Managing customer experience during network consolidation

Introduction

Mobile operators are facing the challenge of declining Average Revenue per User (ARPU) and increasing subscriber data usage volumes. They need to find ways to reduce CAPEX and OPEX and one such option is network mergers and acquisitions.

The most challenging acquisition from a technical standpoint is when an operator acquires a competitor in the same geographical area. The network consolidation transition period takes considerable time and will consist of vendor and hardware swaps, reconfigurations and decommissioning activities. Operators typically take this opportunity to carry out large upgrades to their network at the same time which further adds to the number of activities to be carried out.

Subscriber numbers

Challenges

Where possible every precaution is taken to minimise customer impact throughout the consolidation process.

However there will be scenarios where network outages are required and these can have a negative impact on the customer experience.

In today’s world of social media, negative views of an operator can spread rapidly and a damaged reputation is difficult to repair.

Cost reduction

Approach and Achievements

Aspire helps operators maintain customer experience at the two vital stages during network outages; pre-outage and post-outage.

Last year one of our clients, a Tier 1 operator in a European market, acquired a competing Tier 1 operator in the same market.

Aspire played a vital role in managing Customer Experience.

Aspire were the sole technical representative and point of contact between the operator’s networks and their technology departments, in a cross-operator and cross-departmental customer experience initiative.

  • Pre-Outage; Aspire’s solutions pro-actively engage with customers regarding outages. Communicating details including impacted areas, outage durations and expected benefits (such as improved coverage or increased data speeds) ensures that customers are aware of such activities and the expected benefits of them. Aspire liaised with both operators and their service providers to gather outage information. Aspire reviewed and categorised this data and distributed it to other departments, including customer care and key account managers. This planning schedule was then distributed to customers using a combination of targeted SMS communications and wider scale communications using the operator’s online presence and public advertising avenues. This proactive engagement minimised the negative impact on the customer experience and was perceived by the operator’s customer base as a proactive, engaging and positive approach.
  • Post-Outage; Aspire monitored cell performance and user experience in the crucial period after the outage, ensuring that Customer Experience KPIs were attained or improved upon. Customers of the acquired operator were migrated onto the main operator’s network. If not planned properly this could have resulted in a different Customer Experience by those customers. Aspire managed process planning, identification and resolution of issues, escalating priority issues. Several key performance related issues were identified on each consolidated site post-outage which were resolved quickly by the Aspire team. These issues would have been undetected without Aspire’s monitoring capabilities.

Aspire played a vital role in protecting the operator’s public perception at a time of unavoidable customer impacting activities

SMS and call savings

 

 



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