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Customer Experience Expectations. #MWNice #CEM

Today, operators want to go further. They want to use deep inspection and analytic capabilities to collect network, usage and subscriber data, within the bounds of agreed frameworks to protect identity and privacy, to deliver a better user experience and enhance network performance.

These benefits must be delivered to the customer and not simply to the operator. This is much needed as customer experience with our telco suppliers has historically been, shall we say, not always perfect.

Customer experience management is therefore a serious topic and one likely to capture more and more attention, hitched as it is to the bandwagon that is big data. There are numerous solutions, promising to deliver information that will enable service providers to deliver a better customer experience.

The thing is though, that while each of these has its merits – and some are blindingly good at what they do – they are all dependent on execution of better customer service by the provider. They have to do something positive with the information they derive from all the analytic tools they deploy.

This sounds obvious, but anyone with any familiarity with customer support from his or her service provider can probably identify times when this hasn’t been delivered. We can relate plenty of instances from our own experience when, shall we say, service has been less than optimal.

We can recall a specific encounter with the team of a major mobile provider, which we wrote about here . We are revisiting the topic because CEM attracted so much attention at MWC and will doubtless be a significant focus at the TMW in May.

The point is that it won’t matter how clever the analytics and data collection is if service providers can’t sort out these sorts of issues. What they need in addition to the platforms to launch clever new services and enhanced customer experience based on data collected from the network, is the ability to join up their existing silos and just make basic things happen faster.

It doesn’t take much for a customer to complain. If their device starts dropping calls unexpectedly or if service deteriorates, people get upset. If service providers can’t don’t get these things right, then what will happen with more complicated, data-driven tasks?

As customers, we don’t really expect much. We want service that works and, when it doesn’t – which, to be fair, will happen sometimes, we understand that – we want it fixed, quickly, politely and without unexpected issues that lead to delays.

There are lots of complicated things that can be done, but it only takes an instant to upset customers and drive them to churn somewhere else. Of course, the grass isn’t always greener, but service providers need to pay as much attention to the basics as they do to all the exciting new things they will soon be able to achieve.

The risk is that the promised land of data-driven customer experience management leads to this being overlooked. Analytics is not a panacea – what matters is thinking about the user as an individual and treating them as such, and not simply as data generators. Customer experience is about so much more than enhanced knowledge of what users are doing – service providers still need to be able to effect change quickly and without disrupting basic service delivery. This must be right before service providers take bold steps to the new data-driven world.