By Mae Kowalke
Without customers, there would be no business.
Service providers know this implicitly, of course. But as the market gets even more competitive, the stakes are increasing to make sure every customer interaction results in a better customer experience.
Inspiring loyalty, generating opportunities and attracting new customers – they are all goals of services providers. But it can still be a challenge to satisfy every customer every time. Why?
“Complex services and devices are largely to blame,” noted Alcatel-Lucent in a recent white paper, Customer Experience Transformation: Customer Success Stories. “Technical support agents and customers share the frustration of high average handle times (AHT), low first-call resolution (FCR) rates and frequent escalations. This frustration creates serious business challenges for service providers, including customer dissatisfaction, increased churn, higher acquisition and support costs, and, ultimately, lower overall profits.”
The key to transforming customer experiences? Make things easy. Easy can be complex on the back end, but Alcatel-Lucent said that it is achievable by focusing on three things:1. Keep customers happy
Support should address each customer’s unique needs, and the right answers should be given the first time a customer calls. Quality of Experience (QoE) should be consistent across all support channels.2. Get more value from technical support
Agents need to be armed with relevant, real-time intelligence. It also helps to eliminate manual steps using automation, and creating proactive support to resolve issues before they become visible to customers.
3. Streamline support operations
Converged agent consoles are key to reducing complexity and ensuring that targeted solutions are delivered every time.
Luckily, each of these three things can be achieved by extracting full value from information already available. Service providers already have customers, devices and networks available, each of which is a unique asset and a building block to enable application revenue and manage customer experiences.
For example, Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive product division – which provides customer experience management software solutions – helped a leading North American converged service provider develop a unified service management and customer care support solution for its newly-launched high speed internet offerings.
“During an 18-month period, the number of call escalations between Tier 1 and Tier 2 agents was reduced by 45 percent and more than 600,000 calls were avoided, leading to a 30 percent decrease in customer contact rates,” Alcatel-Lucent explained in a case study about the success.In another case, Alcatel-Lucent’s IP division provided Telecom New Zealand with a solution for cost-effectively monitoring and troubleshooting customer experience issues related to rapid mobile data traffic growth.
TNZ and Alcatel-Lucent partnered to gain knowledge about the performance of networks, applications and devices serving 2.1 million subscribers. Alcatel-Lucent’s 9900 Wireless Network Guardian devices are helping to diagnose issues and provide accurate information about traffic patterns.
“With the 9900 WNG, TNZ can deliver a better customer experience across its mobile network,” Alcatel-Lucent said.
Meanwhile, in Spain, Alcatel-Lucent’s Genesys division helped Telefónica Spain overcome challenges associated with subscriber growth, increased workload for back-office tasks, and soaring agent activity.
“Telefónica Spain now handles its calls using a wide variety of routing strategies and offers a completely personalized customer experience,” Alcatel-Lucent reported. “The Genesys solution has created several important benefits, including a 20 percent increase in agent productivity, reduced operating costs, and a rapid return on investment (estimated by Telefónica to be less than six months).”
Elsewhere, Alcatel-Lucent’s Services Group acted as a systems integrator for Mobile TeleSystems in Russia, helping that provider upgrade its customer care facilities.
“The contact center now processes up to four million calls per month. The new solution has helped MTS reduce the total cost of contact center ownership by approximately 30 percent,” Alcatel-Lucent noted. “It has also helped MTS increase agent productivity by 72 percent, reduce the abandoned call rate by 19 percent, and boost first call resolution to 90 percent.”
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