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Nov 13 2019

Ask these 8 questions before investing in a 5G-ready customer service solution

A customer just called your customer service center. You watch as the agent follows the steps to fix the issue and mollify the customer.  Still, you know the call cost about 8 Euros, meaning that customer’s monthly subscription will generate no profit.  If the customer received a bill credit, must call a second time or the problem required an equipment swap or truck roll, your future month’s profits will also disappear.  If the customer is satisfied enough, perhaps they won’t churn.  Acquiring a new customer to replace that lost revenue will cost 300 Euros or more.  The cost of poor service and agent filled call centers can quickly eat away at your company’s bottom line. 

Introducing a new technology, like 5G, promises a plethora of new services. These range from enhanced mobile broadband for an ever-growing number of connected devices, to gaming and virtual reality entertainment, to connected vehicles.  New technology and new services will no doubt increase the likelihood of service issues in the near term and put pressure on you to improve customer service performance to enhance profitability.  Adding to the urgency, Price Waterhouse Cooper states in their “Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right” report that globally, “32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience.”  This number approaches 50% after several bad experiences. 

Investing in your customer service solution may seem counter to boosting profitability, at least in the near term.  However, the opposite is true: investing in customer service can have immediate benefit in reduced costs and customer churn. OPEX savings flow to the bottom line or can be used to accelerate new revenue generating 5G services.  The resulting improved customer perception and competitive differentiation boosts brand and uptake of these new services.  

Start by moving away from customer service agents being the first point of contact toward zero-touch predictive-care and self-care.  Customers prefer do-it-yourself options, and this goes for customer service as well.  Navigating through phone menus and waiting in queues is a major customer pain point. 

Customer, device and network analytics that feed a machine-learning-based troubleshooting engine are required to predict and resolve problems before the customer experiences them and to guide the customer to the next best self-care step, even to the point of taking actions on behalf of the customer when possible. This eliminates many calls to customer service, with the resulting per-call savings, while boosting customer satisfaction and lowering the risk of churn. 

Ask these 8 questions

Middle East Service provider Optimizes Customer Case Across Channels

By Automating customer care operations into a single framework with one workflow engine operating across all technologies and services, this operator was able to deflect calls to self-care through different channels (web/mobile app, IVR, IPTV, OTT apps) via a self-service application. Field service diagnostics and resolution capabilities were similarly combined into this same framework. The outcome was:

  • 50% improvement in the first call resolution for fixed customers and 60% for mobile customers
  • 25% reduction in inbound calls due to self-service channels: IVR, IPT, and app
  • $20M in operating costs saved annually for both Level2 support and truck rolls
  • Reduced churn rate through better customer service
Ask these 8 questions

Proactive care even addresses the silent switchers - customers who do not complain but simply churn to a competitor. Customer service agents and field technicians can benefit from the same intelligence, shortening their time to resolution and boosting their accuracy.   

Just imagine if proactive resolution and guided self-care reduced your inbound customer service calls by just 25%, eliminating the associated cost per call and unnecessary truck rolls.   

8 questions you should ask solution providers before taking the next step 

Before selecting a solution provider to help you evolve your customer service to zero-touch predictive-care and self-care, ask these questions to help you choose the best partner. 

  1. Are robust analytics available that span the customer, device and network?
  2. Does the troubleshooting engine support all customer engagement channels, allowing customers to switch channels without needing to start over? In addition to the call center, self-care channels must include chat bots, web, app, and social media.
  3. How is machine-learning incorporated into both analytics and troubleshooting and how effective has it proven to be in predicting problems, recommending correct resolution steps and improving over time?
  4. Can the solution trigger automatic actions toward the customer, device and network to reduce manual steps and eliminate errors?
  5. Is there a library of out of the box use cases for the most common call drivers?
  6. Can new customer care use cases be developed and deployed rapidly, with zero downtime?
  7. Are there device management capabilities that support the entire device life cycle, including automated onboarding, diagnostics and remote update?
  8. What support is provided for new 5G and IoT services?

A solution provider with solid answers to these questions can put you well on your way to delivering extraordinary customer service while reducing OPEX. You will have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line and enable investment in future 5G services.  

Stay tuned for a companion blog that explores how innovation and new business models also boost customer experience and profitability from the top line revenue perspective. 

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G #AI

About Rich Crowe

Rich Crowe is a marketing leader with a passion for helping service providers use analytics and AI to transform their customer relationships, create new revenue opportunities and ensure the service experience is delightful. That passion includes caring for the growing numbers of IoT connected things and always seeking to make technology relevant to customers.

Tweet me @rhcrowe or click here to learn how Nokia can help you create brilliant digital experiences.