ZTE India Customer Support Center (CSC) has been a member of Indian telecom industry for more than 5 years. Today, ZTE has employed more than 2000 employees across India to support the vast customer base. From basic telephony, IN, broadband, NGN, and 2G mobile communications to complete 3G networks, ZTE offers a complete spectrum of telecom solutions in the country.
India is projected to become the second largest telecom market globally by 2010. As of October 2008, there were 350 million mobile and fixed-line subscribers in India, with 8 million subscribers being added each month. To gain customer satisfaction and to track and resolve equipment issues within stipulated timelines agreed in the Service Level Agreement (SLA), ZTE India CSC was launched in May 2004. Since its launch, the CSC has emerged as a responsive, reliable and quality assuring technical support center for ZTE customers in India. With Chinese experts and resident engineers on site at customers' equipment base, it becomes very convenient for engineers to report to the CSC about the equipment issues handled and resolved by them or to escalate the issues for further help. The engineers play a very important role not only with their technical skills but also with their great professional rapport building skills with customers. They provide a Request Number or Trouble Ticket Number to customers for each issue occurred or dealt with. Moreover, they also provide training, troubleshooting steps and Root Cause Analysis (RCA), which makes customers feel a part of the process and helps them know about the ZTE equipment.
What are the secrets of making ZTE India CSC and the Operation & Maintenance Engineering Team work hand in hand to keep the customers happy and ensure that issues are resolved in a timely manner?
The engineers register all customer equipment problems by raising call logs or reporting directly to Customer Support Representatives (CSRs) of India CSC by phone and email every time a problem is handled by them. The duration is maintained as low as 4 to 5 hours from the time the problem occurred to the time it was resolved (based on SLA with the customer). India CSC coordinates with the engineers to follow up on registered issues to check the resolution status and to close the call logs in time and ensure that the engineers have provided a positive response with proper handling and troubleshooting steps. In case of a delay in resolving the issue by engineers, India CSC escalates the problem to Chief Technical Engineer (CTE), Technical Support Department (TSD), and Global Customer Support Center (GCSC)/Sub-center in a timely manner. India CSC and engineers also cooperate with Sub-center experts and act as coordinators between customers, Sub-center and GCSC to help the Sub-center experts collect data and do the needful on site or online. The engineers always report critical problems immediately to India CSC by phone. The CSRs of India CSC in turn ensure that they call the customers with a Request Number or Trouble Ticket Number for the issues raised by engineers. They build confidence in customers by assuring that the issue will be resolved within the set timelines.
The engineers also ensure escalating any software service problems and outsourced equipment issues through the CSC. Call logs are raised and followed up with CSM and outsourced equipments suppliers by the CSC on a regular basis.
Customers play a major role in escalating and addressing equipment issues in most of the cases. In a situation where the resident engineer is handling an issue on a different site or if there is shortage of engineers at a site, customers are encouraged and supported by the CSC to successfully register the problem through web login or by calling India CSC toll free number. Hence, for every customer care call back, CSRs of India CSC can provide the customer with contact details and procedures to escalate issues without any problem. CSRs feed back customers' opinions to O&M Managers, coordinate the arrangement of proper resources for the problems in coordination with Technical Manager or TSD, and keep customers informed about the problem status in case of unresolved issues. India CSC works as a channel of communication among the O&M Department, Technical Support Department and customers to advise the justification on the scope of work regarding the SLA.
India CSC started its call center operations on January 1st, 2008 with a team of 4 CSRs, a Quality Analyst, and a CSC Management comprising Call Center Manager with the CSM backing the operations to support the customers including telecom giants like Reliance, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular, BSNL, Aircel, Shyam Telelink and BPL.
In order to bring awareness amongst all customers across India, CSC training was scheduled immediately after the launch of the CSC call center operations. The training was conducted at the head offices of all telecom operators comprised the following topics:
- Delivering responsive, reliable and quality technical support to ZTE customers;
- Providing a comprehensive Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and integrating all equipment maintenance issues;
- Providing support of technical documentation and problem classification;
- Realizing 3-level support and escalation system;
- Centralized acceptance of technical escalations, online technical support, monitoring and tracking, and resolution of customers' problems;
- Coordinating outsourced equipments repair and replacements and tracking the delivery of ZTE spare parts;
- Organization structure of India CSC and high level contact details of India Engineering Center;
- Fault reporting methods and emergency problem escalation methods: by phone (1800-102-1900), Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Web login (www.ensupport.zte.com.cn), and Fax.
Customers were wholeheartedly pleased to know about the call center setup within India Engineering Center and appreciated the extended after-sales support for the ongoing business with ZTE, like:
- One dedicated line for customers to report all equipment faults under O&M;
- ZTE engineers get notified to contact customers and to start working on the issues within 5 to 10 minutes after the customers report the problems to the CSC;
- Customers do not have to wait for a engineer to visit the site; the CSC's coordination saves time by troubleshooting equipment problems through telephone, online or remote access;
- Customers can track pending equipment problem status by calling the CSC with a Request Number or Trouble Ticket Number;
- Organized method of escalating emergency and critical problems.
ZTE India CSC completed one year of call center operations on January 1st, 2009 with an eye on the emerging Indian market; the CSC finds itself confident and ready to take up new telecom operators as its customers under its umbrella in near future.