Internet service providers face the great dilemma of growing consumer expectations. With these expectations, ISP support teams need to resolve WiFi issues for subscribers, even though it previously wouldn’t have been considered their responsibility.
The problem is that without proper network visibility for support agents, these calls take much longer, and often end in escalations and truck rolls. ISPs face incredibly thin margins already, and these extra steps can create unnecessary stress on these margins.
We’ve collected up our best tips of this past year to help you build an effective game plan, so your support team can resolve WiFi issues quickly and without escalations or truck rolls.
Think like the opponent.
Any good coach can tell you the importance of thinking like your opponent. Knowing what they’re likely to do (or not do) means you can adjust your strategy to face the challenge as effectively and directly as possible.
In the case of an ISP support team, the opponent that you need to think like is actually your subscribers.
When we spoke with Mike Power of Sure International earlier this year, his one piece of advice for ISPs looking to support the in-home experience was to think like subscribers do. Knowing what subscribers expect from you and how they expect to get their issues resolved defines what your team needs to do to be able to resolve quickly and avoid escalations.
What do subscribers expect from your support team?
Focus on your defense.
The best offense is a good defense. The best way to defend your support team’s time is to look for ways to deflect as many calls as possible so your agents can prioritize their time and workloads better.
The key to this is self-service support options. Subscribers will often try to fix issues on their own, but because they typically rely on user-shared information on forums or general FAQs and help articles, they may not find a solution and will call in more confused than they were before.
These options need to be specific, so they can identify and understand the nature of the problem and the necessary resolution steps. They also need to be easily accessible, so consumers can find and make the most of them.
Why self-service support is great for ISPs
Account for all possibilities.
Any good strategy requires knowing your playing field—and how you can use that field to your advantage. Before you can get that knowledge, though, your support team needs to be able to see what they’re dealing with, both on the network and within the home environment.
The one thing you don’t want to do? Rely exclusively on your opponent’s (or in this case, subscriber’s) explanation of your playing field. You just don’t know what kind of information you’ll get.
By providing support agents with solutions that give them visibility into both the home network and the home, they can identify the terrain on their own, leading to faster and more accurate resolutions. It also gives them the ability to spot simple issues that might have otherwise required an escalation or tech visit, like cabling issues or weird router placement.
Make sure your team knows the game plan.
When support agents know what they’re up against, and have all the right information, they can solve the same issues as a technician over the phone.
The key here is to focus on researching and developing effective maneuvers. Make sure agents have access to workflows that consider the variables they might run into, and that can lead them through the steps to resolution as quickly as possible.
Have your countermoves ready.
No matter how much you prepare, your opponent will always have a curveball to throw at you. Subscribers rarely understand their home networks, and though they’re definitely not trying to stop agents from resolving issues, it can feel that way.
The trick here is to understand what subscribers don’t get about their networks, and have strategies in place to combat those misunderstandings as quickly as possible.
For example, maybe a subscriber calls in with dead spots but doesn’t understand why that would happen. With a network mapping solution like RouteThis Resolve, the agent could illustrate where the network’s limitations are, and help the subscriber understand why they might need to move their router or add some extenders.