Pipeline Publishing, Volume 4, Issue 2
This Month's Issue:
Keeping Customers
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Tit for Tat: Meeting Customer Expectations

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a problem: how the fault goes through the layers, both ways. Currently the Call Center does not get timely advice from the NOC about network failures and ends up logging several tickets until someone might overhear something; or the Call center manager notices a spike in calls and goes around to see what’s up. I saw this in two service providers we helped over the last year. Too many layers cause delays in resolution. Who owns the ticket?” Jacqui continues: “this isolation of the call center from the problem resolution, it just seems like overkill on the resource side – solving one problem by creating another.”

Jacqui captures the essence of our argument, the concept of the Service Operations Center is correct, but the execution and integration are not yet right. In favor of the independent SOC, there are several quite distinct skills and knowledge bases involved. When everyone is functioning at top form, this best world scenario ensues, where each group has skills tuned to their task. The Contact Center is skilled at listening, asking questions, and creating a positive impression with the customer. The Service Operations Center is

No longer is the ‘shortest time to clear the call’ a reasonable goal. Bell Canada discovered this when they instituted a pilot project to record all calls arriving their call center.

marketing and advertisements. These provide a foundation for the way a company or service would like itself to be perceived, and sets an expectation with its customers. The Brand is affected (positively or negatively) by the aggregate experience the customer has in interacting with the product, with other people that use the product (including friends, people the service connects them to, and views expressed by the news organizations), and with the company supplying the product.

Brand is not just the sum of the market positioning and customer experiences; it extends to include customer expectations of future experiences too.

For Service Providers, every call and every

knowledgeable in products, inter- dependencies, and end-to-end quality. The NOC is skilled in discovering any relevant network issues and resolving them quickly. The trick is to have all three managing their tasks correctly, resulting in a positive customer experience. Yet this requires the various groups to engage the same problem with a consistent, cross group process. Jacqui concludes: “In order to have this model of Call Center, SOC and NOC in a process chain, directed toward delivering the much-touted superior customer service, then processes, tools and people (training) have to work really well together.”

The “So What” – Service affects Brand

Let us not forget why having a smooth and efficient customer service resolution capability is important: knowledgeable executives today know that customer interactions help to the define Brand. Brand is not defined by

download/upload of data creates an internal data point in the customer’s perception of Brand and their evaluation of their experience compared to their expected performance of the product or service. With Service Providers, the interaction of the company and the customer, especially in time of service interruption, billing discrepancies, or general customer education, has become an extremely heavy component of Brand. Besides the concrete experiences impacting a customer’s emotions, besides their perception of time stolen every time they experience a problem…, besides these direct experiences, the marketing arms of Service Providers have used extensive advertising over two decades to invest the “service resolution experience” as a differentiator of “good” and “bad” Service Providers. It is possible to have a network which is actually 99.995% perfect, but if that
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