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What is Virtual NPS and how can it drive network excellence?

The Virtual NPS (Net Promoter Score) could be key to measuring and improving customer experience for networks. Assaf Aloni, VP Marketing at CellMining, explains how the industry should be using Virtual NPS.

Measuring and improving customer experience is a key business priority in today’s mobile communications industry. The NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a well-known index of customer satisfaction, which is calculated from customer responses to a standard telephone, online questionnaire and various other channels. Although customer satisfaction is largely qualitative, the NPS places a numerical value on it. The CEM teams can then cross-reference the NPS with the network KPIs experienced by each customer, which might have affected their survey responses.

But is this approach really as effective as it could be? NPS results can too easily be influenced by ‘soft’ factors such as call centre responsiveness and retail outlet performance, which – while important to the customer at the time – have nothing to do with network performance. In the longer term these factors are far less important than any negative experiences with the network.

The network operator’s key objective should be the ability to meet subscriber expectations for voice and data service fulfilment. Real pain points like low quality VoLTE calls, slow video streaming, or frequent dropped connections when travelling, may not show up on current CEM systems. If there’s no realistic feedback and no service improvement, then the customer may become just another churn statistics.

Virtual NPS works differently, building a continually-evolving picture of how good a customer’s mobile experience really is and assigning a score that shows remarkable correlation with the NPS score obtained by a conventional survey. It does this for the whole subscriber base, not just a sample, and identifies users with less than satisfactory scores so that action can be taken before they complain or consider moving to another provider.

The network analytics technology behind Virtual NPS provides a measure of performance against various network KPIs, displayed in real time on a dashboard. This deep CX insight can uncover hidden quality issues, such as group of subscribers who are being forced to use legacy technologies like GPRS for data, which would not show up in a traditional satisfaction survey. Steering these subscribers onto the more advanced technology networks will improve their data session experiences, and turn them into promoters rather than detractors.

Unlike conventional NPS – which takes place on a sample basis and can easily be skewed by a recent one-off event – Virtual NPS allows CX to be monitored on a continual basis, and gives CX insights that can potentially uncover undetected quality issues. It can therefore be a much more reliable indicator of real-life customer experience than the more subjective satisfaction scores.

Virtual NPS technology, which fully automates the correlation of subscriber data with real key network quality indicators, can actually turn the ideal of automatic churn prediction into a reality. It can do this by utilizing precise quantitative metrics, characterizing real-life subscriber experience on the network, to drive an automated system for predicting and preventing churn. Incompatible handsets, getting stuck on a slower technology, moving into an area with a higher density of subscribers –all of these things can produce an annoying degradation in service quality that, if left unaddressed, can influence a customer to leave the network, but which can easily be rectified once the issue is flagged.

Assaf Aloni will be speaking at 5G Latin America, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, 25 - 27 April 2017.

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