In yet another sign that customers are increasingly taking the reins of their communications experiences, several companies in the recent months have unveiled new self-help solutions.
For example, AMDOCS earlier this year unveiled a suite of solutions dubbed CES (News - Alert) 9, which the company internally calls the "Wow release." The company says it has seamlessly connected its customer management, billing, OSS, CRM and network controller solutions allowing customers for the first time to see their experience from the device down to the network.
One of the biggest advances in this new solution will allow carriers to let their customers take advantage of self-service on the devices they use. For example, a tablet user will be able to upgrade his or her data account without having to call a customer service representative. The company believes the release will actually allow 80 percent of common transactions to be completed without a call center call-in.
Rebecca Prudhomme (News - Alert) of AMDOCS explains that the industry is adopting a new metric regarding customer satisfaction that gauges a customer's willingness to recommend a service to friends or family. This Net Promoter Score gave the company the opportunity to evaluate a new KPI, which helped it roll out new products. One is the Multichannel self-service solution, described above. In addition to allowing customers to make changes on their accounts it also allows seamless transfer of transactions across devices from start to finish.
In addition, the company's new Proactive Care solution uses big data methodology to determine the most common reasons customer call and subsequently arms carriers with information they need to be proactive on future calls. The company's Order-to-Activation service, meanwhile, is designed to help carriers deal with the fact that by 2016 more than 24 billion connected devices are expected to be in service. Finally, the company touts its cloud solutions, which span a wide range of applications -- from enabling MVNO solutions, M2M and connected home, to allowing carriers to provide and effectively monetize cloud-based solutions as they provide MSP products to SMBs. Moreover they also provide private cloud solutions or virtual private clouds for their customers.
Meanwhile, Comverse offers its Share solution, which allows carriers to deliver a Facebook (News - Alert) app that gives users a portal into their subscriber accounts. Once they enter the app, they are prompted to enter a phone number and are subsequently sent a text message allowing them to get a code that enables authentication.
At this point subscribers can check their account balance, send notes to customer care, and more. The operator benefits as well because they can mine the users’ likes and preferences, allowing them to determine, for example, if a particular candidate may be a candidate for a bundle or special offering.
By integrating the traditional knowledge carriers have about a customer (for example, what device the person uses), they can offer that person targeted ads. In this scenario, an Android user with a Samsung device near contract-end may be interested and likely to click on an ad for an HTC (News - Alert) One.
On a slightly different note, but still tying in to the theme of leveraging data to deliver a better customer experience, NICE is talking about its Voice of the Customer solution, which enables an innovative way of using text messaging to allow free-form survey responses via text post interaction. That can be live, via phone, or during a visit to a website. This is free-form text messaging, allowing customers to respond however they want, and the analytics kicks in to respond accordingly.
The individual could say, for example, “I really think the agent I just spoke with is atrocious.” The information supplied by the customer would then be used to alter training of the particular agent if needed. It could further be used to modify products or product training. The idea is acting in real-time to business challenges. In one example a survey after a flight allowed the crew manager to get the results immediately and then call a meeting to adjust things before the next flight took off.
The product also is able to determine which interactions can be used as an upsell opportunity. Speaking of which, the company's Service-to-Sales solution in conjunction with IBM (News - Alert) uses analytics to determine if an upsell opportunity exists on a service call. At this point, the agent is guided through the process of selling the customer in a seamless manner, which shortens the sales cycle.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi