40G won’t solve poor customer experience

Have you ever had to send an important E-Mail to your boss on the go, taken that devastating glance at your phone and realised you have poor coverage or you’re on 2G again? We have all been there; standing on a park bench, balancing on one leg to finally receive just enough ‘Bars’ to send that E-Mail is not what we pay for.

What do you expect for parting with your hard earned cash each month on your mobile contract? That it works when you need it; not too much to ask, you expect the service you pay for. We know this isn't always the case though and try as they might, whether they are offering 4G or 40G, we all know that mobile services will NEVER be perfect due to network limitations. Instead of filling our heads with lovely advertisements of happy families watching films on tablets in the middle of the Australian Outback or business folk sending emails in the deepest darkest depths of the Amazon rainforest, we would rather know the realistic, real-time performance of the service we can receive right here, right now.

For example, Satnav services tell you of road bottlenecks and propose alternate roads. Train timetable apps warn you of delays on your line and propose alternate routes. So why don’t we get the same information about our mobile service? My satnav tells me of road blocks that are likely to affect my journey. It is intelligent enough to not bother me with road issues that are not relevant to me so I would like the same service with my mobile service issues.

Don’t get me wrong; what Mobile Operators offer us is fantastic, and those of us with knowledge of how the mobile network works marvel at what we have all created. Of course along with the increase in speeds over the last decade, customers’ expectations are also climbing fast. If you’re paying £50 per month, or the equivalent, so would yours!

Based on our measured customer data there has been a step function change in performance from 2G to 3G. Not so with the transition from 3G to 4G and once again the promise of yet another technology to solve all our problems disappoints customers. Our On-Device measurements show that on average the performance change from 3G to 4G is minimal, yes there are peaks but the lack of ubiquitous coverage at launch prevails. So if 4G doesn’t solve the problem will 40G? Or is educating the customer on when and where to use specific services the solution to a better mobile customer experience?

With the help of CIQUAL’s application, why not enable customers to proactively check their exact service performance and help them get the best use of the service they pay for? Don’t get frustrated and angry just move to a better location or connect to your nearest hotspot (with help on where it is obviously). What the consumer needs is proactive advice on where and when they can send that Tweet or watch the video of Gangnam Style on YouTube. We believe (and can prove) a more proactive approach will result in a less aggravated customer, less disappointment and reduced time spent on customer service lines; a win-win situation for all parties.

As applications are getting increasingly greedier for network resources and with catch up players being one of the main culprits gobbling up your data allowance, there is even more stress on the Operator’s network. When customers’ call their mobile operator it isn't always economical to fix the individual’s problem but with the right measurements and information from My Connection operators could be making the consumer more knowledgeable on the ‘real – world’ limitations of wireless networks. The next step for the operator is to set realistic consumer expectations based on predicted network performance.

4G or 40G is NOT about technology, it should be about enhancing the customer experience and providing a realistic service performance that meets or exceeds the consumer expectations.

Should acknowledging mobile network limitations and giving mobile users the tools to improve their own experience be the next step? We see this as real customer experience management.

CIQUAL’s ‘My Connection’ is available for download from Apple App Store and Google Play.