Why Customer Experience Matters

Last week, Empirix announced the deployment of its Customer Experience solution with UK-based Telefonica O2. The solution’s implementation is evidence of an evolution occurring within the Service Assurance segment: Service providers such as O2 require solutions capable of providing greater levels of visibility into network traffic data, as well as the services and vendor devices deployed in an environment. But the real requirement now is the ability to provide specific insight into the customer base, enabling providers to understand gaps in service and quickly identify concentrated problem areas. Equipped with this knowledge, O2 is empowered to rapidly enhance service capabilities, improve customer experiences, and mitigate the risk of customer churn.

O2, like many of the world’s leading service providers, is changing how it views and manages its customers. Service providers are expanding beyond legacy voice and SMS offerings to take advantage of the explosion of smart phones, tablets, and IoT (Internet of Things or Machine to Machine (M2M)) devices that leverage mobile broadband and data. Their customers now require access to a multitude of services each day, including email, web browsing, video communications, third-party applications, and of course, a plethora of social media applications. What is also changing is how customers see their provider: In an always-on world, it is expected that all of these services will work all the time, regardless of location.

This changes the game for service providers, shifting focus to the customer experience across a variety of services to ensure a consistent quality experience or risk losing that customer. With each new service or application deployed, service providers must collect data from the underlying network traffic, aggregate it, and correlate it to understand the quality of service (QoS) all the way down to the individual customer level. Today’s service assurance solutions must evolve to meet that need.

The Empirix Customer Experience solution’s [1] ability to collect customer experience information for O2’s entire customer base provides additional benefits, including more efficient customer support and faster problem resolution. Consider that, typically, the vast majority of customer issues have to be resolved by Tier 2 or Tier 3 network engineering and operations teams: As the volume of issues increases due to the surge of available data services and growing numbers of actual users, this type of service model becomes unsustainable. Deploying the Empirix Customer Experience solution within its customer care/technical support environment allows Tier 1 O2 staff to troubleshoot basic customer problems. The result is dramatically fewer customer issues being escalated to more expensive Tier 2 and Tier 3 resources. Commonly known as “shifting left” within the service provider space, this practice increases customer satisfaction by resolving problems faster and reduces operating expenses.

In an always-on world, network outages are unacceptable; when they do occur, it is critical to get service restored as quickly as possible. Leveraging customer experience solutions, service providers can also benefit from overall reduction in mean time to repair (MTTR). Reducing MTTR not only minimizes operational expenses involved in resolving customer affecting problems, but also decreases potential revenue losses as part of any service outage. All of these positive outcomes contribute significantly to O2’s bottom line while, more significantly, enhancing the service delivered and, in turn, the customer experience.

[1] Based on the Empirix IntelliSight platform

Written by Graham Kunz – Graham on Twitter | Posts by Graham
Graham is Empirix’s European Service Assurance Expert and he’s worked in the tech industry for nearly twenty years. More than 14 years of that time has been in Service Assurance, working with wireless customers and internal teams to understand and capture product requirements, as well as develop and introduce products. His global outlook, wireless technology knowledge and technical know-how provide him with an excellent perspective on the current and future direction of mobility and the wireless industry.

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