11:10 AM Ventraq and others devise a way to measure how operators are meeting customer needs. But could such a straightforward system ever catch on?

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

May 25, 2012

2 Min Read
Management World 2012: The Customer Experience Catalyst

11:10 AM -- One of the more impressive things about Management World is the Catalyst program, where vendors and operators are given a problem to solve and they work together to show off a solution.

My favorite of this year's bunch was this idea that Ventraq Inc. worked on with Telecom Italia (TIM) , Genband Inc. , IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Network Critical Solutions Ltd. It's highlighted in the video below:

The idea was a Customer Experience Management Index (CEMI) that would help a CEO see, at a glance, whether his company was living up to customer expectations. It sounds basic but one of the things Paul Morrissey, Ventraq's VP of Strategic Solutions told me, is that this endeavor uncovered the ugly truth that nearly every operator uses a different set of key performance indicators (KPIs, in marketing parlance) to measure different facets of customer service.

For a CEMI to work, you'd have to standardize the way information is measured and communicated across the industry. The KPIs for items like how long customers sit on hold or how quickly on-premises broadband problems are resolved, for example, would have to be the same at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) as they are at NTT Group (NYSE: NTT).

Once such a feat was accomplished, you could not only watch your own company's progress (and prevent customer churn and build a better business), but you could compare your firm to others and really make superior customer service a major competitive feature, a real benchmark in the new service provider landscape.

I really love the idea. But do you think the industry's largest operators would ever go for it?

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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