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Issue of November 2005 

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A 360-degree approach to customer service

Customers are turning to Digital Service Providers (DSP) to provide a comprehensive, bundle of voice, video, and data services. In such a situation, service providers should develop a 360-degree approach to customer service, says, Ashok Waran, Vice-president of Engineering and Services, SupportSoft.

What were the earlier methods of customer service adopted by service providers?

There were two methods used previously. The first related to a situation when the service provider addressed the issue directly at the customer’s location by sending a technician to the customer premises. This was resource and time-intensive, and expensive. The second was the traditional phone support where the customer called the help desk. This method had the customer waiting for long periods of time to receive a response, which was sometimes inadequate.

What are the benefits of a 360-degree approach to customer service?

The 360-degree approach defines a complete set of service automation solutions that extends not only from the customer premises but also from the service provider’s network and call centres. Designed to work together from the first day of service installation to ongoing service management, this approach provides the only comprehensive, integrated service automation answer for triple play service requirements.

The result of this end-to-end approach is that service providers can significantly reduce customer support costs for not just one, but the full bundle of triple play services. It can ease the administration of customer service through a consolidated approach to service management, improve the customer experience by creating one point of accountability, and allow service providers to ‘verify’ installation of all services.

A 360-degree approach can assist in driving incremental revenues, provide a highly scalable service solution for triple play customer service needs, ensure network reliability, and enable a seamless customer experience for issue escalation from installation through ongoing service.

—Soutiman Das Gupta

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