Reacting in real time, all the time

Staff writer
telecomasia.net
Chris Marshall, Tektronix Communications' director of business development for Asia PacificChris Marshall, Tektronix Communications' director of business development for Asia Pacific, talks about the challenges of delivering a great customer experience by monitoring the actual customer experience in real time
 
CEM Insight: Why is "customer experience" now considered a key differentiator for many operators?
Chris Marshall: There are a number of reasons operators are looking to customer experience to win the hearts and minds of subscribers. One is the decline of other forms of differentiation, particularly handset exclusivity. Another is operators recognize poor customer satisfaction is the leading driver of churn and that one of the best ways to address that is to focus on, and deliver, excellent customer experience. Thirdly, voice and data offerings have become increasingly commoditized.
 
Finally, delivering great customer experience is not easy. So, for those that do it well, it promises to be a sustainable strategic asset that helps build ARPU, reduce churn and grow market share.
  
Telcos have been talking about the importance of customer experience for years. Why are they taking it more seriously and making investments?
  
In today's competitive, margin-squeezed landscape, with OTT players taking subscribers' attention and spend, customer experience is one of the biggest opportunities for networks to create loyalty and retain ARPU. So, focusing on experience as a strategic differentiator has become a priority for many.
 
Also, with customers expecting more from their mobiles, they are demanding richer experiences at all levels of the relationship - both network performance as well as customer and technical support. Operators are faced with having to deliver this level of service across multiple network technologies without blowing out opex.
  
Are you seeing this trend around the world?
Yes, the push to customer experience generally is a global one, although each operator defines its ideal experience differently and focuses on different metrics.        
  
In Asia Pacific, in the same way our clients are in different stages of technical evolution, they also have different customer experience strategies and ambitions. But, when we show them how we can track the experience each individual customer is actually receiving, there's almost universal interest. It's immediately clear to operators that being able to track individual experiences right through and across the network enables them to manage a variety of problems proactively, saving considerable opex.
 
Also, we have lots of early adopters in this region that are hungry for new services but also have high customer experience and quality of service expectations. For many operators, delivering this QoE and QoS are not just "nice to haves" but mission-critical.

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