At the recent IBM Insight at World of Watson 2016 event, I was discussing customer experience management with a senior-level telecommunications executive about how it is often compared to finding a needle in a haystack. He shared that it’s actually much more challenging than finding a needle in a haystack because you can use a magnet to easily find the needle in the haystack. But what about finding and tracking a specific needle in a mountain of needles? According to this executive, that metaphor describes what measuring an individual subscriber experience looks like.
I asked him about managing corporate accounts in the telecommunications industry, and he had an even stronger metaphor: “Corporate account management is an even tougher problem; you are tracking handfuls of needles in a mountain of needles.” In other words, it’s like sorting through billions of records for landline and mobile voice calls and smartphone, tablet and office broadband data usage to find hundreds of thousands of records created by few hundred-thousand corporate employees every day.
Using measurement to tell the story
Why is it necessary to measure performance for each subscriber every minute of the day? Isn’t aggregate reporting adequate to meet the needs of a corporate account? Aggregate reporting that provides performance for a specific office location was adequate in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, telecommunications organizations provided two types of services: landline for voice calls primarily, and Internet, VPN or both types of connections for email and web browsing secondarily. Landline connections constituted a large portion of the bill; aggregate reports with billing and usage for the location and individual extensions were sufficient.
With the advent of the consumer Internet in the late 1990s, widespread adoption of mobile phones in the 2000s and the evolution of 2G to 3G to 4G LTE networks, the complexity of services delivered to corporations increased. Then the uptick in smartphone usage in 2007, spearheaded by the Apple iPhone and supported by Android EchoSystem smartphones, made subscriber experience measurement even more complex, with thousands of apps delivering new capabilities to corporate subscribers on the go.
In this climate, corporate account executives wanted to measure the experience for their employees. They wanted to do so using a specific service such as mobile broadband for a particular location or geography such as the San Francisco Bay Area, and even down to a particular app such as Skype or WhatsApp. The corporate account clients wanted to know if the experience for their employees was improving during a given time period. This entire approach requires measuring the individual corporate subscriber experience, comparing it over time and presenting it in an easy-to-consume format.
Improving customer experience for corporate accounts
A large telecommunications operator in the Americas, for example, wanted to improve its customer experience management for corporate accounts to enhance retention and grow profitability. The organization had excellent tools for measuring and improving the network performance. It was looking for a solution that ties the network performance with the individual corporate subscriber experience. It implemented the IBM Customer and Network Analytics industry solution, which is being used by all parts of the organization.
Corporate customer care is using the solution to deliver proactive care to VIP subscribers in corporate accounts and reduce call-handling times and volumes for second- and third-line customer service agents. The next area of savings is with Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). This telecommunications organization realized that a lot of MVNOs were churning off its network[whose network, the telecommunications org’s or the MVNOs’ networks?] because of the poor quality of service. The IBM Customer and Network Analytics solution can measure and improve key metrics for these operators to help improve dropped call rates and reduce churn for these accounts.
Enhanced understanding of individual subscriber behavior and experience enables marketing to tune retention and cross-sell and up-sell offers to grow revenue. And revenue assurance has benefited from the solution as well; the organization realized that several clients were using services that were not part of their contracts. The telecommunication firm negotiated with these clients to add the missing services to the contract, which helped increase revenue for the organization.
Improve your customer experience management