Consumers demand an experience that is based on knowledge of past behavior, acquired experience, and pre-service expectations garnered from marketing activities. Complying with technical service quality measures alone is not enough tretain a customer. As services evolve, sdthe way customers perceive and utilize them.
Service providers and cooperating providers must possess Service Quality Monitoring (SQM) capabilities which enable them ttrack customers' experiences, predict usage trends, and proactively adapt and optimize their products in order tbuild improved levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Industry research demonstrates that over time, the customers' experiences translate toverall satisfaction and brand loyalty. This is the result of total expectations, gained experience and interpretation of various aspects of the service offering, from its activation, through the delivery, tthe billing agreements. CSPs should engage in an ongoing Service Quality Monitoring process tensure the highest level of experience along the entire service delivery chain.
The following must be taken intaccount by service providers tachieve an effective customer experience SQM framework:
- Identification of key quality metrics, spanning across the complete service delivery chain, from content provider through broadband provider, tthe home network.
- Quantifying service quality and readiness metrics, complementary usage information, billing information, problem resolution efficiency and customer support effectiveness.
- Assuring service from the customers' perspective, highlighting the specific customers whare impacted and by how much (both absolutely and relatively).
- Adaptation tchanges, both in terms of customers' needs and behavior, by defining flexible monitoring procedures which continuously evaluate usage and trends.
- Defining reasonable service level objectives tmanage customers' expectations and help them realize the complexities involved.
The effectiveness and richness of a SQM solution is directly dependent on the variety and the quality of data that is available to it. To accomplish this, the SQM solution should define the appropriate APIs to Resource Management, Service Management, Partner Management and Customer Management applications, from which the SQM metrics can be deduced.
Operations Efficiency Monitoring
In a technically challenging environment, service providers are accustomed to focus on network measurements and service quality levels rather than on operational efficiency and its affect on repair times and service restoration. However, recent business transformations sparked service providers to divert their focus; operating expenses are increasing and have become a major concern, but at the same time, operations and support centers are identified as having a growing impact on overall customer satisfaction and retention ratios. Along with technological indications, service factors such as responsiveness, reliability and accountability are becoming essential indicators in the overall service level assessment.
Efficiency levels of service providers' operational environments depend on the effectiveness of procedures, leverage of staff experience and the implementation of industry standards. Nevertheless, even a highly skilled staff will not be able optimize efficiency levels without the appropriate automated, analytical tools in place.
The operations efficiency monitoring solution provides an insight into the effectiveness of operational activities and processes including:
- Monitoring operational aspects of product offerings and services (such as level of service disruption, responsiveness and resolution procedures).
- Linking service level objectives from customer management systems, service disruption and outage analysis in operations systems.
- Instituting and enforcing operations efficiency benchmarks.
- Consolidating trouble ticketing systems and distributing information throughout the organizations' departments which are involved in fault resolution cycles.
- DProviding operational automation tools and knowledge preserving capabilities to support service portfolios and customer-base growth with a permanent operational staff.
The financial and operational circumstances that Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have been driven to over the past few years have made OSS transformation an inevitable process: On one hand the financial atmosphere obligates operators to reduce expenses and strive for efficiency, while simultaneously, the burst in technology and service proliferation have left operational teams with tens, sometimes even hundreds, of management systems in a nearly unfeasible position to achieve efficiency.
In many cases, as part of a wider business transformation, CSPs consider OSS transformation not only as an approach for achieving operational objectives, but also as a catalyst to gain advantages on their competition from the aspects of customer satisfaction and retention.
OSS transformation presents significant opportunities for CSPs. However, the complexity and investments involved in such projects obliges CSPs to consider the following challenges:
- Business Transformation Shell - OSS transformation should be aligned with wider business transformation activities and the process results should be evaluated with respect to impact on the business side.
- Risk Reduction CSPs should build a coherent OSS transformation plan to be able to keep the process on budget, remain on schedule and show ROI from the outset, and in each phase.
- Proactive Approach CSPs should build a coherent OSS transformation plan to be able to keep the process on budget, remain on schedule and show ROI from the outset, and in each phase.
- Customer-focused Solutionconsider transformation not only as a method for achieving operational and business objectives, but also as a catalyst to gain advantages on the competition from the aspects of customer satisfaction and a long-term relationship with customers
- Future-proof Investment The transformed OSS must be future-proof to meet the fast-changing markets and future service demands.