Intelligent conversations… that remember customers

In yesterday’s post, we spoke about using OSS to augment intelligent conversations that service providers have with their customers. Today we flip that coin and take the perspective of the customer and how those more intelligent conversations help them.

Having spent years working on international OSS projects, I’ve stayed in many different hotels. The ones that I felt most connected to were the ones where the staff went to great lengths to know me and make me feel like a valued customer. Conversely, the majority of hotels never gave the sense of establishing a personal connection.

Of course communications services tend to be a bit different. We tend to just want to find a product and use it without hassles (some may perceive hotel stays similarly). Apart from the buy and use experiences, most other interactions with service providers tend to be unwanted by customers. That is, when their service doesn’t meet expectations (eg billing errors, faults, etc). As customers, we don’t really want a personal connection with our service providers [at least not with their current business models, but perhaps herein lies an opportunity!].

Despite this, as customers we still expect our service providers to have an intimate knowledge of us and our situation. We expect the service provider to have a view of all previous interactions with us, current status of our services, a view of all our services / bundles, a view of all our bills, an awareness of any planned maintenance and/or outages occurring on the network that might be impacting us, better offers, etc, etc.

If a service provider’s constellation of systems doesn’t “remember” all interactions a customer has had with the service provider, then the customer is going to walk away feeling unvalued (like many of the hotels I’ve stayed at). Or perhaps even walk away completely (the dreaded “churn” word).

For us as systems engineers, the “remembering” part actually means the aggregatation of data to be presented via intelligent augmented conversations from the front-line staff.

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