By Bruce Kelley, NETSCOUT senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer, Service Provider
Delivering superior customer experience is the Holy Grail of nearly all service industries. According to Forbes, companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80 percent, and 84 percent of companies that take steps to improve their customer experience report an increase in revenue. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
For communications service providers (CSPs), the key to success comes down to understanding what is happening in the network, and that’s where these three smart-data-driven tactics come into play. Armed with insights into device behavior and service experience, CSPs can assure the performance of the network and thus deliver on the promise of an excellent end-user experience.
- Identify Quality-of-Service Problems
Data is the key to uncovering how a network is performing. It provides the visibility needed to pinpoint problems and speed repairs. Of course, CSPs have ample machine-based data at their fingertips sourced from servers, telemetry, log files, and flow. While this data may be accessible, it has shortcomings because it has variable fidelity and vendor dependence and is infrastructure-focused.
IP traffic is a far better source: high-fidelity, vendor-agnostic, and service-focused. And by turning that IP traffic into smart data, CSPs will gain the insights necessary for improving customer experience. Smart data—analytics-ready metadata collected and optimized from traffic flows in real time—gives CSPs a real-time, end-to-end view of their network, services, technologies, and subscribers.
Smart data is imbued with user experience, covering all devices, network infrastructure, and applications consumed. Smart data is contextual, timely, relevant, structured, and compact. It provides value to CSPs by helping to identify problems before they impact service, which is fundamental to ensuring the best experience for customers.
- Build Accurate Customer Experience Indicators
To better understand the experience of customers and the services they consume, CSPs would be well served to create a composite customer experience indicator (CEI), leveraging smart data. A CEI measures each end user for key performance indicators related to accessibility, retainability, mobility, and quality of experience. This provides a clear indication of how happy the user is with the service.
CEI scores can also serve as an early warning system. When they fall below desired levels, network operations can then drill down to the details of what caused the degradation. Understanding what causes poor experience for a given service or device is key to improving service and reducing customer churn.
- Increase Customer Care Effectiveness
At the end of the day, being able to reduce the volume of trouble tickets submitted to customer care departments is a good indication of improved subscriber experience. Smart analytics, powered by smart data, can be used to identify which aspects of network performance and handsets/devices are negatively impacting net promoter scores, which reflect the loyalty of customers and the potential for churn.
Smart analytics can be used to visualize the end-user experience by time, type, tariff, location, application, and handset. This allows CSPs to identify correlations between service plans and subscriber behavior, which in turn can empower customer care departments to better serve subscribers.
For CSPs, smart data is the secret to improving customer experience, delivering the insights needed to assure network performance.
Learn more about smart visibility and customer experience.