Service providers' exhaustive and ongoing investments in analytics, automation and virtualization to improve customer experience cannot happen fast enough.
All told, US companies across industries lose $75 billion annually due to poor customer experience, according to recent research from NewVoiceMedia. That's up $13 billion from 2016, the cloud contact center and inside sales vendor reported.
The news is made even worse when you consider that experts in this field, such as Walker Info, predict in 2020 customer experience will be more important to consumers than price and product as the primary differentiator.
When it comes to broadband, the industry has a ways to go. Having invested in fiber, that infrastructure now allows new breeds of competitors into homes and businesses without the overhead to address. The impact on customer service without the worries of fiber rollouts, Gfast deployments or other infrastructure strains are apparent.
Whereas streaming media companies received a "good" score (along with retailers, banks and parcel delivery services, among others) in the March 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, TV/Internet service providers received "poor" average ratings (just below health plans).
The ability to more easily switch broadband providers fuels consumers' desire to leave a business due to inadequate or poor customer service -- a number that's increased 37% since NVM's 2016 study.
But subscribers who feel connected to a provider via good service are more likely to stay and recommend the company, the new report said. In fact, the ability to contact a company through any channel was the top driver of feeling emotionally connected to a brand, cited by 43% of those surveyed by NVM.
That should be good news for operators like Spectrum Enterprise, which is investing in new tools and training to enhance customer experience, Phil Meeks, executive vice president and president of Spectrum Enterprise told Broadband World News last week. For example, Spectrum Enterprise is ensuring it follows up every time a customer contacts the operator to ensure nothing gets lost, he said, and to make certain any issues are resolved without the subscriber having to make more calls, emails or posts.
"The best path forward for us is through enhanced and differentiated client experiences," Meeks said. "We have invested millions of dollars into the analytics and the survey work. We're also, from a development perspective, continuing to invest in portals, continuing to invest in training of our employees, to ensure that every action we take and every piece of data we have... achieves the objective of continuing to elevate the client experience. It's critically important for us."
Five other industries had average scores in the "good" range
as well: retailers, banks, parcel delivery services, streaming media companies, and hotels & rooms. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, both TV/Internet service providers and
health plans received "poor" average ratings.
The industry organization's major initiatives will address broadband differentiation based on quality of experience, global test labs for services, 5G, multi-access strategies and more, say CEO Robin Mersh and CMO Geoff Burke in an interview with BBWN.
Mike Zeto, GM of AT&T's Smart Cities division, expects metro areas to adopt platforms to manage multi-departmental IoT solutions once internal processes are aligned and more agencies are involved in smart city applications.
Fiber optic cable vendor Prysmian Group is now shipping its FlexRibbon Technology-based, US-sourced and made 6912 fiber MassLink Cable to service providers seeking densification for 5G or solutions for filled ducts.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!