In an industry where shaving seconds off inbound support calls, reducing the number of trouble tickets, or eliminating unnecessary truck rolls can have huge implications for your business, it’s essential to access the right information about subscribers and their networks, at the right time.
ALLO Communications leads the way with its approach to customer support—seeing massive increases in operational efficiency that translate to real cost savings, while also delivering the kind of customer support experiences that keep subscribers happy and loyal for decades. I recently caught up with Nick Colton, director of technical support and IT at ALLO, to discuss how the company is leveraging solutions such as Calix Support Cloud and CommandIQ® to optimize their customer support, deliver an outstanding experience to their subscribers, and support the continued growth of the company. He also shared his perspectives on some of the new capabilities delivered in recent releases of Calix Support Cloud and CommandIQ and the impact of these features on the customer support organization at ALLO and its subscribers.
Christina: ALLO and Calix have been working together for many years and your business has grown dramatically over that time. How have your customer support strategy and best practices evolved over the last three to five years, and what has the impact been?
Nick: We’ve worked with Calix for many years, and the solutions and services you provide have become the cornerstone of our customer support organization—it’s a true partnership. Looking back, I think the biggest change is having access to the right information at the right time. Calix Support Cloud and CommandIQ give us visibility into our subscribers’ networks and usage that we wouldn’t have previously imagined possible. And it’s had a significant impact on our company, in time, financial savings, and human resources.
We’ve cut down on trouble tickets that would have translated to truck rolls—and for every five percent reduction in truck rolls it frees up our field techs to complete seven additional installs per business day. We’ve been able to slash call times by about 30 seconds per call. And we’ve increased our ticket close ratio—our Tier 1 CSRs are now closing 60 percent of trouble tickets, meaning we don’t have to escalate to another team or send a truck out. The impact is enormous.
Christina: You offer ALLO IQ, a branded version of the CommandIQ mobile app, to provide self-service capabilities to your subscribers. How has empowering your subscribers impacted your business?
Nick: We’ve seen that providing an app that can help our managed Wi-Fi customers easily manage basic features—things like SSID and password management, guest network management, Wi-Fi restrictions, and bandwidth testing—has a direct impact on their experience. With ALLO IQ, subscribers have control of their network, right in the palm of their hands.
They particularly like the parental controls capabilities in add-ons such as ExperienceIQ™—they want to monitor what their children are doing on the Internet, limit the times they can use it, or restrict access altogether, digitally “ground” them. They also appreciate the enhanced security offered by ProtectIQ™—they don’t generally share feedback on it because it works so seamlessly, but on our side, we can see how often things are blocked before they can cause issues.
By empowering our subscribers with the self-help capabilities in ALLO IQ, we see a positive impact on inbound support calls—subscribers that take the ALLO Blast and ALLO IQ together call in with trouble 20 percent less than those that have only the ALLO Blast. If all of our subscribers used ALLO IQ, we would be able to free up a full-time Tier 1 support agent to focus on proactive customer support. These are just two more reasons we’re focused on driving the adoption of ALLO IQ among our ALLO Blast subscribers.
Christina: You’ve just rolled out the most recent release of Calix Support Cloud to your organization—what new features excite your team most?
Nick: From our perspective, Calix has doubled down on its investment in Calix Support Cloud over the last year, stepping up on the UX/UI redesign and new features in the previous two to three releases.
One aspect that we’re particularly excited about is the ability to get to any option in Calix Support Cloud within three clicks—it’s so intuitive and fast. The refreshed UX/UI and dashboards in Calix Support Cloud give us nearly immediate access to the information we need to quickly diagnose and resolve problems. Additionally, the ability of Calix Support Cloud to cache information when agents move between screens will allow us to reduce time spent on the phone with subscribers by 60-90 seconds.
We’re also able to identify potential issues and proactively address them before they become a problem. I’ve seen statistics indicating that around 80 percent of customers that experience issues won’t complain about your service; they’ll switch to a competitor. So, the ability to be proactive and fix an issue before it becomes a crisis is incredibly important in increasing satisfaction and reducing churn.
Calix Support Cloud gives us full visibility of the subscriber’s network—we can see everything that’s connected, even down to the OS that’s running on the devices. It helps the agent have a much more informed discussion with the subscriber and allows us to get to resolution more quickly. We also have access to data such as how frequently a subscriber may have breached their service tier, giving us the opportunity to offer an upgrade that meets their needs, or if that’s not feasible for the subscriber, to help them adjust their behaviors so they can avoid the issue.
Another Calix Support Cloud feature that we’re excited about is the ability for agents to see the “My Priorities” traffic and device settings subscribers have established in ExperienceIQ. They can see what the subscriber is seeing in ALLO IQ, change the settings directly, or walk the subscriber through the process. This is yet another feature that will improve the experience for the subscriber and save valuable time for the CSR.
Christina: Your focus on delivering the best possible experience to your subscribers seems to be paying off, not only in cost savings to ALLO but also in terms of subscriber satisfaction and loyalty. Can you share a bit more on this?
Nick: Our dedication to providing an exceptional experience to our subscribers is ingrained in our culture—we’re not just providing a service to our subscribers; we’re helping to connect communities. We’re committed to ensuring our subscribers’ satisfaction and earning their loyalty every day. We are particularly proud to see this effort reflected in our monthly Net Promoter Scores (NPS)—in our most recent survey in March, we received an NPS of +71 for technical support. When you compare that to industry average scores that are around zero, it’s particularly gratifying, but it’s even better knowing that you’re delivering a great experience to your subscribers.