Improving Quality of Experience while Achieving ROI

By Tim Moynihan

Customer experience is critical for long-term business success. However, it’s inevitable that a business’ communication system is bound to experience unpredictable technical issues and dropped calls. While glitches will sometimes happen, users still expect the highest level of quality and will no longer tolerate service “hiccups.” Poor customer experience should be an exception, not the norm, and it should not be a contributor to revenue loss.

Businesses that strive to differentiate themselves by providing a great Quality of Experience (QoE) often recognize a strong return on investment (ROI) from increased customer retention and lower revenue leakage rates. Smart businesses know that in order to continuously assure customer satisfaction, it’s necessary to implement end-to-end performance monitoring.

Before moving forward with a performance monitoring implementation, executives typically must understand the financial return prior to committing funds. It’s easy to say that a breakdown in a business communication system can result in lost customers, but many organizations prefer a more concrete analysis.

To illustrate just how quickly the costs associated with technology failures can add up, consider these quick computations associated with interactive voice response (IVR) failures or poor voice quality (as highlighted in Figure 1). Until an organization goes through this exercise, it’s hard to comprehend just how big of an issue this is.

Costs Associated with Technology Failures

Cost of IVR Failures =           (average cost per call handled by an agent
– average cost per call contained by IVR)
x calls sent to agents as a result of IVR outages

Cost of poor voice quality =    percent of calls extended due to poor voice quality
x average additional talk time in minutes
x average call cost minute

Cost of back-office delays =   percent of calls affected by back-end issues
x average length of delay in minutes
x average call cost minute

Cost of misdirected calls =     percent of calls incorrectly transferred
x average cost per transfer

Figure 1: These calculations do not include costs
associated with diagnosing and correcting problems.

Tips for Achieving Positive QoE and ROI

  1. Preempt issues and ensure peak performance: A major financial services corporation saved three million dollars by reducing voice quality issues and improving its automated response system, resulting in the generation of tremendous returns for both customers and the bottom line.
  2. Resolve database back-end and automated response issues: An insurance company generated 1.5 million dollars in savings after monitoring their network and responding to glitches affecting customer service.
  3. Address automated response and call routing systems: A major transportation company saved four million dollars by addressing issues associated with its automated self-service solutions and call routing systems, after an end-to-end monitoring solution isolated the source of the issues.

Advances in communication and enterprise technologies should enable organizations to streamline processes and enhance the customer experience, not burden customers with dropped calls or long wait times. By implementing an end-to-end monitoring solution, organizations have greater visibility across today’s complex environments. This enables businesses to reduce the time it takes to understand the source of a problem and fix it before their customers even notice the glitch.

Tim Moynihan is vice president of marketing at Empirix.

[From Connection Magazine November 2012]

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