Service providers plan to increase customer experience management spending in 2013

September 19, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
According to a survey conducted by telecom research house Heavy Reading and sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent, communications service providers are committing ever-increasing budgets to improving the customer experience in an effort to distinguish themselves from competitors.

As importantly, the survey indicates that service providers are extremely interested in understanding the experiences that their customers have with various products and services, so that any problems can be corrected and customer loyalty can be improved.

The survey, which was conducted in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent’s Market and Consumer Insight (MCI), quantifies and ranks the elements service providers deem most important in the area of customer experience management (CEM) and incorporates the feedback from key CEM decision makers at 75 service providers around the world. The survey provides detailed insights into the drivers and barriers they perceive, as well as the solutions they require and the strategies they have in mind to excel in CEM.

Caroline Chappell, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading said: “Service providers are looking at customer experience management to differentiate in an increasingly crowded and competitive market. They are all approaching CEM from different starting points, however, and typically find it difficult to implement it in a holistic, differentiated way. Our survey results have yielded a rich stream of insights into service provider CEM, particularly around their specific reasons to invest in CEM.”

Some interesting outcomes of the study include:

CEM investment increasing: Customer experience management will be an area of focus and investment for service providers in 2013, with two-thirds of respondents expecting to increase next year’s expenditures in this area.

CEM seen as opportunity for differentiation: Service providers view CEM as strategic, with more than three-quarters of respondents indicating that improved CEM provides an opportunity to attract new business, two-thirds agreeing that it could improve their brand image and nearly six-in-ten confident that it will provide competitive differentiation.

Common customer satisfaction metrics being measured:
While CEM-related metrics are clearly valuable to service providers (e.g., customer satisfaction, network and service availability), the study shows that there is a strong desire to take measurements more frequently — with three-quarters of respondents agreeing that measuring their top five