In a competitive market like the TV Operator one, user experience can make or break your business. Hence, improving the support process and solving set-top box issues in a smoother way are high on the priority list. We’ve decided to lend a hand and explore new ways to do so, using Android TV’s versatility.
Due to intense market competitiveness, TV operators are always looking to provide customers with the best user experience. Despite making due diligence to continuously improve services, there will always be a need to offer set-top box (STB) assistance whenever a customer faces an issue. That is why a good after-sales customer service can be a differentiating factor, either when acquiring new customers or maintaining an established base.
According to a joint research between Accenture and nScreen Media, United States Operators are spending more than 5.3 billion dollars to manage outages, handle calls and provide in-home maintenance. In Europe, the scenario may be somewhat better, but the bill still accounts for a 3.7 billion dollar share of the budget. If we consider that 70% of customer calls are not caused by operator failures, there is a large margin for optimization.
As of now, Operators offer two kinds of support interaction: human and automated (examples of automated interactions are Interactive Voice Response, chatbots, voice assistants, etc). The first one tends to be the most efficient, but it’s also the most expensive, and while automated interactions can reduce response times and increase coverage, they tend to be inefficient with complex problems. Well, the recipe for success seems to be a mix between these two, with automation being used as the first line of support and human interaction being put in place only for harder procedures. In this article, the Helpdesk Operator will address both human and automated possibilities.
As we did before in our previous article “Creating the Perfect TV service using Google’s Android TV” we will consider two types of users:
Users 1.0: Legacy users with regular technology knowledge, which are prone to traditional support methods, such as a help desk phone line.
Users 2.0: Modern users with comfortable technology skills, which are looking for the most cutting-edge support system, like an app or a chat-bot.
In general, the support process is divided into 5 steps:
1. The user reaches for support: either by Helpdesk phone, a website with ticket/session support or a mobile app with ticket/session support.
2. STB issue explanation: where a written or verbal description of the issue is given. This information can be open text/audio or the result of a decision tree interaction.
3. Troubleshooting: The process of questioning the status through a Helpdesk platform, or by a verbal/written user report.
4. Solution: Either by the user performing tasks, a remote action through the system or a household visit by technicians in order to solve the problem.
5. Solution confirmation: Given through feedback to the Helpdesk Operator during the solution solving process or through a feedback survey presented after the support action.
In order for this process to work seamlessly, we need to take into account two external factors:
- The user needs to be able to explain the problem: users may lack the knowledge to properly report what they are experiencing, or lack the words to do so. This has a direct impact on the troubleshooting performed by the Helpdesk Operator, which can be misleading and time-consuming, as the Helpdesk Operator will need to decode the given information.
- The user needs to understand and execute the actions to solve the issue: the Helpdesk Operator needs to be clear during the explanation and expect the user has enough skill to perform the tasks needed to solve the issue. This is a big challenge for the support team, especially when doing so verbally. Helpdesk Operators are able to present pictures and videos along with the instructions, but they still need to rely on the user’s ability to understand them and execute the proper actions.
Well, let’s see how we can improve all of this on an Android TV STB, simply by providing a support app.
The first thing we need to do is to include a deeplink to the support app on any operator app (including the Operator Tier Launcher). This will show up on error/exception dialog and deeplink to the support app with that error/exception context.
Once inside the support app through the deeplink, if the context is indexed to it, the user is presented with two options: contact support or a flow guiding to the solution of the problem (a step by step guide that can include a chat-bot/assistant guide, if the TV operator supports it).
While all of this is happening, behind the scenes the support app has already generated a support session ID and the initial status data. In case the user decides to go through and contact support, the Helpdesk Operator will already have the information gathered to better help the user, adding that information to the one reported through voice.
If, in fact, a customer decides to pursue the option of contacting support, they have two options:
1. Contact the number on the screen, providing the support session ID appearing on the screen with the result being a voice contact or a WeChat/ Whatsapp business chat/call/video.
2. Read the QR-Code and access an instant app or Progressive Web App, avoiding store installation for new users. This would lead to voice contact, a message through an instant messaging app (Facebook, Whatsapp or WeChat integration) or a video call (upon user authorization to share video).
While following these procedures, we gain a clearer and more direct engagement with the user, as it allows them to also share video and images with the Helpdesk Operator in charge of the case. On the Helpdesk Operator side of things, they/it would be provided with much more information right from the start and can even prompt the user to allow a STB screenshot capture. Moreover, the Helpdesk Operator would be able to execute remote actions, like rebooting the device, installing or removing apps, emulate remote buttons, and so on. Nevertheless, these actions should only be pursued after the assurance that privacy policies are being respected and that the user has consented to this before pursuing the action.
Finally, when the problem is solved, the user is invited to give feedback on the support session, this way ensuring it met with the company’s standards. The user would also receive an email with a summary of the remote session, indicating the problem, the solution, the results and a list of remote performed actions. By accessing the support app, the user would also be able to see the complete history of all support actions and delete all the data, so that everything is compliant with privacy policies.
So, throughout this article, we’ve shown that Google’s Android TV is able to solve one of the biggest hurdles between companies and their customers. It enables support teams to solve issues even if the user can’t explain the problem or even perform specific tasks to achieve any given result. Using Android TV, users gain the ability to show the problem in real-time to the Helpdesk Operator and the support team can fix it, clearly enhancing the perceived customer service and user experience.
If you wish to know more about how Android TV could help maximize your business’ potential, be sure to visit us at our website.