Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) through it Motive unit and Heavy Reading recently conducted a survey of 75 communications service providers (CSPs) about how they approach customer experience management (CEM).
The survey quantified and ranked the elements service providers deem most important in the area of CEM and provided detailed insights into the drivers and barriers they perceive, as well as the solutions they require and the strategies they have in mind to excel in CEM, according to a statement from Alcatel-Lucent.
The biggest finding from the study was that nearly two-thirds of survey respondents plan to increase CEM expenditure next year, a vote of confidence for CEM.
For many of the CSPs, CEM is an opportunity to differentiate and attract new business, the survey, Transforming the brand through improved customer experience: Service provider strategies, found that nearly three quarters of respondents said CEM is a way to attract new business, two-thirds cited CEM as a way to improve brand image, and six in 10 said they saw it as a key differentiator.
“Service providers are looking at customer experience management to differentiate in an increasingly crowded and competitive market,” noted Caroline Chappell, senior analyst at Heavy Reading .”They are all approaching CEM from different starting points, however, and typically find it difficult to implement it in a holistic, differentiated way.”
CEM was defined widely by survey participants in terms of “standard” elements of service delivery, the survey results noted. These include timely problem resolution, accurate order filling and a superior billing experience, among others. Other activities such as network quality were seen as less important.
Since CEM mattered to most of the CSPs surveyed, it was little surprise that CEM metrics are important.
“One thing that jumped out to me is how serious service providers are about understanding the experiences that their customers have with various products and services so that any problems can be corrected and customer loyalty can be improved,” said Greg Owens, senior marketing director, Customer Experience Solutions (CXS) at Alcatel-Lucent.
The importance of CEM metrics can be gauged by how often CSPs measure them. Many surveyed indicated that they measure CEM at least once a day, often several times a day. The most frequently measured metrics include service availability data and service usage data.
At least two-thirds of respondents rated each of ten different metrics as important, according to the survey. “Customer satisfaction metrics rated highest, with the majority of all respondents labeling these metrics as critical. Network and service availability data metrics were next on the list. More than eight in 10 respondents rated them as important, with more than four in 10 rating them as critical.”
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Edited by Peter Bernstein