September 12, 2018 by Pam Ferguson

Call Center Assessments Reveal Broadband Service Providers’ Top Tickets & Critical Challenges


Over the past year, Bob Carrick, Calix’s own Broadband Customer Service Specialist, has been working with service providers to realign their operations to meet the changing subscriber landscape. Recently, during a live webinar, he shared some of his key takeaways. Check out the complete webinar here: Top 5 Support Center Best Practices: Delivering best Subscriber Experience, while Reducing OPEX and Increasing Revenue.

Here are a few highlights from his discussion.

What’s in a call center assessment?

Bob’s typically starts with an analysis of the service provider’s trouble tickets. This goes beyond a simplistic look at how many tickets there are and how often they are created and is designed to give service providers a better understanding of what support reps are dealing with regularly – the types of subscriber issues that are initiating the calls.

Then a deeper dive takes place, looking into how the reps are tackling the subscriber concerns - a much closer look at how prepared the tier-1 and tier-2 service reps are, how they are responding, when they are escalating calls, and also the types of tools they are using to successfully address the callers’ issues.

Depending on the agreed scope and opportunity, the assessments can include field operations as well for a more thorough evaluation. Shadowing a field technician for a day as they visit subscribers’ homes to tackle escalations can provide invaluable insights to the end to end process.

Setting criteria for evaluation is key as they provide a baseline for recommendations and benchmarking against best practices for lowering operations costs and improving subscriber experience. If you are interested in an assessment for your customer care center, sign up here.

What are some of the key subscriber concerns driving the tickets?

According to a summary of Bob’s findings, not surprisingly, over 50 percent of tickets are Wi-Fi related, closely followed by WAN issues at 35 percent.

Wi-Fi issues are either performance or connectivity related, such as interference caused by a baby monitor or Wi-Fi speakers, and coverage issues where the size of the home might demand a mesh device to get Wi-Fi at every corner of the house. And very often, subscribers expect their newly acquired devices to ‘automagically’ connect to Wi-Fi but ultimately experience hiccups.

Lastly, what Bob calls ‘customer education calls’, come in at ~15 percent: calls generally not directly related to the service you may be offering but may require explaining basics of Wi-Fi, for example, to a customer.

How prepared are support reps?

Bob has uncovered four key challenges across broadband service providers that are impacting the productivity of their reps.

  • Lack of visibility into the in-home experience where the reps are expected to address the issues but are blind to the callers’ Wi-Fi performance and connected devices.
  • Swivel chair support requiring reps to log into many different tools and several screens and clicks to simply get to the information they need.
  • Poor escalation processes where the callers are put on long holds while tier-2 reps are called, or worse, opening a ticket and taking too long to call back subscribers - generally driving up caller frustration.
  • Tools with limited, static intelligence that require the rep to do extensive manual analysis while the caller is waiting on the line.

As expected these factors end up increasing average talk/handle time, repeat calls/tickets, decreasing customer satisfaction, and as a result, increasing OPEX.

And of course, any review is pointless without a set of recommendations to improve. Bob goes a step further and also provides projected ROI as a result of making the prescribed changes. To hear some practical recommendations and the ROI other Calix customers are seeing, be sure to watch the recording of the webinar at your convenience.