How To Assure Network and Service Quality

Friday, 08 June 2018

People are more connected than ever. We call, text, email, message, tweet and view streams of data across multiple communications channels every day. For telecoms providers, this increases the importance of maintaining robust service quality.

According to research from Teleco Professionals, 75% of telecoms service providers make network quality a key selling point, and yet, “50% of subscribers may churn this year because of it.”

When networks were smaller, maintaining service quality wasn't as challenging. These days, network providers need to work with multiple partners and suppliers, and are supporting the needs of many more customers, most of them using the infrastructure and systems to stream a heavier volume of data. Networks are investing more to ensure consumer and business needs are being met, now and into the future.

Assuring Service Quality Telecoms network providers, partners and suppliers all have a role to play in ensuring network quality is maintained.

1. Forget about fault management
Managing service assurance is far more complex, more strategic than the traditional role played by the teams and partners/suppliers that fixed faults and responded to service issues. Traditionally, that was a reactive role. Now the work involved is proactive, with an emphasis on detecting issues before they become a problem and avoiding downtime at all costs.

2. Managing and sourcing an information flow
Detecting potential faults are more complex. Telecoms providers need to position themselves in the centre of a proactive information flow. Data needs to come in from multiple sources, from partner networks, complex value chains and thousands of other inputs, including monitoring systems for billions of pounds of hardware spread across the UK and worldwide.

3. Service and hardware inventory and repair records
One of the most effective ways to know what/when repairs are needed is to maintain digital records, in real-time, connected to an inventory of network hardware and systems. Integrating repair records with asset management systems gives those responsible for maintenance another way to check when upgrades are needed, which helps to ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum.

4. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) aligned with demand and business objectives
Maintaining network service quality need to align with two core objectives: The telecom provider’s aims and consumer demand patterns. Providing the two are aligned, performance targets and a program of continuous improvements should eliminate or reduce temporary problems that can cause network failures and customer dissatisfaction.

5. Proactive retention strategies
A certain percentage of customers will always churn - leave the network - but your provider shouldn’t be complacent. Every lost customer is lost revenue, and 50% will leave networks as a direct result of call/data quality. Solving problems quickly - ensuring issues are relayed from customers service staff - is one of the most effective ways to keep churn to a minimum. Investing in next generation maintenance and service assurance systems is another way to avoid quality issues costing networks money. Customers need to see that their providers are proactively striving to improve their experience.

What does this mean to your business? Use the points above to benchmark providers when choosing business telephony solutions or if you’re thinking of switching providers. Downtime and poor service costs your business money, potentially negating the savings you may make with a cheaper provider. While cloud telephony will deliver costs savings to your business compared to existing legacy telecoms systems, service quality must override price as be a key factor in your decision.

Communications downtime either through human error or because of cyber-attack or disaster does happen; therefore, you’ll want to work with a business telecoms provider that will support your organisation in getting back to business as soon as possible. Ask about their business continuity plans and how they will support you.

Our expert team will guide you through the necessary considerations and help you assure network and service quality. Speak with us on 0800 054 2576 or email sales@incom.co.uk

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