Quality of Experience – Measuring the new dimensions of the customer experienceChris Manuel
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In our first blog in this series, we threw down the gauntlet and challenged you to envision your future positioning with 5G adoption and what it means for your Digital Assurance strategy – are you going to be a leaper, a leader or a laggard?
In our second blog on the topic of 5G Digital Assurance, we are going to go beyond suggesting you dip your toe in the water and start to evolve your thought process, by introducing the importance of Quality of Experience (QoE). A term, or a discipline if you will, that is getting more usage outside the world of infrastructure and networks. If you are not familiar with it, you surely will be in the coming months.
Before we get to QoE, I want to reflect to Cigniti’s latest 5G webinar, in which Rashmi Varma, Founder & CTO of Innovate5G, made a simple yet profound statement – “Experience is the metric of our time”.
In the worlds of digital and information technology in which there is seemingly a never-ending list of metrics, KPIs and SLAs, that we use to track, report, and predict the usage and satisfaction (or lack thereof) of the customer experience. But certainly, we are still in search of the holy grail of customer experience monitoring and prediction. And that is what I love about Rashmi’s statement – in simplicity and purity, it cuts through all the noise, static and complexity we have created around metrics.
If we were to see the forest through the trees – the trees being analogous to all of these metrics we collect and report on – we will need to evolve a set of metrics that measure and (hopefully) predict what matters most: the customer experience.
So that brings me to this evolving metric that we are about to hear a lot more about – “Quality of Experience”. I know what you are saying – yet another buzzword in an industry that has an insatiable appetite for the latest and greatest buzzwords (e.g., “omni-channel”, “as-a-service”, “hyper-automation”, “personalization”, “big data”….shall I continue?). We love to hype and brand the latest trends, with each of us giving them our own unique definition with the intent to shape our differentiation. And if you are one of these skeptics who rolls their eyes with the advent and mass adoption of the latest “term of the day”, I am with you.
But Quality of Experience, something that I have been hearing in increasing frequency over the last 12 months, is going to be different and it will prove to be more than “just another” customer satisfaction metric. And with the pending adoption of 5G, get ready for QoE to be a term that takes on increased relevance in the day-to-day lives of IT, Digital and Marketing professionals.
Why do we need a new metric – or a new category of metrics. The user experience has continued to evolve (and will continue to evolve at unprecedented levels with 5G), but a lot of the current day metrics we are using to aggregate and measure the customer experience have lagged the advancements of the technology and delivery mechanisms providing the customer experience. And as part of our Digital Assurance initiatives, don’t we already have a plethora of processes, techniques and metrics focused on capturing the customer experience? Well yes, and no. At least not as we factor in the pending adoption of 5G. QoE is not a new term as it has been traditionally aligned with network performance and satisfaction measures – essentially an evolution from Quality of Service. But with 5G, and the integration of the network and the application, there is no metric, or logical aggregation of metrics that exists for that today. You have app performance metrics and you have network performance metrics, but how these two are married in a meaningful and intelligent way such that you are accurately capturing the end user experience. It is for this marriage – of application and network – for which QoE will become THE relevant metric for 5G app providers.
Take your Uber experience for example. Remember the last time you were requesting your uber and first, you ran into connection problems, and then after securing your ride (and obsessively following it on the Uber-provided map on your phone) you see the tracking the car not making sense. It is going in the wrong direction, it goes from 5 minutes to 11 minutes, etc. Now of course, some of this can be attributed to an unreliable driver. But many times, this is a lack of sync (latency) between the app and the network. If you are like me, you blame Uber for a less-than spectacular user experience. But, it is most likely the deficiencies of the network you are on. So how is Uber to make heads or tails of the true app experience of their users? This is a perfect example of the convergence of the app and the network…and how the Quality of Experience will factor into the Digital Assurance strategies for 5G!
With 5G our networks are becoming application aware and hence with 5G the customer experience will become entwined between the application and the network. For Product Managers, or application architects or even marketing leaders, will they be able to delineate the difference between poor app performance vs poor network performance? How will it be measured and how will issues be pinpointed where the issues are when you have an application that is tightly integrated with the network in the way native 5G applications will be on a 5G network.
There is no single measurement or series of measurements to capture the aggregate. And this will be the crux of the puzzle to be solved in the evolution of QoE as it relates to the critical mass adoption of 5G.
Would you be interested in a 5G offering that can measure the totality of the customer experience along with providing a sentiment view on a given consumer’s experience? An offering that can help you take a lead in the digital race by generating real time digital customer satisfaction score and ratings/sentiment prediction? Precise analysis, eloquent usage of collected data, and holistic approach are the virtues of Cigniti’s 5G Assurance offering to accelerate the digital customer experiences.
To know more, talk to our Digital Customer Experience Assurance experts. They will help you provide a solution for your business and will demonstrate how to scale the quality of experience for 5G services.