Defining a winning WiFi customer experience journey: Lessons from Windstream


Home WiFi is shaping up as a key battleground for broadband service differentiation – the days when customer service stopped at the telco demarcation point are becoming a faded memory. Connecting the home with broadband is the start. With the proliferation of new smart devices, providing seamless connectivity throughout and outside the home is the emerging battleground. The last mile is no longer in the ground but in the home. And it’s now wireless.

  Company   Windstream
  Broadband brand  kinetic-horizontal-dark
  Footprint   4.2M homes passed, served by 330 exchanges
  Fiber offer   Up to 8 Gbps symmetrical
  Fiber subscribers   289,000 (as of 2022, expected to double in 2023)
  WiFi offer   WiFi 6E, Mesh WiFi, WiFi Manager app, Whole Home Wi-Fi Set Up
  Field technicians   2,500 across 18 states
  The journey   Ride-along trial. Rapid deployment and adoption. Scale up.

Kinetic by Windstream

With the nation’s largest 8 Gbps broadband offer, Windstream is embracing the multi-gig home. Customer experience plays a large role because subscribers expect 8 Gbps to feel blazing fast. For reality to match expectations, their home WiFi cannot be the bottleneck.

Quickly growing the base of fiber-based subscribers required an aggressive customer acquisition and retention strategy. “A gig is a gig, regardless of who you get it from,” said Dustin Simpson, Senior Director of Systems Transformation at Windstream. “It’s about how the customer interfaces with your product that’s going to make the difference.”

Making a difference translated into a project that addressed multiple objectives:

  • Reduce Cost: decrease early life cycle churn rate, reduce truck rolls and support calls
  • Increase Revenue: educate customers on upselling new hardware when appropriate 
  • Process Improvement: adopt best practices, standardize installation metrics, drive accountability


A 30-day field trial

“I’m a big advocate of failing fast,” said Simpson. “It’s important for us to test the idea, test the theory, and be able to make a decision quickly. So we signed up for a 30-day pilot. A good partner is somebody that gets into the trenches with you. So I was excited when RouteThis came down and did ride-alongs on our installs.”










technician surveys


“The ride-alongs allowed us to work with field technicians and show them how to get the most from the RouteThis Certify tool,” said John Clark, Senior Sales Engineer at RouteThis. Perhaps equally important was understanding why some technicians were not using it, what their current process was, and hence learn how to overcome the barriers to adoption for a full-scale deployment.”



The ”Aha” moment

One installation drove home the value of RouteThis Certify. It was a new customer living in a small bungalow, which would typically be well served by a single, centrally placed residential gateway. The app identified a WiFi dead spot caused by an interior brick wall, which turned out to be the reason why the customer churned from their previous broadband provider. The use of the tool created an upsell for mesh WiFi hardware, helped avoid follow-up visits by getting it right the first time, and proved to the customer on the spot that they had made the right choice in switching to Kinetic by Windstream.


Rolling out the solution to 2,500+ technicians

The initial ramp-up was planned for four months, but Simpson’s team managed to do the job in just two months. The biggest challenge was getting 2,500+ technicians trained without disrupting day-to-day operations. After the training, technicians were required to use the tool at least once a day to resolve system login and access. To snowball adoption, the requirement will be to use it for every installation, and eventually for every site visit inside the home.

“Strong executive support for this project was crucial to its success,” said Simpson. “My boss installed the RouteThis app on his phone to map out the WiFi in his own home and actually made a video with it. Buy-in from the leadership team really helped pave the way for setting expectations and schedules, effective communications, getting project champions on board, and all the key factors that led to a successful project outcome.”


Continuous process improvement: Scaling the impact 



A winning customer experience journey

“Our customers love this. When you take the time to walk through and map their home WiFi, they really feel that we care and that we’re doing everything in our power to give them the fast speeds where they need it,” said Simpson.

A best-in-class customer experience, delivered at installation, helps set the stage for positive subscriber interactions down the road. It also makes excellent business sense, as 15% of service provider churn occurs within the first three months of installation. And it’s something that Simpson and the team at Windstream have achieved, quickly and at an impressive scale.


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