The majority of communications service providers (CSPs) are increasing their spending budget for customer experience (CX) initiatives next year, according to a wide-ranging survey with 75 CSPs sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent.
The survey was conducted by analyst house Heavy Reading, the research arm of respected industry news portal Light Reading, and provides detailed insights into the drivers and barriers perceived by CSPs in the area of customer experience management (CEM), as well as the solutions they require and the strategies they have in mind to excel in CEM.
Caroline Chappell, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading said: “Service providers are looking at customer experience management to differentiate in an increasingly crowded and competitive market. They are all approaching CEM from different starting points, however, and typically find it difficult to implement it in a holistic, differentiated way. Our survey results have yielded a rich stream of insights into service provider CEM, particularly around their specific reasons to invest in CEM.”
Notable outcomes from the study include: CEM investment is increasing, with two-thirds of respondents expecting to increase next year’s expenditures in this area; CEM is seen as opportunity for differentiation, with more than three-quarters of respondents indicating that improved CEM provides an opportunity to attract new business, while two-thirds agree that it could improve their brand image and nearly six-in-ten are confident that it will provide competitive differentiation.
There was found to be a strong desire among service providers to take CEM-related metrics (e.g., customer satisfaction, network and service availability) more frequently, with three-quarters of respondents agreeing that measuring their top five metrics more often would have a significant impact on their ability to deliver a superior customer experience.
There was also widespread agreement on the activities influencing CEM: respondents agreed on several ‘bread and butter’ activities that impact the customer experience, including nearly nine-in-ten citing the importance of answering customer queries and resolving problems in a timely fashion. Other activities (such as prioritising network quality of service based on the value of an individual customer) are seen as relatively less important.
Finally, certain barriers to CEM implementation remain: when asked to comment on potential barriers to implementing CEM, more than half of the CSPs polled listed difficulty in securing cross-organisational cooperation. Almost half of respondents saw poor data quality as the second-to-top barrier.