Helpdesk 2.0 : Subscribers Help Themselves. Operators Reduce Churn

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Over the last decade, customer service excellence has emerged as a core strategy for telecommunications operators with the aim of satisfying subscribers and keeping them loyal. Over time, various customer service channels have surfaced, with call centers being highly preferred due to the personal touch and instant response, however, this option weighs heavily on OPEX and resources.This paper examines an alternative and more cost-effective approach, through the means of personal digital assistants. This method encourages self-care amongst subscribers and reduces reliance on call centers. It brings about a whole new era in error diagnosis and problem resolution, hence the term Help Desk 2.0. Find out more about how Help Desk 2.0 works and benefits operators, particularly in the area of cost savings and churn reduction.

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<ul><li> 1. sel ves. m lp The s He r iber bsc urn. 0 : Su Ch k 2. duce Des s ReHelp ratorOpe www.greenpacket.com APPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 2. AbstractOver the last decade, customer service excellence has emerged as a core strategy fortelecommunications operators with the aim of satisfying subcribers and keeping them loyal. Overtime, various customer service channels have surfaced, with call centers being highly preferred dueto the personal touch and instant response, however, this option weighs heavily on OPEX andresources.This paper examines an alternative and more cost-effective approach, through the means ofpersonal digital assistants. This method encourages self-care amongst subscribers and reducesreliance on call centers. It brings about a whole new era in error diagnosis and problem resolution,hence the term Help Desk 2.0. Find out more about how Help Desk 2.0 works and benetsoperators, particularly in the area of cost savings and churn reduction.APPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 3. Operators Say: Our Subscribers Are Important To Us!Throughout the world, the telecommunications industry shares something in common it ranks top three on thecustomer complaint index. This love-hate relationship between subscribers and their operators is nothing new, but oflate, it is more apparent through progandas via social networking channels and blog sites.The danger of customer complaints is its impact on churn rates. In research conducted by TOTE-M, the second highestfactor contributing to churn is complaints at 22% as shown in Figure 1. Price 39% Complaints 22% Outdated Product Features 20% Forced Change 10% Friends Recommendation 10% Involvement with Company 9% Customer Service % Company Image 6% Annoyed by Welcome Offer 5%Source: TOTE-MFigure 1: Factors contributing to churnThe good news is operators do care about the complaints raised against them and are taking efforts to change thingsaround. Looking after subscribers is a key differentiator as reputation for good customer care is harder to emulatecompared to new services or price plans. According to Telecoms Asia, in a survey of mobile operators in UK, the MVNOVirgin Mobile ranked higher compared to its network provider an outcome contributed by excellent customer service.In a separate study also conducted by Telecom Asia, more than 60% of respondents said that customer-orientedfunctions, comprising of customer care/self-care and customer experience management (CEM) are gaining momentumas shown in Figure 2. Operators around the world who are running CEM initiatives have doubled, indicating a growingemphasis on customer service quality as a sizeable concern in an operators business. 01APPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 4. Customer care/self-care 63.6% Customer experience management 61% % Business analytics/ 70 66% 32.5% business intelligence 60 58% Content partner management 31.2% 50 34% Billing (rating and charging) 29.9% 40 Product lifecycle management 27.3% 30 20 Interconnect and cost management 23.4% 10 Revenue assureance and fraud 22.1% 0 2008 2009 2010 Usage data mediation 19.5% Other (please specify) %Source: Telecom Asia, April 2010 Source: Telecom AsiaFigure 2: Customer-oriented functions receiving the most attention Figure 3: The increasing percentage of operators worldwide running CEM initiativesTodays Customer Care ChannelsTo date, there are many channels through which operators reach out to their subscribers; this includes call centers,website, webchat, email, fax, service centers and of late through social networking sites. Among these channels, callcenter is most preferred (refer to Figure 4) for the simple reason that there is a fellow human to interact with and most ofthe time, the issue is resolved immediately, as opposed to sending an email and waiting for a response within 48 hours two key elements here are personal touch and instant resolution. 3% 3% 5% 9% Call center agents Email Web Web chat 56% SMS 24% Others 02 Source: Ovum/Genesysm Survey Figure 4: Typical customer service channelsAPPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 5. Though subscribers favour call center, it is the most expensive channel to implement and maintain. As such, thechallenge for operators is to gentlely migrate subscribers to alternative support systems to reduce call center trafc andsave resources. One of the ways to reduce reliance on call centers is by encouraging a self-care habit amongstsubscribers. Weaning subscribers away from their preferred channel i.e. the call center can be a daunting task, especiallywhen other channels do not provide the fundamental factor of personal touch and instant resolution.Hence, how can operators meet these factors to promote self-care among subscribers? Which channel do they deploy?The answer lies in introducing personal, digital assistants to each subscriber lets call this Help Desk 2.0. Read moreabout Help Desk 2.0 in the next section.The above factors prove the growth potential of WiMAX. It is important to note that while these countries are rich withnatural and human resources, affordability is relatively low. With this in mind, WiMAX Operators have to offer affordablepackages without jeopardizing ARPU. In addition to requiring xed (indoor) modems, emerging markets needeconomical WiMAX modems. 03APPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 6. Help Desk 2.0 - The New Age Customer Self-Care ToolWeb 2.0 was introduced in conjunction with the evolution of World Wide Web, facilitating rich interactivity, informationsharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration via the Internet. In short, Web 2.0 referenced the nextgeneration of Internet.Likewise, Help Desk 2.0 refers to the next generation of a help desk system. In traditional help desk systems, subscriberswould relate their ordeal to an agent who mans the help desk system. Issues encountered are diagnosed by the agentto identify a solution for the subscriber. This time and effort consuming effort will only be fruitful if the subscriber narratesthe problems and symptoms accurately to the agent. Failing which, a useless or zero solution can be rendered.Help Desk 2.0 mitigates these problems. Through the advantages of articial intelligence and information systems,operators can offer digital assistants to each subscriber for the purpose of automated troubleshooting andproblem-solving from the subscribers end. The digital assistant will be in the form of a software which can be installedon subscribers PC or mobile devices. Subscribers can launch the software for troubleshooting assistance and resolutionwithout having to get in touch with the call center. In short, with Help Desk 2.0, operators are tranferring the help desk tosubscribers PCs and empowering them with the right technology to solve their own problems or update their prole.The increased attention on self-care is mainly driven by cost-savings but it also gives subscribers control at his/herconvenience, making life easier for both operators and subscribers. To date, self-care tools are conned to querychoices, prole updates and subscription information (such as bonus points, package details etc). Through Help Desk2.0, operators can extend their self-care options to include assistance on connectivity issues.Why connectivity? From Greenpackets research on a selected operator1 in Asia Pacic, ndings report that 84% ofcustomer complaints are connectivity-based as shown in Figure 5. Further results on this operator are also shared inupcoming sections to illustrate how Instinq SDS offers cost savings and reduces churn related costs. Breakdown of Subscriber Complaints 16% 36% Unable to Connect Unable to Surf Slow Connection 24% Others 24% Figure 5: 84% of subscriber complaints are due to connectivity issuesHow can operators embark on their very own Help Desk 2.0 to combat connectivity concerns faced by subscribers? 041 Name has been withheld to protect the interest of the operator. Figures stated may vary significantly in differentregions and countries.APPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 7. The Way Into Help Desk 2.0:Greenpackets Instinq Self-Healing Diagnostic SystemGreenpackets Instinq Self-Healing Diagnostic System (Instinq SDS) is an intelligent solution that proactively diagnosesand automatically resolves connectivity issues in ofine and online mode, making support efforts easier than ever. Byincorporating articial intelligence (AI), it provides a spur-of-the-moment troubleshooting and problem resolution withoutthe intervention of customer support personnel. This is done through built-in knowledge models that contain intelligenceto identify and solve connectivity glitches. Figure 6: Self-Healing Diagnostic Manager (client component)Though there are several factors that contribute to connectivity problems, a signicant fraction can be attributed todevices, particularly in wireless broadband. For example, due to high frequencies used, radio waves (in wirelessconnectivity) have poor indoor penetration. If subscribers are guided on how to place their modems for optimum signalstrength, connectivity can be improved.With this in mind, Greenpackets Instinq SDS, which can be installed on subscribers PCs, laptops and handhelddevices, is able to automatically scan the current environment to diagnose and solve connectivity issues. If required,subscribers will be prompted with instructional messages to help in the problem-solving process.Instinq SDS is designedto take self-care beyond prole updates to help operators handle technical hitches at the last mile level without burdeningcustomer support. 05APPLICATION NOTE </li> <li> 8. How Does Instinq SDS Work?Instinq SDS consists of two components Self-Healing Diagnostic Manager (client component) and DiagnosticKnowledge Server (server component).Self-Healing Diagnostic Manager can be installed on PCs, laptops and handheld devices to perform auto-diagnosis,online troubleshooting and self-healing on device specic problems in an easy and intuitive manner. Possible connectivityissues and corrective actions (called knowled...</li></ul>

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