Customer experience is now the focus for the CIO – about time!

 BillingViews has recently become interested in customer experience. Thankfully, it also has a sense of humour.

CEOs are often seen and heard talking about customer experience. They are then seen and heard talking about huge investments in 4G, spectrum, data, new technology and eating other companies. Some are even heard saying things like ‘access everywhere at great quality are table stakes.’

And yet in so many places big, big companies are not even able to put up the table stakes.

BillingViews was relieved and sympathetic in equal measure to see that Comcast in the States – apparently ‘the worst company in America’ – is unable to provide the basic broadband and connectivity services that their business is based on. The first part of the article suggested it was just the inhabitants of Murfreesboro, Tennessee that were bearing the brunt but it turns out that the lack of actual service is widespread.

And while that is going on, a Mr Cohen, of Comcast, is busy trying to persuade Congress that taking over Time Warner will not affect the quality of their service.

Which should be easy, because, apparently, there is none.

Mergers are generally tricky things. Mergers between huge companies are very, very tricky things. As Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner and consumer advocate says, “when any individual or any company ingests too much too fast, that’s not good for the digestive system.”

Our sympathy goes out to the inhabitants of Tennessee – post merger.

Those of you who are regular readers will know and possibly even been amused by our dim view of the quality of service of our communications providers – patchy at best in the capital of Scotland and non-existent across vast swathes of Hampshire, a mere 60 miles from London.

Our mobile provider is not the only bad penny, mind you. A colleague in the Finance world has a different provider and he, like many, often thinks ‘Ah, two hours on the train,’ or a three drive, excellent, time to make all those calls.’ And has been cut off so many times that he, like many, has given up.

And don’t get us started on broadband. Or the fact that the on-going issue with a password system being unable to accept a hyphen as a character has yet to be resolved even after an hour and a half on the phone.

So, imagine our surprise and delight when we see a study by IBM that says that 60 percent of CIOs are shifting their focus to improving customer experience and 80 percent are going to venture more into the front office areas of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.

Which is excellent news.

Perhaps once they have listened to angry, frustrated customers shouting at innocent customer service reps for a day or so, they will pick up a big stick, carve ‘Customer Experience – Get The Basics Right’ and go and bash some heads with it.

It is a joke. And not a very funny one.



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About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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