In the digital age, word of mouth has never been so powerful. Of course, today, it’s word of tweet, Facebook post, email, you name it.Businesses across every industry have a vested interest in understanding whether their customers are satisfied. To this end, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) has emerged as a popular tool for measuring and gaining insight into satisfaction ratings and whether a customer is likely to recommend a particular good or service. In the end, it’s all about loyalty – and that goes a long way in competitive markets like telecom, where customers are quick to switch service providers after the smallest dissatisfaction. 

Net Promoter Score certainly has its place as a way of gauging customer satisfaction. But what about the needs of mobile operators, who must act swiftly to improve the experience of dissatisfied customers? After all, a common goal for service providers is to remain agile, able to fine-tune service offerings and responses to customers based on real-time experiences. This is where big data and data analytics solutions that are purpose-built for telecom enter the picture.  

Using analytics to see the big data picture

Increasingly operators are adopting Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measurement tool. But for as good a tool as NPS is, it doesn’t really provide a 360 degree view of customer satisfaction or sufficient data that operators need to make the right service improvements in a timely manner. This is because NPS has a number of limitations:

  • Data is based on small sample sizes of customers at periodic intervals;
  • It doesn’t provide insight into the satisfaction of individual customers or identify which customers need attention; and 
  • It cannot identify the root cause of the customer’s dissatisfaction or what sort of offer/corrective action is needed. 

I am particularly struck by how important it is to provide solutions that can deliver a big picture view of customer satisfaction across the range of service sets vital to a service provider’s success. After all, providers have complex portfolios that offer or support a broad array of services, from fixed voice, IP video and data services to 2G/3G/4G mobile broadband, video streaming to IoT, Cloud and more. Each has very different parameters and formulas for measuring satisfaction and hold varying degrees of importance in terms of what constitutes quality of experience for different customers.

The benefits of a 360-degree view

Ericsson has thought a lot about the value of the Net Promoter Score, and also the opportunities that its limitations expose. This, in part, led to the introduction of Ericsson Expert Analytics, which delivers important benefits and improvements over NPS that include: 

  • A patented Service Level Index (SLI) -- a customer satisfaction measure based on end-to-end customer experience  that acts as a useful proxy for NPS, but is available for all customers all the time;
  • Telecom-specific data models and rules, based on years of research and extensive user studies, that find the “most probable cause” of customer experience problems, across network, device, probe and other data; 
  • Integration with marketing and network systems to deliver targeted offers and improve experience in real time, based on big data insights.

During a time when customization of offers and understanding how to delight a customer are key to retention, growth and revenues, Ericsson’s big data and data analytics solution is all about customization and a 360-degree view into operations – from the beginning of the customer lifecycle all the way to the customer experience. It can be tailored to many customer segments and predict customer satisfaction with carefully selected and weighted service KPIs. 

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A version of this post originally appeared on The Networked Society Blog.

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Neil Lilley
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Neil Lilley

Neil Lilley is a Product Marketing Director for Operations Support Systems at Ericsson, focused on software solutions for service and network assurance as well as customer experience management. His expertise in technology, operations, and marketing comes from many years leading professional services engagements as well as launching, managing and marketing software products covering customer care, order management and assurance.

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