Many mergers ago, at a company long absorbed and broken apart, a VP of Operations, when I asked how they were going to monitor the status of a new broadband technology, told me: “We already have 300,000 alarm points in our network – they’re called customers!”
This response shook me. In one short, clear statement, that VP told me volumes about how the company viewed their customers. Years later, no matter what slick marketing ad that company put out, the image that was in my head was that of their customers being used as coal-mine canaries.
Read more on the importance of measuring customer experience in our blog post Customer Experience: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Is it any surprise that the latest iteration of this company is still is at the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys? The sad fact is that, for a very long time, this was the only approach that made sense. Anyone who has ever worked a broadband customer support desk knows this. Once or twice a day, you know you will get a subscriber call complaining about “slow” internet – even though all the standard QoS measurements are showing green.
As you test, the customer gets louder and angrier. You believe him/her, but they cannot describe what is happening in useful terms. Finally, you schedule a truck-roll to convince the customer you are ‘doing something’…, or maybe you say, “Sorry, but it’s not our problem. It must be an issue elsewhere on the Internet…”
Seeing What Your Customers Experience
How many times have you wished you could dive through the phone line and see what the customer is talking about? Over the last year or so, that’s what we and some service providers did with our QX project.
QX works by placing at strategic points around a network a probe that looks and acts like a regular subscriber. All testing and reporting are completed by OTT, with no direct links to the network management system. Since it’s OTT, the probe is access technology agnostic. It works on any network or any portion of a network, regardless it is HFC, DSL, xPON, Wi-Fi, Satellite, or Fixed Wireless.
The tests it runs are systemized standard actions taken by actual subscribers: DNS queries, web page download, speed tests, video streaming, etc. This provides meaningful results that can be compared across the network, regardless of the local access technology.
What does QX look like?
Would you like to see what the current average Ookla speed-test for a particular area is? And compare it to previous times and other areas?
Imagine being able to see how well your network is handling YouTube 4K streaming, or the amount of time it’s taking to load a Facebook page?
Or maybe see all the relevant stats on YouTube 4K delivery in one chart?
And best of all, how about knowing that your subscriber’s experience is affected before they call?
With this kind of information, Network Ops can spot problems that QoS metrics cannot measure. Systemic issues are quickly identified and remedied. Less time is wasted trying to find something that matches up with the customer’s complaint.
For the first time, a Support Rep can see how the network is treating subscribers…before the subscriber calls. Or better yet, NetOps has the ability to fix the problem before the customer notices!
A fantastic Customer Service QoE not only helps you to maintain current customers but it also helps you win new clients. Read our recommendations for Customer Service QoE success!