Crack the Mo­bile Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Prob­lem

Voice&Data - - CONTENT - Aditya Dhruva (The au­thor, Aditya Dhruva is VP and Head of Mes­sag­ing & Broad­band So­lu­tions at Mahin­dra Com­viva) vndedit@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

With the grow­ing us­age of smart­phones, mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, chang­ing sub­scriber expectations, and net­works mi­grat­ing from 3G to 4G, man­ag­ing the user ex­pe­ri­ence in the mo­bile data era is a multi-faceted chal­lenge. What could be ear­lier man­aged by turn­ing a few net­work levers and take sim­ple mea­sure­ments, has quickly turned into an eco-sys­tem play.

Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence Man­age­ment (CEM), as the name sug­gests, is all about un­der­stand­ing the per­cep­tion of the cus­tomer and de­vis­ing ways to bet­ter it. It is how the cus­tomer sees the per­for­mance of the ser­vice provider and that trend over time cap­tures the likes / dis­likes of the de­mo­graphic for the ser­vices pro­vided.

Huge amount of in­vest­ment is go­ing into the re­search of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. An­a­lyt­ics has been taken to the next level, crunch­ing petabytes of data just to understand the cus­tomer sen­ti­ment. An in­crease of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence score by a dec­i­mal point im­plies ad­di­tional mul­ti­digit mil­lions of dol­lars in the cof­fers of the op­er­a­tor. No won­der op­er­a­tors are spend­ing vast sums of money to insert probes at var­i­ous points in their in­fra­struc­ture to get valu­able teleme­try back to their an­a­lyt­ics sys­tems, to help them re­al­ize those ex­tra points.

But what is missed in all this is that the sub­scriber ex­pe­ri­ence is only partly de­pen­dent on the op­er­a­tor per­for­mance.

As out­lined in Fig­ure 1, the per­cep­tion is a com­bi­na­tion of many fac­tors. As the fi­nal con­nec­tiv­ity with the sub­scriber is through the air in­ter­face, weather can play a big part in the ex­pe­ri­ence. The op­er­a­tor’s net­work in a par­tic­u­lar area could be go­ing over the ca­pac­ity, or there could be too many han­dovers, which causes the sub­scriber ex­pe­ri­ence to suf­fer. The ap­pli­ca­tions them­selves are to blame many a times, as they are not al­ways de­vel­oped op­ti­mally, and hog the net­work un­nec­es­sar­ily. The same sub­scriber may perc e i ve things dif­fer­ently us­ing dif­fer­ent hand­sets, but in the same con­di­tions on the same op­er­a­tor’s net­work. Last but not least, the un­der­ly­ing plat­form used on the hand­sets also mat­ters, as an IOS or an An­droid de­vice may be­have dif­fer­ently to a Win­dows phone un­der the same con­di­tions.

Pos­i­tive mo­bile sub­scriber ex­pe­ri­ence is not just about the op­er­a­tor do­ing his bit cor­rectly, but the whole eco-sys­tem be­ing able to per­form well in sync. Op­er­a­tors need to get in­sights into how their net­work is hold­ing up across re­gions, de­vices, weather con­di­tions, etc. De­vice man­u­fac­tur­ers have to learn how their prod­ucts are per­form­ing in real life, un­der dif­fer­ent con­di­tions as well as com­pared to the rest of the in­dus­try. Ap­pli­ca­tion providers re­quire data that show them how good or bad their ap­pli­ca­tions are in deal­ing with var­ied de­vice and net­work sit­u­a­tions to im­prove the end-user ex­pe­ri­ence. And let’s not forget that sub­scriber be­hav­ior and cor­rect / in­cor­rect us­age has a ma­jor role to play as well in the qual­ity per­cep­tion.

It is im­por­tant for any an­a­lyt­ics so­lu­tion to con­sider the holis­tic ecosys­tem pic­ture in or­der to pro­vide the best in­sights into cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. Only then the true po­ten­tial of big data an­a­lyt­ics for im­prov­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence can be re­al­ized. Any ven­dor who cracks this puz­zle will stand out from the com­pe­ti­tion in this large mar­ket op­por­tu­nity.

Fig­ure 1: In­flu­encers of Mo­bile User Ex­pe­ri­ence

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