Why retail Wi-Fi products poses a threat to CSPs’ customer experience

In the age of the smart home, Wi-Fi coverage is everything. The CSPs’ responsibility, however, too often ends with just ensuring the Internet connection is up and running. How well the end customer has set up their Wi-Fi and what products they use is none of their concern, is it? Turns out, the issue is a bit more complex than that…

Posted by Bo Söderberg.

 

Customers don’t differentiate between Internet connection and Wi-Fi 

These days, using Wi-Fi in the home is a given. Gone are the days of going online by using networking cables that plug into the computer. WiFi coverage is fundamental for the smart home experience. To most customers, however, good Internet connection equals good Wi-Fi coverage. In short: what most people don’t understand is that the responsibility of the CSP ends when their customers choose to use store-bought hardware for Wi-Fi that the operator has no control over. If the end customer is experiencing “bad Internet connection” due to poor Wi-Fi coverage, who will they call? The operator, of course. 
The end customer will have little to no patience with the operator’s explanation that they can’t help you if you are using products that haven’t been provided by them. Most likely, they will see it as pretext and blame the CSP for not taking their responsibility, which could lead to dissatisfied customers and increased churn.  


Added value thr
ough monitored solutions 

Many smart home users don’t buy their Wi-Fi network products directly from their CSP. Often, they choose the traditional retail option – to buy these products in stores or in online shops. Decisions are usually based on competitive prices rather than product performance. But what difference does it make whether the end customer buys their Wi-Fi products via retail or their CSP? Product-wise, very little, but those CSPs who do choose to offer Wi-Fi solutions for their customers have the possibility to add a new revenue stream by providing a complete home network solution 
In addition to the Wi-Fi hardware itself, CSPs canoffer managed solutions – i.e. the possibility to troubleshoot, provision and monitor the status of products and network stability. A service that retailers rarely offer which will lead to increased customer satisfaction. 


CSPs – take charge of the customer experience!
 

So, why are these managed solutions so important for customer satisfaction? For too long operators have been focused on the service they are providing, i.e. Internet connection, that they have lost focus on the question of the complete home network solution. Being able to take control of the customer experience of the Internet that they’re providing is now strategically more important than ever, as the scope of the connected home rapidly grows. 
Operators should provide the opportunity for customers to buy such equipment in a packaged and managed solution directly from them. Thus, avoiding customers building their own home Wi-Fi solutions, which usually lead to problems the CSP cannot solve but will be blamed for. This enables personalized support for end user and introduces new innovative services for the smart home. All while increasing internal operational efficiency as well as reducing support and service costs. 

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