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Truly Managing the

Customer Experience November 2012


Sheryl Kingstone, Director, skingstone@yankeegroup.com
Table of Contents
Measuring Network Service
Highlights Isnt Enough 1

Consistent mobile access is critical to consumers, creating demand for higher Going Beyond the Basics 2
service quality and improved user experiences. Sixty-nine percent of respondents
to Yankee Groups consumer survey want to be connected at all times, and nearly the Requirements for Transforming
same number say their mobile devices are highly important to both their social and the Experience 4
work lives.
Delivering the Framework
Customer experience management (CEM) tools are a valuable service, but only if for Success 5
they measure the end-user experience. Communications service providers (CSPs)
must learn from customer expectations, as well as track, monitor and respond to any Conclusions and Recommendations 9
change. The challenge is to apply this knowledge across the company to enhance the
user experience while still retaining profitability for the operator.

Service quality management (SQM) is the proper way to transition to CEM. The
key is to move from a per-service-only measurement to a per-service, per-user
(PSPU) measurement. Some vendors are currently only measuring quality of service
(QoS), which fails to take into account the emotional factors impacting the end-user
experience. The goal is to move from just an engineering point of view (good, bad,
fair) to a more personalized approach (satisfied, unsatisfied).

Net Promoter Score (NPS), social monitoring and big data initiatives arent enough.
While the critical success factor of the customer experience is the extent to which
the customers needs are satisfied, indicators such as Net Promoter Score, likelihood
to churn and other loyalty indicators can be a great start. However, its critically
important to relate these results to key network events.

Measuring Network Service Isnt Enough


For CSPs, providing the right customer experience is the key to boosting operational
efficiencies, building customer loyalty and growing wallet share. The goal is to conquer
new markets and generate new revenue streams while delivering the right customer
experience that keeps customers happy and the business profitable. And while SQM
has been accepted for the past decade with positive results in measuring and managing
the quality of network service, todays end-users are more sophisticated. They expect
not only higher service quality, but also a differentiated, consistent and transparent
end-to-end customer experience.

This custom publication has been sponsored by Huawei.


Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

As Exhibit 1 shows, CSPs must now move from measuring the Current Operator Strategies Are Not Meeting Demand
quality of individual services to measuring the complete end-
user experience. The successful operator will be the one that CSPs in both mature and emerging markets face competition
can capitalize on this trend and focus on total CEM. from aggressive entrants that have changed the foundation
of the industry. Historically, the communications industry
thought of CEM as simply the technology systems used to
Exhibit 1: Measuring Per Service Per User Ensures a Better Customer Experience
Source: Yankee Group, 2012 manage either customer relationships or network quality.
End-to-End
To date, CEM strategies tend to be point solutions for
Per Service and Customer specific customer-facing functions, such as customer service,
Per Service Per User Experience customer analytics, network QoS or campaign management.

Device In the industry today, we hear a consistent CEM drumbeat


Voice as service providers struggle to transform their business
User
SQM Experience CEM and adopt the customer is king mantra. Unfortunately,
Mobile
Broadband their solutions usually suffer from one or more of the
following ailments:

They are too network-centric. A typical occupational


Going Beyond the Basics hazard a service provider network team attempts to
transform, network centricity results when teams view
Consistent mobile access is critical to todays consumers: most of the world through the lens of network and QoS
Sixty-nine percent of respondents to Yankee Groups 2011 measurements. These are too narrow and capture just one
US Consumer Survey, December, want to be connected part of the experience.
all the time, and nearly the same number say their mobile
devices are highly important to both their social and work They are too focused on customer relationship
lives. In a world where product differentiation leads to management (CRM) and customer care. Another function-
short-term success, customer-centricity for the service specific, inside-out view, this attempt to transform
provider market is paramount. tends to rely on internal measures of quality, such as
average hold time and call abandonment rates. In reality,
Managing the customer experience is not just about however, such measures have nothing to do with the
capturing customer information and order requests; it overall experience; they simply measure service provider
requires a total transformation for the industry. CSPs must transaction response efficiency.
evolve from an operational service strategy to a more
customer-focused experience management model. This is They are too service provider-centric. These
the only way they can differentiate themselves from the measurements see only those attributes controlled directly
competition and increase loyalty. by the service provider and do not include third-party
capabilities such as downloads, ring tones, interconnect
handoffs, entertainment content and applications.

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 2
Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

No one of these is necessarily bad or wrong. They are merely incomplete initiatives
that still have room for improvement. Exhibit 2 highlights the potential gaps of
common customer experience initiatives that prevent CSPs from truly creating the ideal
customer experience.

Exhibit 2: Many Customer Experience Initiatives, but No Silver Bullet


Source: Yankee Group, 2012

Customer Experience
Goal Gap
Initiative
Net Promoter Score (NPS) Based on a 1-10 scale, NPS divides Does not necessarily translate to loyalty.
Measurement a companys customers into three It is important to understand that
categories. Promoters (those who recommend intention alone will not
rank the company 9 or 10) are loyal suffice as a single predictor of customers
enthusiasts who keep buying from a future loyalty behaviors. Use of multiple
company and urge their friends to do strategies instead of a single predictor
the same. Passives (7 or 8) are satisfied model performs significantly better in
but unenthusiastic customers who can predicting customer recommendations
be easily wooed by the competition. And and retention.
detractors (1-6) are unhappy customers
trapped in a bad relationship.

Big Data As operators move from siloed, Big data initiatives are extremely valuable,
operationally oriented systems to more yet complex. The increase in data volumes
integrated, analytical and socially aware poses new architectural and informational
ones, they face challenges related to challenges. The technical challenges of
customer data. Big data is characterized managing, accessing and analyzing real-
by increases in data volume, velocity, time data streams mean that IT teams are
variety and variability. To improve often unable to respond quickly enough
customer engagement, companies will to new market dynamics and improve
invest in big data solutions. customer experiences.

Service Quality Management Designed to passively collect data, SQM While there are network monitoring
(SQM) tools can provide information on network tools and technologies used in service
availability so network managers can and network operation centers, many of
understand and measure quality of service. these solutions are managed in their own
The data these probes collect provides silo. Operations staff is overloaded by
information that is vital to operational the amount of data from networks and
performance. This information lets equipment, and they have little ability to
network managers make decisions during understand its impact on the end-to-end
a network crisis or failure, and even take individual subscriber experience. These
action to prevent a problem. This data also initiatives have limited ability to ferret
provides a manager with key information out and understand the root cause or
when it becomes necessary to upgrade or dynamically respond to the problem.
enhance a network.

Customer Relationship Customer management initiatives are CRM initiatives are usually very customer-
Management (CRM) absolutely necessary. They aim to give the care centric, offering a function-specific,
operator an operational 360-degree view inside-out view. This attempt to transform
of the customer for sales, service tends to rely on internal measures of
and marketing. quality, such as average hold time and call
abandonment rates. In reality, however,
such measures have nothing to do with
the overall experience; they simply
measure service provider transaction
response efficiency.

Policy Policy control adds business logic for The fact that policy is not just in the
how service providers can manage their network, but also ties to the B/OSS, means
services, resources and customers. that it falls between different worlds that
Policy is a valuable initiative within are challenging to bridge.
operators for addressing issues such as
fair usage, bandwidth caps, bill shock and
parental controls.

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 3
Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

While industry bodies are in the process of developing the While NPS underscores emotional factors that impact
standards for CEM, quality of experience (QoE) and key customer satisfaction and loyalty, CSPs should incorporate
quality indicators (KQIs), vendors are continuing to create that strategy into a new and innovative indicator that
their own initiatives to provide a way to measure end-to-end correlates the overall acceptability and perception of the
PSPU quality. What is important is to construct a way to find product or service by the end-user. They must generate a
the root cause of a problem and its related impact on end- deeper understanding of subscriber needs through the use
users QoE. of end-to-end insight across a combined rich data set that
enables the operator to respond to changing subscriber
End-to-end CEM must not only build upon these practices, usage patterns and preferences. This new CEM initiative
but also extend the insight to become much more must incorporate customer experience index (CEI) modeling
actionable. CSPs must be able to learn from customer with an aggregated PSPU-oriented analysis to ensure quality
expectations and track, monitor and respond to any management aligns to the operators business goals.
change. The challenge is to apply this knowledge across
the company to enhance the user experience while still By gathering, enriching and using a complete subscriber
retaining profitability for the operator. profile correlated with network information for both real-
time service delivery and operational business insight, CSPs
can achieve their end goal of not only improving customer
Requirements for Transforming the Experience experience, but also engaging in proactive communication
Operators need to transform from network-centric to user- regarding network quality improvements.
centric management practices. A user-centric approach Having a finger on the pulse of end-users perceived QoS
focuses not only on availability, but also on key factors can help operators expedite the process of discovering
such as accessibility, integrity, retainability and ultimately a areas where performance can be improved, and can in turn
customers emotional experience. dramatically impact the business across multiple constituents
Tying the emotional experience of the user with QoS is a (see Exhibit 3).
fundamental piece of CEM. The critical factor for a successful
Exhibit 3: Benefits of Understanding End-to-End Customer Experience Across
customer experience is the extent to which the customers the Organization
needs are satisfied. Indicators such as NPS, likelihood to Source: Yankee Group, 2012
churn and other loyalty indicators can be a great start.
However, its critically important to relate these results to key Network Operations
Customer Care
Executive
Department Management
network events.
Understand true Respond preemptively Reduce time to identify
Customer experience is a direct result of users service quality to service issues and address customer
issues
observations, perceptions, thoughts and feelings as they Identify capacity Prioritize resources
interact with the product, service or company throughout and coverage that impact greatest Increase organizational
requirements or most profitable efficiency and cost
an interval of time. Therefore, a complete CEM system subscribers control on services that
drive customer loyalty
must not only capitalize on customer expectations, but also Optimize to improve
Interact with
service quality
act on any possible changes in behaviors. It is important customers at the Develop, test and grow
right time to improve new services targeted
not only to continually measure customers perceptions Uncover root cause of
subscriber complaints problem resolution and toward high-value
of network improvements but also to ensure customers satisfaction segments

know what the operator is doing to achieve those results.


Recently, a CTO of a major European mobile operator
shared with us his discovery that unless customers are
informed of the efforts taken for QoS improvement, the net
effect on their satisfaction is negligible.

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 4
Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

Delivering the Framework for Success Exhibit 4: Potential Stages of Customer Experience Transformation
Source: Yankee Group, 2012
Since many network operations departments still function End-to-End User
using a network-centric performance management approach Experience Modeling
Customer Care/
rather than understanding the impact of an end-to-end Marketing
Marketing Analytics
QoE
experience, the overall impact on the customer experience Complaint Handling
Network Operations
cannot be determined. Instead, all departments need to NPS and Customer
Quality Monitoring Experience Indicators
understand the end-user QoE as it relates to a PSPU SQM. QoS-KPI and KQI
This is the only logical and effective method for investment
and planning in order to raise the overall level of satisfaction.
Understanding the transformation process of truly managing SQM is the proper way to transition to CEM, because the
the customer experience may require guidance from strategic network KPIs and KQIs are already operational. This step
telecom industry partners such as network equipment provides the strong foundation necessary for a successful
providers, business process consultants and/or telecom CEM initiative: Having insight into network performance
software consultants. These companies provide unique ideas and service quality leads to a better understanding of the
on how operators can use their existing network assets and customer experience. Once that foundation is achieved,
customer information to create a differentiated customer operators can advance by adding measurements that
experience. It is also important to gain insight from partners determine the emotional factors impacting end-users. More
that have experience in a multi-vendor environment, since sophisticated modeling at a PSPU level is perfect for other
many operators do not have just one type of network or departments such as customer care and marketing.
software infrastructure investment.
The following are examples of how this insight can improve
To truly create a differentiated experience across the customer experience.
customer life cycle, operators must use insight from both
the service and the user to correlate data from the network,
devices and services, to understand, manage and predict Proactively Resolve Problems and React at the Right Time
their customers expectations. Rapid growth in mobile broadband subscriber numbers and
data volumes has overloaded backhaul links and parts of the
packet core for most CSPs. Also, busy-hour packet loss can be
Innovative Scenarios That Make Consistent Customer highly variable between different cells and at different times
Experience a Reality of the day, discouraging users and reducing their likelihood of
downloading revenue-generating content. Combined, these
Getting more granular with end-to-end measurement of the conditions frequently result in subscribers being downgraded
customer experience not only assists operations with better from 4G to 3G or 2G connectivity levels. The result is a
network infrastructure planning, but also helps sales and disappointing experience for subscribers, especially if theyre
service departments in improving operations and enhancing using smartphone devices touted as high-speed 3G or 4G.
revenue-generation opportunities.
While SQM can help identify and resolve network issues,
By extending the focus beyond SQM, CRM and CEM to a without tying that potential service quality to emotional
more complete picture, operators can raise the overall factors such as NPS and loyalty indicators, operators will
level of satisfaction. Aggregated PSPU SQM can be used never truly understand the resulting business impact. They
to group users experiencing substandard performance must use the insight to understand who is having a bad
issues attributed to a common cause, enabling maximum experience and how much effort is required to bring them
targeted improvement. By determining how many end-users satisfaction. Proactive resolutions of customer problems
are experiencing substandard service and combining that are essential to avoid a customer complaint call, and
information with their location, a more cost-efficient and right-timing interactionssuch as lowering average handle
effective plan can be confidently implemented. timewill ensure customer satisfaction. It is important
To truly understand actual user experience, quantitative to monitor and proactively act before a customer notices
data findings must integrate subjective inputs such as user a problem or has the time to complain to a call center to
satisfaction surveys or reports from the customer care avoid not only a negative experience, but also increased
center. However, the process should be undergone in stages costs to the contact center.
(see Exhibit 4).

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 5
Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

Reduce Average Call Handling Time for Customer Service By proactively identifying user issues, agents can more
Representatives (CSRs) accurately and quickly solve subscriber issues, ultimately
Typical contact center metrics tracked today focus on first lowering the cost to serve. Effectively understanding the end-
contact resolution (FCR), average hold time and average talk to-end service quality issue demarcation covering device,
time. FCR is attracting the most attention among contact wireless network, core network, IP backbone, backhaul, user
centers and customer care executives todayand with good behavior and even policy control will improve the efficiency
reason. Yankee Group estimates that 60-65 percent of calls of the complaint-handling process to reduce the operational
are repeat and/or escalated calls that require extensive workload, improve customer perception and increase ticket
rework or time from more expensive technical support closure rate. Grouping end-users with common problems
representatives. This not only creates a drain on contact highlights service-related issues that are impacting a greater
center time, but it also erodes the subscriber experience and number of subscribers. This insight can in turn be used to
could lead to churn. proactively avoid more customer calls.

If an issue is escalated to a call center, an operator should


associate subjective QoE and objective KQI to find out if Monitor Revenue-Earning Transactions to Ensure Cross-Sell and
the specific network problems are affecting customers Upsell Success
satisfaction and subjective threshold. It is also important CSPs looking to escape the dumb pipe category must
to share the history of the users experience with active strategically use data from their network. For example,
guidance for first-line and/or second-line CSRs so that marketing must be able to quickly and dynamically define
average handle time can be decreased through improved offers, promotions and pricing with intelligence and context
diagnosis of customers complaints. This ensures the around the customer or customer segment based on
trouble ticket includes a technically accurate description of psychographics and demographics, customer lifetime value,
the customer complaint, enabling corrective action by the products and services.
appropriate support group, which dramatically improves
CSPs need to guide both the customer using a self-service
FCR rates.
channel and the CSR with relevant products and services
For example, if subscribers experience connectivity problems based on needs analysis, policy and eligibility rules. Once an
and complain they cannot connect to the Internet, CSRs are offer is accepted, CSPs must quickly identify relevant and
fundamentally unable to determine whether the complaint is personalized additional products or services that add value to
true or false. Typically, CSRs will use a trial-and-error script, the customer.
probing to understand the problem. This time-consuming
Marketing departments are struggling with a multitude of
task can be inaccurate and does not reveal the reality of
complex issues related to effective tariff plans, creation of
what the subscriber is experiencing. With visibility into
value-added services and overall benchmarking of industry
the experience of each individual subscriber and his or her
standards. Specifically, operators need to understand the
accompanying service, CSRs can confirm if subscribers are
emotional aspects coupled with network KQIs before the
generating and receiving browsing traffic. They can have
creation of dynamic tariff plans so that target customers will
visibility into both upstream and downstream throughput,
enjoy the personalized price without any bad experiences
as well as other performance-impacting conditions such
(e.g., network congestion, slow data connection), or they
as high packet loss rates and delays. They can also observe
must validate the effectiveness of dynamic traffic (by users
in real time the status of these performance indicators
level traffic analysis).
(e.g., whether they are increasing or decreasing). With such
information at their fingertips, CSRs can focus on solving the It is also essential for marketing departments to ensure
problem instead of struggling to understand it. proper campaign analysis. These departments need
insight to evaluate not only the effectiveness of marketing
campaigns, but also their impact on service quality and
network resource utilization. Informed recommendations
for campaign adjustments can be made by understanding
end-user behavior before and after the initiation of a
marketing campaign.

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 6
Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

A wealth of subscriber information can be used to understand subscribers needs,


interests and behaviors. This not only ensures the delivery of personalized offers, but
also guarantees that the service experience doesnt negatively affect the brand.

For example, network issuesincluding SIM card activation bottlenecks, download


purchase failures or poorly performing voice networkscan impede sales and
marketing efforts. Considering SIM card issues usually occur at the beginning of
the relationship, any delays in processing the activation can create a good or bad
impression of the user experience in the crucial first few days.

As 4G and LTE networks mature, over-the-top services such as video and VoLTE impact
network resources. Its important to correlate precise traffic issues on any particular
service to ensure customer expectations are properly addressed and resourced.
Information could also be used to analyze traffic trends to assist in cooperative
marketing arrangements and/or special pricing to drive adoption of services.

Operators also should design, implement and verify policies to ensure adequate
resource availability for high-value end-users, services or applications based on
mobile broadband capacity assessment and forecasts aligned with the operators
business objective.

Supplier Spotlight: Huawei


While there are plenty of IP and circuit switch probe companies, they are not able
to dynamically resolve and meet todays customers needs. In the optimization
space, these companies are missing the key point about the end-user experience
during IP or radio optimizations. Instead of falling into the trap of spending resources
optimizing good user experiences, ICT provider Huawei focuses on improving the
bad ones. In 2012, Huawei made investments in research and development to build
a solution that moves the industry toward end-to-end CEM and enables proactive
prevention. The company believes its radio, IP and B/OSS technologies and strategic
consulting can make it a one-stop shop in the industry to confront customer
experience challenges for operators.

While the KQI model is structured by Telecom Management Forum (TMF) and is a very
broad concept in this industry, Huawei defines KQIs as a way to measure end-to-end
PSPU quality. Furthermore, the KQI is structured to find the root cause and deliver end-
user QoE.

Huawei is redefining SQM from a per-service to a PSPU measurement to truly measure


the customer experience. It is applying its end-user QoE modeling with its aggregated
PSPU SQM (see Exhibit 5 on the next page).

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 7
Truly Managing the Customer Experience November 2012

Exhibit 5: Measuring and Optimizing for Individual Care


Source: Huawei and Yankee Group, 2012

QoE Modeling and PSPU (Per Service Per User) Enable Individual Care

SMS

Users SMS

Per Service Only Shows the Pipe QoS

Users 75.8% 53.7% 90.3%


52137ms 92.1% 11981ms
2.1% 75.8%
98.8% 93.5%
1.1% 7.3%
SMS
0.3% 11801ms
90.3% 70231ms 89.8%

As the industry shifts from network-centricity to service-centricity, many operators


are shifting the focus of their business metrics to enhance the importance of customer
satisfaction and loyalty. Huawei helps CSPs analyze such business metrics as NPS and
Customer Satisfaction Index on an aggregated level and use them to identify customer
experience issues and challenges. Furthermore, Huawei can help integrate these
metrics across the client organization and improve them with a complete set of use
cases across departments and customer experience life cycle phases.

The current SmartCare trials are in the early stages of the service quality discovery
process. This initial phase to collect and analyze network performance data is being
conducted during the next few months. The results should provide the operator with
incremental improvements to its network performance and customer experience.

Copyright 1997-2012, Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 8
Conclusions and Recommendations
It is time for operators to make a radical change from just measuring independent
KPIs to actually understanding and measuring the end-to-end experience with the
end goal of providing proactive prevention. They must focus on understanding the
real service experience so they can ensure customer experience transformation. To
succeed, we recommend operators:

Make sure any partners can work in a multi-vendor, multi-technology


environment. An important component is the need to manage rapidly growing
multi-vendor and multi-technology networks with diverse standards. To manage
complex multi-layered services, partners should have proven experience adapting
to growing and changing network requirements for managing next-generation
networks in combination with legacy systems.

Look beyond SQM for measuring the experience. While SQM is not currently
considered the leading end-user satisfaction indicator, it still provides value in the
overall assessment process when supplemented by other network, service, device
and user insights. It needs to be modeled to optimize the experience.
Ensure a PSPU viewit is the only logical and effective method to raise the
overall level-of-satisfaction indicator. While the critical success factor of the
customer experience is the extent to which the customers needs are satisfied,
indicators such as NPS, likelihood to churn and other loyalty indicators can be
a great start. However, its critically important to relate these results to key
network events.

About the Author


Sheryl Kingstone HEADQUARTERS
Director Corporate
One Liberty Square
Sheryl is the director of Yankee Groups Enterprise Research group,
6th Floor
with expertise in customer-centric strategies. Kingstones research
helps businesses improve sales effectiveness, customer loyalty and
Boston, Massachusetts
acquisition. Specifically, she helps enterprise clients make decisions 617-598-7200 phone
regarding the use of technology, business processes and information 617-598-7400 fax
to boost sales and optimize top-line business performance. She
also assists vendors with custom research projects, messaging and European
positioning, as well as product road map evaluations. Kingstone 30 Artillery Lane
researches and writes on the top trends in marketing and sales London E17LS
effectiveness and customer-centric processes, and evaluates all CRM United Kingdom
application and delivery strategies. 44-20-7426-1050 phone
44-20-7426-1051 fax
Copyright 2012. Yankee Group Research, Inc. Yankee Group published this content for the sole use of Yankee Group subscribers.
It may not be duplicated, reproduced or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express permission of Yankee Group,
One Liberty Square, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02109. All rights reserved. All opinions and estimates herein constitute our judgment
as of this date and are subject to change without notice.