March 21, 2023 by Darren Farnon

United Fiber Shares 3 Ways Customer Support Will Help Achieve Its Expansion Goals


Darren Farnon

General Manager, United Fiber


When we entered the fiber broadband business as United Fiber ten years ago, we didn’t imagine the level of demand we’re experiencing for our services today. It’s remarkable to think that we drove an 11 percent increase in subscriber signups in just three weeks when we announced our expansion into the city of St. Joseph. Our accelerated growth has put pressure on our systems and limited resources, so we’ve had to be smart about how we expand. For us, that means differentiating with technology and data to create the kind of customer experience that previously unserved and underserved Missourians deserve.   

As a subsidiary of United Electric Cooperative, we’ve maintained our cooperative values as we’ve grown. It’s no longer just about speed. Now, we’re focused on delivering exceptional subscriber experiences that differentiate us from competitors that don’t know our community like we do. Our United WiFi BLAST service—built on Calix Revenue EDGE™—has helped us stand out in the market because we can manage the end-to-end Wi-Fi experience. This includes providing world-class support with Calix Support Cloud (Support Cloud). Our reputation for exceptional experiences and outstanding support is a major contributor to our Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS®) of +62, as well as the amazing response we’ve had to our expansion into new communities such as St. Joseph.   

Our next major milestone is to reach more than 40,000 residential and business subscribers over the next 18 months. Here are three ways we’re using Support Cloud to help us drive this growth, maintain our happy subscriber base, and improve operational efficiencies in a competitive market.   

Leverage integrated cloud data to improve operational efficiency while increasing self-service support adoption by 183 percent

United Fiber can now provide even more customer-first support through aggregated and integrated data. The combination of Support Cloud, Calix Operations Cloud (Operations Cloud), and Calix Marketing Cloud (Marketing Cloud) means we have a single, enhanced view of the subscriber experience. Our support team can now validate service-related issues without costly truck rolls and provide proactive support.   

For example, network-level visibility via Operations Cloud helps our customer support representatives (CSRs) understand the root cause of complex issues. Using Support Cloud, our CSRs can drill down even further into the subscriber experience for necessary troubleshooting or proactive outreach to resolve issues before subscribers are even aware of a problem. Extending this proactive support, our support teams can tap data from Marketing Cloud to identify subscribers who may be running speed tests or investigating competitive services and reach out to improve their experience.   

Meanwhile, we’re also giving subscribers greater control of their experience with our personalized version of Calix CommandIQ®—the United WiFi BLAST app. In the past year, we increased adoption of the app by 183 percent, driving further efficiencies at our call center and in the field. Together, the Calix Cloud and CommandIQ capabilities enable us to dramatically improve the support experience for our subscribers.   

Support, scale, and build momentum for a growing portfolio of managed services

Support Cloud plays an important role in delivering an exceptional—and differentiated—subscriber experience based on managed services. We’re able to launch and support a growing portfolio of services, such as our whole-home managed Wi-Fi and ProtectIQ®, which every subscriber gets to safeguard their connected homes. We also offer ExperienceIQ® to help subscribers control access and filter content. But we’re just scratching the surface with managed services—we’re testing Arlo Secure now, and we’re very excited to offer new services, including Bark, Calix SmartTown™, and Calix SmartBiz™. As we grow our offerings, our support teams will continue to rely on Support Cloud to ensure an exceptional subscriber experience while increasing efficiencies even further.    

Align to an experience provider purpose, increasing subscribers by 11 percent

We recently announced our new plan build for St. Joseph, with a campaign that drove 3,000 new signups—an 11 percent uptick in subscribers—in less than a month. As we add to our customer support and field installation teams to support our expansion into St. Joseph and other communities, we’ll continue to rely on Calix Premier Success Services (Premier Success). Their invaluable guidance and best practices ensure we’re delivering exceptional subscriber experiences across the organization, at every touchpoint. Now, CSRs have access to the same data as our field technicians, making it much easier to collaborate. Through programs such as EDGE Enablement Workshops, they also have the information they need to position and upsell the value and benefits of our managed service offerings, fueling our growth.   

Calix has played an integral role in our transformation from delivering fiber broadband connectivity to becoming an experience provider. We are proud of our ability to provide world-class support on a local level. By bringing new services to market that our customers want and need, we are laying the foundation to increase value in the communities we serve, for decades to come.   

Watch the replay of the webinar, “Managed Services With Exceptional Experiences: How Broadband Providers Win,” to learn how service providers can transform their value propositions with managed services.   

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.