Telecoms are making the residential customer experience more convenient with self-installation and self-care troubleshooting tools. As carriers make this shift, they are asking critical questions about how self-serve compares to workflows for Care teams, how to differentiate their customer experience and whether their existing data is actionable for new, self-serve scenarios.
ProdAdvisor’s Jeff Thompson has tackled riddles like this before.
Having led projects ranging from early VOIP solutions to industry-pioneering software to automate customer service task distribution and management, Jeff has a unique perspective on requirements for customer self-serve.
“The number one key is, is convenience,” explains Thompson.
“You're asking a customer to put some effort towards an outcome, whether it's installation or troubleshooting a resolution. So, the goal is to make it as convenient as possible. And that's super easy to do today with all the technology we have, with the various channels, and with the automation capabilities to predict a next best action.”
The goal for self-serve is not just to find efficiencies.The objective is to make it as friction-less and as convenient as possible. To accomplish this, operators need to create outcomes and experiences worth talking about. That means reducing subscriber frustration, increasing Net Promoter Score (NPS) and boosting customer satisfaction.
Subscriber troubleshooting requirements are unique
In a typical troubleshooting scenario, the subscriber knows the TV isn’t working or suspects Wi-Fi speed is slow.
Product marketing teams recognize this level of dialogue is a dramatically different starting point for problem resolution workflows.
Mariner’s Head of Customer Development, Alfred Whiffen explains, “There might be 10 checkpoints that an agent would go through before taking the first step to resolve an issue. The customer simply sees one thing, ‘my TV is not working.’
In a self-serve workflow, the first requirement is software that drills down automatically with basic root cause analysis and to then interpret those results, making it easy for a customer to get started. At that point, the subscriber can resolve at least some of the issues on their own.
At any point, if the customer is unable or unwilling to complete the troubleshooting session, insights need to flow into other systems to ensure a seamless experience.
The data and actionable insights are there – but are you acting on them?
For the most part, carriers already have access to the real-time data which can accurately point to what the problem might be.
“It's one thing to have the data, it's another thing to act on it. This is true whether it's a next best action to the subscriber in his or her home, or to the agent in the Help Desk,” explains Thompson.
“Turning that into a customer experience that's appropriate for a consumer is such an important element of this. We tend to think of it in terms of data insights but it's the application of those insights in a way that matter to consumers that I think is the real key here to help service providers move forward.”
Consumers want the glory not the gory
In an ideal consumer experience, it’s important to recognize while a subscriber wants the solution they don't necessarily want to get into gory detail.
Communication Service Providers can look to other industries in this regard. Banking and insurance are analogous in that the backend of networks and systems are wildly complex; none of which is apparent in a customer’s interaction.
“The important thing is that when I need help, it's seamless to reach out and ask for help or have somebody that can help me be proactive and join my journey in real time with all the context that they need to join me where I am versus me having to repeat my explanation,” continues Jeff.
As the Tactical Teams discussion comes to a close, Whiffen leaves the panel with a statement about customer readiness, “The end consumer, residential subscribers, are more ready than we give them credit for and this is the driver for a self-serve customer experience.”