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Communication service providers see rise in customer experience budget in 2013

Veronica C. Silva | Sept. 19, 2012
Competitive differentiation compels decision-makers to push for more budget.

Communication service providers are decided on increasing their budgets to improve customer-experience management (CEM) next year. The challenge, though, is the implementation.

According to the survey by telecom research firm Heavy Reading and sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent, two-thirds of the respondents are expecting greater CEM spending in 2013.

The survey quantified and ranked elements that service providers deem as most important when they are trying to address CEM. Based on these elements and feedback from decision makers of 75 service providers around the world, the survey revealed that service providers view CEM as "strategic". More than three-quarters of the respondents see an improved CEM as an opportunity to attract new businesses.

Two-thirds agree that it could enhance brand image, while six out of 10 expressed confidence that it could create differentiation among competitors.


"Service providers are looking at customer experience management to differentiate in an increasingly crowded and competitive market," said Caroline Chappell, senior analyst, Heavy Reading.

The catch in a successful CEM, however, is how to start it rolling.

More than half of the respondents said they find it difficult to secure the cooperation of people across the organisation.

"They are all approaching CEM from different starting points, however, and typically find it difficult to implement it in a holistic, differentiated way," added Chappell.

Quick turnaround

In the same survey, nine of 10 respondents noted the importance of answering queries of customers and giving quick solutions to their problems.

Three-quarters of the respondents also saw the value of frequent measurement of their top five metrics, knowing that the effort would generate "significant" impact on their ability to provide superior customer experience.

On the other hand, activities such as prioritising network quality of service based on the value of an individual customer are perceived as relatively less important.

"One thing that jumped out to me is how serious service providers are about understanding the experiences that their customers have with various products and services, so that any problems can be corrected and customer loyalty can be improved," Greg Owens, senior marketing director, Customer Experience Solutions (CXS), Alcatel-Lucent said.


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