The Telco Training Academy

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Customer Self Service

The world of customer service is changing at an unbelievable pace. Telcos are leading the way in discovery of new and exciting technologies and approaches to give more power and control to the customer, while driving down the costs to the provider. Customer self-service solutions incorporate a wide variety of tools, approaches, and applications, all of which attempt to accomplish this aim.

There are many categories of customer self-service options to choose from, including:

  • Traditional voice-based solutions

    • Interactive voice response

    • Customer self-navigation

  • New voice-based solutions

    • Voice-based intelligence engines

    • Interactive robotic agents

    • Automated billing inquiry and resolution

  • Web-based services

    • Customer self-activation and tracking

    • Customer self-trouble ticketing and tracking

    • Customer self-diagnosis and repair

    • Customer self-research and support

  • A new generation of wireless (voice and data) applications that will integrate positioning and immediacy into what is delivered

 

Telco Customer Self Service Value Propositions

The value proposition behind all customer self service solutions are the same:

        1) Drive down the cost to the provider

        2) Increase the value and control perceived by the customer

This paradigm may seem easy enough to understand, but the selection, testing, and implementation of solutions that actually meet those criteria are quite difficult.

Engineer's Dream, Customer's Nightmare

Unfortunately, in far too many cases, telcos jump in and implement new self-service solutions before they evaluating just what the impact on customers will be. In case after case, management chooses to go with a fancy, technologically advanced solution only to find that its implementation has the opposite impact on customers than anticipated. The problem is that telco executives tend to be engineers (at heart, if not in reality) and they can quickly fall under the spell of new technologies.

For example, one telco implemented a menu-driven customer service front-end to reduce call center traffic. The system was so cumbersome and confusing that customers actually spent a significantly longer time on the phone and were so upset by the time they finally talked to a call center rep that the actual costs of the call center escalated by 5%.

In another situation, a self-provisioning system was developed for a cost of $500,000 based on an estimate that 10% of the customers would use it, thereby reducing other demands. After one year, only .05% of the customers used the system, making the net impact of the implementation extremely poor.

 

Telco Customer Self Service Offerings

TTA can help you define, specify, select, and implement many different kinds of customer self service solutions. Our offerings in this area include:

  • Developing the business case for telco customer self-service solutions

  • Defining the requirements for a self-service solution

  • Developing the specification for a self-service solution

  • Self-service vendor evaluation and selection

  • Implementation of customer self-service solution

directly for more information about how TTA can help you with your telco customer self-service system development efforts.  

 

Customer Self-Service Vendors

At TTA, we can help you with construction of your own customer self-service applications or with selection of products from vendors.