By Mae Kowalke
The customer service challenge for cellular providers is clear.
Numerous research firms have recently published studies estimating that smartphones currently make up half of all mobile phone purchases globally and that number is expected to reach 75 percent by 2013. This is context for what is a vexing industry challenge. It turns out that more than half of all customer service calls to mobile service operators now deal with the difficult technical problems that can come from smartphones, such as mobile internet, and 63 percent of returned phones are not actually faulty.
In fact, a recent Yankee Group study notes that technical difficulties now represent a bigger percentage of call center volume than billing issues. They also represent a huge financial drain on operators. A single support call, for example, can cost a provider roughly a month’s worth of customer profit. This means finding ways to effectively address device configuration and service provisioning is more crucial than ever.
Alcatel-Lucent has just released the latest version of its new Mobile Device Manager (MDM) to address this type of challenge, as part of its Motive Customer Experience Solutions package. MDM provides over-the-air detection, configuration and provisioning of a wide range of mobile devices including Apple and Android operating systems, and it works across 2G, 3G and 4G wireless networks.
David Stevenson, VP and General Manager of Motive Customer Experience Solutions at Alcatel-Lucent noted at the recent MDM introduction that, “With Alcatel-Lucent’s portfolio of Motive customer experience solutions – of which the Mobile Device Manager is a fundamental building block – we can reduce average handle times of service desk calls with at least 10 percent and increase successful software updates with a factor of 10.” He added: “This translates into less operational costs for mobile service providers, and happier and more loyal consumers.”
In addition to MDM, six other components make up the overall Motive Mobile Device Manager solution:
Motive Mobile Device Support Template
- WDS Automatic Device Detection Manager
- WDS Mobile Device Content Subscription
- Motive Self-Service Console
- Motive Service Management Platform, and Motive Customer Service Console
The Motive Mobile Device Support Template performs over-the-air diagnosis and resolution of mobile device service issues by using data from MDM, while the WDS Automatic Device Detection Manager lets mobile service providers detect and identify mobile devices when they appear on the network.
The Motive Customer Service Console is a robust customer care interface for customer service reps, and Motive Self-Service Console is a web-based subscriber-facing tool that lets customers self-diagnose and resolve mobile device issues. This is tied together with the Motive Service Management Platform, which is a service management platform that connects MDM, the self-service console and the customer-service console with the operator’s OSS/BSS framework.
Alcatel-Lucent also offers the WDS Mobile Device Content Subscription, which is a subscription service that “ensures access to up-to-date device configuration settings that have been tested against the Motive MDM server to effectively activate and manage the mobile devices on their network, accurately.
Time is money, particularly in the case of the efficient and effective management of customer interactions by mobile service provider contact center and technical support people. Ensuring that customer conversations are compelling as well as economical requires a combination of things including proper training, skills-based routing and ensuring that the right tools are used to measure those experiences so that data can be turned into knowledge and knowledge into actions that create value. Managing devices is a critical part of this equation which is why a comprehensive approach to device management such as the Motive portfolio is something that is already drawing industry attention.