What does a Customer-centric Service Provider look like on the inside?

Most of our work is with Communications Service Providers who have acknowledged they are on a journey from network-centric thinking to customer-centric thinking. The journey really starts when the Service Provider acknowledges the shift to customer-centricity in their Strategy; from there programs are put in place to execute the strategy, with individual and team objectives closely aligned to customer metrics such as NPS.

But this shift from network-centric to customer-centric is hard, very hard.

Mostly it’s hard on the Service Provider staff. They are asked to work in new ways, delivering improvements horizontally across the organisation while still working in a vertical department-based reporting structure.

In the middle of such a transformation you can sometimes feel frustrated and lost. Need some signposts to know you are on the right track?

  • Your company has identified a small set of processes that are not customer-centric and has a cross-functional team in place to change these processes. Crucially, you believe they are fixing the most important processes first

  • There is increasing respect for each other’s job function; this comes as people in departments understand more what their colleagues in other departments need and the pressures they are under

    • Sales and IT might continue to ‘challenge’ each other, but there is clear respect on what each is doing to deliver customer-centricity

    • Marketing and Operations still argue when a network problem occurs, but they know they are on the same side; both trying to deliver the best to the end.

  • And most importantly, systems start to deliver to multiple departments. Examples…

    • A network maps tool traditionally used in Operations is used by Customer Service to show customers the coverage they can expect

    • The online community pages are read by Operations team to understand problems real customers are facing

    • Tickets in the Customer Service trouble ticketing system are analysed by Network Planning when considering the new wave of network rollout

The move from network-centric to customer-centric is long and can be hard, but at some point your customers will start to notice the difference! NPS increase, revenue increase, churn decrease…

Until then, keep an eye on the internal signposts that you are on the right track.