There is a disparity between the quality of some rural and urban broadband customer service, a dangerous path for operators to take as new competitors in fixed wireless and alternate technologies target this market.
But focusing on customer experience before new offerings arrive can help service providers fend off competitors when competitors come and offer lower prices, according to one CX executive.
"There are inequalities in the quality of service between the rural areas and big cities. There is a difference in infrastructure (which is more developed in urban areas), leading to quicker broadband and network services in urban areas, and a rather poor network quality in rural areas," Mauro Zullo, director of Business Development at Bulb Technologies told Broadband World News.
Rural customers are subject to more latency and more frequent line-drops, he said. Since these network interruptions impact the entire customer experience, there is a decline in the quality of the network infrastructure and the overall quality of service delivered to customers in rural areas, he added.
Regardless of subscribers' location, three technologies are critical to enhancing CSPs' quality of service, said Zullo. The combination of automation, data analytics and artificial intelligence allow providers to improve customer experience, retention and upselling opportunities.
"The complexity of today's telco's legacy systems often delays answers to solving network issues. And a lack of trained agents at the first line of call means telcos are often led to send engineers on site (which is very costly when going to remote areas) as visibility on the network is limited, when most of the issues could be solved remotely," he said.
"Using an automated platform that can sit on top of existing infrastructure elements, collect information from the network and provide automated processing of diagnostics and troubleshooting will greatly reduce the amount of calls that are coming in and the amount of technician they will solve a problem, in most cases, before it gets to the customer care agents," Zullo added.
CSPs can use AI for upselling, product recommendations, price adjustments, competitive pricing strategies and more, he said. These tools also are helpful for personalization-mapping, said Zullo.
"This enables customer care teams to be notified to troubleshoot network and service issues before customers have even noticed there was an issue. Moreover, tailored, contextual upsell campaigns and promotions can be developed for automated delivery through any channel," he said. "The more a CSP knows its customers and reacts proactively to their problems and needs, the more customers will love and trust their CSP."
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.
After NTIA asked for public comments on map improvements in October 2018, the FCC decommissioned the agency's broadband map in early December but did not say whether it will use any of the public's great ideas on its own (largely panned) map.
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.
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!