When I started in the Calix support organization in 2005, I worked on the front lines taking support calls from our customers. So, I can relate to the support challenges that our broadband service provider (BSP) customers face every day. Over the past 15 years, BSPs have continued to transform their businesses. And right now, an excellent support experience is more critical than ever.
The benefits of enhancing customer support strategies are quantifiable. For example, by partnering with Calix Customer Success Services, CTC Telecom transformed their installation and support processes, resulting not only in a rapid deployment of GigaSpire BLAST systems, but a first call resolution of 68+ percent, a 37 percent decrease in call volumes, and a reduction of truck rolls by 34 percent. As the global customer support services team leader, I see an enormous opportunity for BSP support teams to differentiate through a proactive support approach. Recently at Calix ConneXions 2021, I shared my perspectives on how to drive the transformation of the support team. Here are the three critical pillars of leading with a proactive support mindset.
Pillar #1: Build an amazing team culture with a unified purpose.
Great support starts with great people. Support professionals love helping people—that’s what drives their bigger purpose. Support leaders need to harness this energy. Our teams need the right tools and skills development to help them educate subscribers and deliver a superior experience every day. A passion for customer support translates to better service for our customers and has an essential impact on employee satisfaction. How we treat our support team members is a direct reflection of how we treat our customers. At Calix, our customer support organization consistently achieves high customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores (94 percent).
Pillar #2: Leverage data to improve the subscriber experience.
Service providers have access to a vast wealth of subscriber data. This information should extend to how we provide support. Customer support teams should continually review customer-call data to track issues and how they were resolved. I keep an eye on metrics like informational requests and first-call resolution rates to drive self-service opportunities.
The next step is determining how to give subscribers what they want before they need it. Examine data consistently and share it cross-functionally with other teams across your organization. Data analysis will improve your product, define better processes, and improve the subscriber experience. Every interaction is an opportunity for feedback on how to improve, not only from a support perspective but as a company.
SCTelcom, the Calix 2021 Innovations in Customer Support award winner, uses data to evaluate and improve performance, a strategy that led to the organization experiencing a 100 percent retention rate in their customer support organization. In an industry where call center churn is typically high, SCTelcom has registered zero support staff turnover in the last five years.
Pillar #3: Innovate from your collective experiences.
Empower and encourage your team to share ideas and explore best practices. Support teams interact daily with subscribers, so there’s a huge opportunity to learn from these experiences. You will learn how to innovate processes to prevent frustration and limit churn.
These three approaches are yielding enormous benefits for our customers. Consider the case of Norvado. Their team increased operational efficiency and reduced support costs by 30 percent, all while significantly reducing truck rolls by tapping into the real-time intelligence and self-serve capabilities available in the Apex Managed WIFI app (their branded version of Calix CommandIQ®) and Calix Support Cloud. By implementing the pillars I’ve outlined here, you can achieve similar success.
Learn more about best practices for transforming your support organization Download Optimizing the Support Center: Seven Essentials for Broadband Service Providers.