How failure demand can boost customer and employee experience for telco organisations

  • Solutions
  • Cameron MacQuarrie
  • 2022
  • Telecommunications
24 May 2022

Man sitting on bench with computer

Recently, I hosted a Think Tank at the CX Telecoms, Media and Tech Exchange, where professionals from various Telco organisations got together to network, share their thoughts, expertise, and pain points.

The discussions were thought-provoking, and during the session, one thing became clear: No matter who you are, how big your organisation, or how senior your role, we're all dealing with the same challenges:

A)    We want the necessary space to innovate.  

B)    We want to understand (and help) our customers more.

C)   We want to save time and resources on unnecessary tasks.

Identifying these challenges is simple... resolving them, less so.

In this blog, I will go through the challenges discussed during our ThinkTank and explore how a good grasp of failure demand could help Telco organisations better serve their customers (and their employees).

The challenge facing Telco organisations today

The issue with working with technology is that technology can fail.

In fact, everyone in the room agreed that 50-60% of interactions within the organisations are caused by some form of technology failure.

When that happens on the customer end, those of us within the telco industry jump into firefighting mode, rushing to respond to customer queries despite lacking a way to predict why this has happened, how long it will take to resolve, or whether the problem actually lies with us in the first place.

The problem is, as we move forward digitally, the problem becomes even more complex. We’re living in a jungle of technology. Customers use multiple browsers across multiple devices, and often have a different service provider for mobile data than they do for their home broadband.

This is great for consumers. But for us firefighters, when a customer flags an outage, it can be hard to diagnose, especially as they can’t necessarily be expected to be able to relay information efficiently – they can only go as far to describe symptoms of the problem. And on our end, we can only work with the information we have.

Say, for example, a customer complains about an issue with a streaming service. Over the phone, it’s hard to identify whether the service is at fault, or whether it’s something else altogether - the web browser, the device, or the broadband provider.

If that same customer mentions that they’re living with 5 other family members, who are each trying to stream content on different devices on a minimum service package, the issue becomes clear. Without that information, we’re still lost.

What happens when failure demand is left unchecked?

This scenario, where teams are forced to put out fires with little warning or visibility over processes is what we call failure demand.

We know a backlog of this demand has a direct impact on the customer experience, but the consequences can go beyond just unhappy consumers.

A small outage may not seem like an issue internally, but, on a larger scale, that outage could mean the failure of emergency service helplines or communication technology in an A&E department, with potentially drastic consequences.

From an internal perspective, failure demand also increases the strain on your organisation. Without an efficient failure demand process, on-the-spot problem-solving eats into your time, budget, and productivity.

So, the question is, how can we overcome these issues in order to best serve our customers, streamline our internal operations, and save vital resources?

How can we overcome this?

To put it simply, it’s all about insight.

We can’t begin to implement AI or automated technology without better visibility over our customer data in general, otherwise we’d simply be automating inefficient processes.

We need to be able to gain a full view over a range of different information: who our customers are, what technologies they use apart from our own, what sort of service do they expect – the list goes on.

Once we have this visibility, we can begin to use AI to augment the human side of this interaction and predict roughly what the problem is – saving agents from having to narrow it down manually.

Technologies, like those offered by ServiceNow, can help businesses do just that. The result? We take our service level from reactive, to proactive, and then ultimately to preventative.

Telco organisations around the globe are already making solid effort to do just this, from gaining 360 visibility with one single platform that houses all the necessary data, to adopting a control tower approach, to fixing key technical issues.

To learn more about failure demand, and deep dive into the topics discussed during our ThinkTank at CX Telecoms, Media and Tech Exchange, head to https://www.servicenow.com/uk/solutions/industry/tmt.html .

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