THE NEED FOR QUALITY IN TELECOM: AN INTRODUCTION
The pandemic and technology have reshaped telecom, changing how people use services on a global scale. According to a Deloitte study, the telecom industry has also witnessed an increase in network traffic from 20% to 60%.
People have become increasingly reliant on digital tools for work, education, entertainment, and social interaction. This has led to a surge in the demand for telecommunications services in various sectors. The pandemic’s most obvious impact has been the increased demand for internet services. With millions of people working remotely, the necessity of a high-speed internet connection has become more pressing than ever. This has been challenging for the telecom industry, leading to slowdowns and disruptions in services, forcing companies to upgrade and expand their networks to meet the increased demand.
More than that, besides the functional need of having highly operating internet services, telecom users demand great customer service. Forrester’s CX Index ranks telecom third in revenue growth potential by improving customer experience. Only luxury hotels and the automotive industry have a greater potential. (source) The same study shows that for 70% of consumers, customer experience is a deciding factor when choosing a telecom brand. Also, one in three customers considers switching brands after a poor customer experience.
Source: Driving Customer Loyalty, Telecoms Industry Snapshot, Sitel Group®, May 2021
The question is: what can telecom organizations do to increase customer satisfaction and the quality of their services in such a demanding context? We’d say that software testing is the answer to this challenge, and statistics show the same, with a 2021 Network Test Survey showing that 93% of respondents believe that testing improves customer satifaction, while reducing churn. To support the claim, the same survey findings say that virtualization (78%), automation (70%) and network slicing (70%) are the strongest trends currently driving the need for service providers to utilize third-party testing, monitoring and assurance solutions.
TEST AUTOMATION FOR A BOOSTED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
With the increased demand for quality and the rise of advanced technologies, telecom companies are offering complex products and services. As expected, these products and services require extensive testing to ensure that they meet the desired customer experience. This calls for a test automation solution that enables faster and more effective testing in comparison to the time-consuming and error-prone process of manual testing. Automated tests can be run repeatedly, ensuring that all possible scenarios are tested and allowing for early detection of issues and faster resolution, reducing the likelihood of bugs reaching the customers and interfering with their experience.
THE NOWADAYS TELECOM reality
The telecom sector is constantly offering new technologies, such as the well-known 5G. When new functionalities come along, it is essential to check the quality of existing features, which calls for regression testing. When you want to deliver services quickly but without compromising the quality, you cannot afford the tedious process of manual regression testing. As a result, you opt for test automation to ensure a faster launch of your software.
More than that, according to a Deloitte study, “the new paradigm will be about managing end-to-end (E2E) customer service and not about managing networks, meaning that orchestration and automation need to be service focused and not merely network focused”. Telecoms should choose an end-to-end functional testing solution for real user scenarios and experiences. This will also increase customer experience and satisfaction.
This way, with fewer or no issues reaching the users, and an increase in customer satisfaction, telecom organizations can maintain their competitive edge and retain their customers in a highly competitive market.
AUTOMATING THE IMPROVEMENT OF SERVICE QUALITY: A CASE STUDY
Researching the topic of the correlation between test automation and the quality of services, we came across an article published in the Journal of Business Case Studies. The article presents the case of Telco, one of the largest telecom companies in Israel, providing services to over 2.4 million telecom users. Their services are prone to faults and outages, both of which result in 70000 faults per month. They are taken care of by different departments that handle various segments of the services and the infrastructure.
Technical problems and outages cause customer dissatisfaction, hurting telecom providers’ reputation and customer loyalty. Telco implemented a preventive service to improve quality and satisfaction, reducing costs related to complaints, compensation, and damages.
Automated systems and protocols are used in the preventive service approach to track service delivery infrastructure and prevent disruptions. What was the result of implementing an automated solution? Customer satisfaction and service quality improved, and the number of complaints kept decreasing. What we have not told you from the beginning is that it dates all the way back to 2011, almost 12 years ago.
An automated solution played a major role in improving the quality of service for a telecom organization twelve years ago. So why would any telecom organization not implement it nowadays, in this ever-demanding business context?
LET’S WRAP IT UP
Test automation revolutionized telecom and will continue to do so as quality, and time-to-market affect customer experience. If you want to talk more about this and share our experience in the telecommunications industry, request a demo and let’s have a chat.