NGB Products Aim to Reduce Customer Calls

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Next Generation Broadband is constantly working to improve customer care operations for operators. The company recently introduced a VoIP install system that automates the service activation process and customer management tasks involved in adding new voice customers. The product is similar to NGB’s high-speed data self-install product in that it allows customers to activate service without having to call the cable company or wait for a service call, Executive VP Tiffany Norwood said. Operators are now installing the products and like the results.

“At Cox we always strive to provide greater convenience to our customers and to optimize our installation processes to minimize the time and effort between choosing Cox and enjoying our services,” Cox director of Internet support applications Keith Lindsay said in a prepared statement. “We chose the Next Generation Broadband Auto Install III system to make yet another leap in service quality and to realize cost savings associated with unaided customer self-installs.”

NGB has also created VoIP Install, which plugs into an operator’s existing infrastructure through NGB’s SmartBridge technology, and runs in parallel to an operator’s back office. VoIP Install automatically recognizes a new MTA on the network, allows the customer to select calling plan and features, initiates number porting if required, and coordinates cut over. A flexible Web-based front end walks the customer through the purchasing process, she said. A rules-based backend, with built-in workflow, manages and coordinates service activation. Once activated, the customer is automatically brought back to the VoIP Install portal to complete service activation and manage such features as voice mail.

“Cable operators recognize that to stay competitive they must add new voice customers quickly, in large numbers, and do so as inexpensively as possible,” Norwood said. “What we have seen recently, however, is that operators are adding many new installers and customer care workers to handle the increased workflow. By providing an automated, scalable solution, operators can preserve their margins and reduce install costs for voice customers by more than 20%, if used by their technicians and by more than 80% if the customer self-installs.”

More than 90% of customers will choose a self-install option if it’s offered, Norwood said, and about 20% of the customers trying to self-install their service eventually require a phone call or truck roll, Norwood says. The number varies by operator, but generally depends on the quality of the network plant.

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