging in dialogue with the end customers. This backtracking model discussed in an earlier post might provide some additional food for thought for improving dialogue through the use of OSS
  4. Service analytics – Being relatively new, there is little in the way of existing customer experience to compare with when working back, so the aim here is to identify ideas that may add value to the customer’s customer and improve their overall experience. This earlier post provides 20 analytics ideas that might benefit the customer and/or the customer’s customers. I’m sure you can generate many more
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