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Enhancing the Customer Experience Through Network Traffic Transparency

By: Joe White

For decades, carriers have maintained the status quo of keeping their customers in the dark regarding real-time network traffic data and other metrics. It’s easy to understand why: allowing clients to see every little statistic or inefficiency in network operations, as well as customers’ exact usage compared to what they paid for, has its drawbacks.

Sure, there are carriers that allow customers to see snapshots of their traffic data, and customers can request particular call and messaging metrics, but it’s a cumbersome process — and it feels like they’re not receiving all the necessary information about their own company communications, leaving their team to do the legwork. If they want to see details — such as where calls are originating from and terminating to, broken down by geography, carrier and type, and all real-time traffic data in and out of the carrier’s network (plus minute-by-minute costs) with current stats compared to historical data — they might just be out of luck or need to do some serious digging.

Let’s take a look at how powerful this information can be to service providers and enterprise clients alike.

Why the Need for Transparency? 

First of all, transparency about voice quality metrics and other customer experience-related statistics is important because dropped calls, static- or delay-laden connections and other concerns are still a problem with many IP phone systems. When businesses first moved from landlines supported by traditional PBXs to IP telephony, the quality of calls delivered over the Internet earned a subpar reputation. Though VoIP call quality has improved drastically over the years and now rivals that of physical connections (with a host of new features and reduced costs to boot!), problems do sometimes persist as a result of poor network setup and other causes.

As this TechTarget article outlines, VoIP quality problems are probably related to the network, but they could also be caused by a lack of required capacity, an inefficient codec configuration, packet loss due to too much voice payload, or simply a computer issue, among other reasons. Clearly, the fix is not always simple. Comprehensive monitoring is needed to ensure that everyone tapping into the network, regardless of whether they’re mobile or working from the office, experiences reliable quality across UC applications and services, TechTarget points out. But the monitoring contained within enterprise applications “may miss data, overlook poor performance or ignore key information,” the article states, referencing a Frost & Sullivan white paper.

On a more high-level note, transparency is becoming more appreciated and expected in business interactions in general. A study by Label Insight found that 94 percent of consumers reported that they’re likely to be loyal to a brand providing complete transparency. Additionally, roughly three-fourths of respondents said they’d spend more for a product offering the same, this Entrepreneur article explains. Transparency has become increasingly important in the business world due to a combination of the Information Age, social media, corporate distrust and websites offering business reviews, the article says.

And of course, customer experience is the number one priority for most, if not all, companies, though the telecom industry as a whole is struggling to deliver on that front. As of February 2018, the Net Promoter Score® (NPS) of the telecom industry is 31, NPSBenchmarks.com reports, making it one of the lowest-ranked industries the website is tracking. Net Promoter Score measures customer loyalty by providing a metric to show how likely clients are to recommend a company.

In a recent Telecoms Tech survey, telco companies ranked last when respondents were asked which of seven industries is best at delivering a service addressing their needs. Nine out of ten of those surveyed view their telecom provider as a utility. Telcos need to differentiate and focus on customer-centric approaches, just as OTT providers have delivered free, user-friendly services that mobile customers have demanded, Telecoms Tech explains, adding that “those who build new services around the customer, unlocking data to provide seamless, personalised experiences, will find themselves best positioned for success.”



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