MPLS VPN: The good and bad of customer experience

* What MPLS VPN users are satisfied with

Last time, we introduced the methodology by which Kubernan conducted research on the Total Customer Experience (TCE) for MPLS VPN services. This time we want to share some top-level findings with you.

First, in looking at the level to which the end-user population has adopted MPLS VPNs, this technology definitely has moved into the mainstream. In fact, more than half of the respondents to the survey had MPLS VPNs in production, and almost three-quarters were in production, evaluating, and/or testing stage.

From a high level, the users are satisfied with their networks, and are particularly satisfied with important issues of reliability, pricing, and timeliness in resolving issues. Additionally, almost 90% of the respondents would recommend their supplier to others.

However, as the questions drilled down more deeply, important aspects were areas identified where there is significant room for improvement. Three areas that particularly stood out as needing improvement are meeting commitment times for installation, accuracy of the bill, and simplicity of the bill.

One of the more fascinating tidbits from the study concerned support and the ability to talk to a live person when a problem occurs. In this particular area, which was of about average importance, the satisfaction level of “ability to talk to a live person when you call the network operations center (NOC)” ranked highest in satisfaction. However, the “technical knowledge of the person answering the phone” ranked well below average. This clearly demonstrates that the training of the support staff has considerable room for improvement, and simply having a “warm body” to answer the phone is not sufficient.

In a few weeks, a written report on the results will be released. However, we already have an on-demand Webcast and set of slides in which the two of us , along with Tony Hurtado from Masergy, discuss the results. These materials are available here.

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