Customers with queries or complaints want acknowledgement and reassurance, and, even more so, remedying action. Spatially-enabled customer care can not only make it easier to take action quickly and effectively, but can also help highlight wider problems that you wouldn’t necessarily spot when dealing with complaints in isolation.
Collecting location data in the telecommunications industry is straightforward in principle, though it does have some technical and regulatory challenges. You can use specialised software, some of which will integrate with open source map systems such as those from Google or Bing. Most systems either involve explicitly asking a customer to provide an address or location, or collecting data with varying degrees of accuracy from an IP address or from GPS information in a mobile app.
The primary, immediate benefit of using such location analytics is to figure out where you can best place resources to maximise efficiency in dealing with customer problems. While you can simply work with lists and tables of locations, visualising the data through techniques such as service issue heat maps can make it easier to assess exactly where you need to focus your efforts.
In the medium and long term, spatial data helps you identify recurring problems that may be the result of more fundamental flaws in your service infrastructure.
You can also cross-reference service issue location data with other customer data to assess demographic group performance as well as geographical performance. For example, a problem with landline services is more likely to be noticed and complained about by elderly customers rather than younger people.
The real key is that spatial data can help you improve your customer care and deal with problems quickly enough to minimise discontent. In effect, you are targeting real-time customer retention: making sure you can help customers quickly and personally, so that the experience doesn’t send them into the arms of your competitors.