This blog is by Jane Rygaard from the Networks business of Nokia.
With a wink and a nod to Jane Austen: It is a truth universally acknowledged that an operator in possession of a good customer must provide an exceptional experience.
Call it pride, or maybe I’m just prejudiced, but after reading recent #BOSSfest14 blogs, I feel the need for a spirited debate around some of the views on CEM and SON.
If I consider my own experience with my mobile operator, it’s a combination of touch points that defines my overall experience. So, yes, I agree that when using my smartphone, I expect a given level of coverage, and I naturally expect a high quality mobile broadband service. But I also judge my operator on its customer care, its various service bundles, and the way it translates the complicated art of charging and billing into an easy-to-understand format.
All in all, I expect my operator to understand my overall experience as a customer and what matters the most to me. And I don’t think I’m alone here… Check out the key Customer Experience Management (CEM) drivers here as confirmed by our customer Acquisition and Retention Study from 2014.
Limiting CEM to only one part of the network feels a bit one-dimensional (kind of like Mrs. Bennet if you’re keeping score with the Pride and Prejudice analogy). When it comes to CEM, we need to take the blinders off and ensure a full 360 degree view of customer. We know network and service quality is an important driver for customer retention, but what determines network and service quality? As a mobile broadband customer, my quality experience is equal to the sum of what’s happening in the network (operator scope) + the applications I’m using + my personal experience with whatever smart device is in my hand. Hence, my operator must consider end-to-end service quality.
To do this, the service model must include the radio, core, transport and IT networks to give an overview of the quality related to experience. This is why I passionately feel that customer experience insight and action has a home everywhere in the network – and beyond.
And in order to deliver the optimum quality cost-effectively, we need to automate our operations. This leads me to the matter of SON and the discussion about whether it should be centralized. In today’s world, where real-time is King, we should be able to add the decision- making power where it makes sense. For example, some optimizations should occur at the edge of the network, without the added delay of asking a centralized algorithm what to do. Sometimes we need the umbrella view, where we can utilize CEM insight to optimize the network the right way for the right customers.
In other words, the best SON option is hybrid: employing a decentralized SON functionality in the network for speed, combined with the power of centralized algorithms where insight from CEM and end-to-end network and service quality factor into the decisions. Call me proud, call me prejudiced – but of this I am certain!
Agree? Disagree? I’m anxious to hear your opinion and continue the discussion.
So feel free to share your thoughts on the topic and join the discussion on Twitter with @NSNtweets using #CSPCX #BOSSfest14 #Nokia.