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Survey: Customer experience is king

Wed, 06/04/2008 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

A global survey of wireless, wireline and cable service providers found that while rapid time to market for new services was important, insuring a positive customer experience for the services was equally critical.

The survey, which was sponsored by Amdocs, found that 90 percent of the respondents indicated getting the service right, which meant that ensuring a positive customer experience was just as important as delivering it quickly.

While two-thirds of respondents expected to improve profit margins through faster time to market and 75 percent confirm that faster time to market would reduce customer churn, more than 90 percent recognized that decreasing time to market requires investment in Operations Support Systems (OSS) to address the challenges of legacy-based systems and processes. In particular, respondents cited automation (85 percent), common tools and processes (81 percent), and data integrity (79 percent) as critical areas for future investment.

"Time to market is important, but not at any cost, and certainly not at any risk to the customer experience," said Charles Born, VP of corporate communications at Amdocs. "To overcome the challenges, mitigate the risks and deliver the required customer experience, the survey demonstrates that service providers recognize the need to address operational challenges and constraints by investing in BSS/OSS integration, standardization and automation of key processes, and improved data integrity."

Other findings included:

  • The most important differentiators were those that impact customer experience: 98 percent of respondents said quality of service (QoS) was a critical factor in determining customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Other critical factors included time to deliver service (91 percent), which was the time between when a customer places an order and when it was filled; customer experience (91 percent); and cost of service (83 percent).
  • While time to market was not the most critical differentiator, 93 percent of respondents recognize its importance in delivering a competitive customer experience.
  • A gap exists between aspiration and reality: The target time to market for service providers is three to six months; however, less than one-third of respondents could introduce new products in less than three months; and only one-third of respondents saw a decrease in time to market for introducing new services.

The survey was conducted in February and featured more than 120 interviews with CIOs, COOs, directors of OSS and product managers of wireline, wireless and cable providers from Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America, the Far East and the Middle East. Coleman Parkes Research, an independent firm based in London, conducted the survey.

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