Customer experience: what’s so complicated? Just fix it!

via flickr © ukCWCS (CC BY 2.0)

via flickr © ukCWCS (CC BY 2.0)

  • Survey: Over two-thirds of C-level executives now prioritise customer experience above profit and revenue growth.
  • Question: What planet are the other third living on?
  • Some of them may have been seconded to Planet Zog, but a smattering are holding down jobs at a (nameless) broadband operator and are responsible for fashioning my customer experiences... and they're not good.


This week I awoke to find the DSL down. Devices were turned off and on, connections were checked, all was present and correct. So while the DSL MAY have come back of its own accord, I could have been looking at that flickering red light for days... better call. Eventually I got through to the telephone robot which asked me for a PIN code. Didn’t have one. I went to the operator’s mobile shop to explain my predicament. “Your problem,” says the man, “is that your broadband is on a different system.”

“No,” I exclaim, “that’s your problem!”

An hour and 20 minutes of  phone time later and the DSL service came back under its own steam.

The above trivial 21st century problem isn’t unique or noteworthy in any way. Every mobile user has similar ‘customer experiences’. They’re just what we all expect.

And that’s the problem.

The ‘customer experience’ drum has been banging now for at least 15 years and nothing changes.

Meanwhile, the relentless highlighting, urging and survey-mongering continues. Well-meaning companies of all stripes uncover again and again the same underlying telco problem-set. The  technology and service silos; the lack of customer focus; the lack of management recognition that there IS a customer focus problem, and perhaps above all, the recognition that revenues and profitability are inextricably linked with improved customer experiences by actually enabling, not detracting from, improved financial performance.

So another research report was today launched by Engage Hub,  which describes itself as the data-driven customer engagement company. The survey reveals that over two-thirds of C-level executives interviewed see customer experience as a top business priority.

“Businesses have realised that the only way to profit and grow is by getting the customer experience right, and have prioritised accordingly,” said Ray Tierney, CEO, Engage Hub. “With their priorities now in order, the challenge is in delivery - which is where many businesses report significant challenges.”

According to the report, most businesses, in all sorts of sectors, see that their biggest issue is in “joining up” siloed systems and people. “32% see their departments working in silos as a major barrier to progress, while 29% see a lack of integration between business systems as the biggest problem - both will hold back the investments businesses have made in new technology to create a better customer experience.”

Nothing against Engage Hub, but this, in hardly changed form, is what we’ve been hearing about telecoms for years. The problems are all well described and understood, so what we need to know is why those barriers are so intractable. And why a full third of ‘C-level executives’ seem not to have processed the data?

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.