Reducing costs? Here’s why ISPs should focus on support efficiency in 2022

Written by Erin Penney

It’s no secret that margins are slim for ISPs in general; the industry has always been plagued by high overhead expenses. But the current shift in consumer expectations means that it’s not enough for ISPs to compete on price or plans as they have historically, and that’s caused these margins to become even thinner.

What does this mean? Well, it means that if your ISP needs to find ways to reduce costs as 2021 closes out and 2022 planning begins, you need to consider how you can do that without inadvertently cutting into the customer experience.

While it does sometimes get overlooked, ISP support organizations are the perfect place to improve efficiency, reduce expenditures, and even increase revenue in 2022. Here’s why.

 

Support efficiency cuts costs.

Any time you can improve productivity without increasing your input, especially headcount, you’re in the position to cut costs.

As your ISP grows, you’ll naturally see a higher demand on support teams to help subscribers with issues with their internet connections, including their WiFi. By examining how you can improve key metrics like your average handle time (AHT) and first contact resolution (FCR), often through simpler processes and using strategically chosen solutions, you can increase how much each of your agents can handle in a typical day. This means higher output with little to no change in input.

For example, a solution that can help agents identify and diagnose issues more quickly can improve your AHT, while one that identifies clear paths to resolution impacts your FCR. Additionally, by improving the effectiveness of things like self-service support options, you can reduce the number of customers who need to call in for their issues, completely eliminating the time an agent would spend on the phone.

 

Support efficiency improves customer experience.

It’s funny: The entire point of support efficiency is to cut down on the time agents spend with customers, but rather than leaving customers disappointed or feeling pushed off the phone, this can improve the customer experience. How does it do that?

Ultimately, consumers want answers quickly. Recent research shows that 90% of customers expect an immediate response to their questions—and 60% define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less. By improving your support efficiency, you can meet the expectations your subscribers have for you. This vastly improves their experience, which in turn has business benefits for your ISP:

Businesses can increase their revenue above the market average by between 4% and 8% when they prioritize better customer experiences.

Bain & Company

 

Support efficiency means better upsell opportunities.

Like we mentioned above, support efficiency can translate into better business opportunities for your ISP—and that includes upsells. Support agents are a natural point of contact for potential upsells for customers; because they can see the issues a customer faces, they can identify when a customer might be experiencing dead spots that warrant an extender your ISP offers, for example.

By focusing on improving your ISP’s support efficiency, you can free up agents to focus on spotting these opportunities while on the call. Plus, by adding solutions that give them historical data and real-time analysis of the customer’s network, they can spot these opportunities at a glance, show the customer why that change is necessary, and manage it all while simultaneously building the customer’s trust in your business. 

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