Customer Self-Service at Verizon Wireless

Support for a Wide Range of Customer Service Activities; Limited Problem Diagnosis and Search

July 27, 2006

In this customer self-service case study report, I describe my experience in helping myself to customer service at verizonwireless.com by performing key activities of self-service Customer Scenarios and evaluating that experience against our framework for customer self-service. You can help yourself to perform a wide range of customer service activities on verizonwireless.com. You’ll be able to learn about products and services to manage your account information very easily, but you’ll have a hard time trying to diagnose and resolve problems because the site’s content is so FAQ-centric and its search capabilities are quite limited.

NETTING IT OUT

In this report, our first in a series of customer self-service test drives, I describe my experience in helping myself to customer service at verizonwireless.com by performing key activities of self-service Customer Scenarios® and evaluating that experience against our framework for customer self-service.

Summarizing my evaluation, www.verizonwireless.com exceeds requirements for customer self-service in the areas of support for explore, buy/install, and maintain activities and for its implementation of UI content, and architecture. The site needs improvement in its implementation of content, search, taxonomy, escalation, case management, and process management.

You can help yourself to perform a wide range of customer service activities on verizonwireless.com. You’ll be able to learn about products and services to manage your account information very easily, but you’ll have a hard time trying to diagnose and resolve problems because the site’s content is so FAQ-centric and its search capabilities are quite limited.

CUSTOMER SELF-SERVICE

Customer Self-Service Case Studies

This report is the first of a series of customer self-service test drives. The series follows and complements our previous customer self-service research: our customer self-service framework,1 matrix,2 and product reviews.3 In this series, we analyze and evaluate real-world implementations of customer self-service experience by helping ourselves to companies’ self-service facilities. These really are self-service test drives. We don’t involve companies’ personnel. We begin with Verizon Wireless.

Test Drive Approach

There are two elements to my approach to doing the test drive. First, I visited verizonwireless.com and tried to perform the key activities of self-service Customer Scenarios. These are activities that customers have told us they commonly help themselves to perform. They’re activities that cross the phases of the customer lifecycle. Second, I examined the site’s self-service implementation, adapting and using our framework for evaluating customer self-service products and services.

Now, on to the test drive.

VERIZON WIRELESS

Company

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The firm has 54.8 million customers and 56,000 employees. Its revenues for 2005 were $32.3 billion. Its revenues were $589 per customer and $576,786 per employee in 2005. Verizon Wireless has headquarters in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and regional centers across the United States in New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, and California. Verizon Wireless claims to have both the most reliable wireless network and the highest customer loyalty in the industry.

Background

I’ve been a Verizon Wireless customer for eight years. I currently have a Family Plan for 1,400 minutes per month shared between two telephone numbers, one for me and one for my wife. Both of us have cell phones. I have a cell phone with a camera, capabilities for Web browsing, and capabilities for downloading and playing music and videos. I’ve used the camera occasionally but I’ve never used the other multi-media functions.

VERIZON WIRELESS CROSS-LIFECYCLE SUPPORT FOR CUSTOMER SELF-SERVICE

In Table A, we describe customer self-service lifecycle support at Verizon Wireless by activity within lifecycle phase. Our analysis follows the table. (Subscribers: PLEASE DOWNLOAD PDF TO SEE THE TABLE AND ILLUSTRATIONS.)

Our Take on Lifecycle Support on verizonwireless.com

Lifecycle support on verizonwireless.com is mixed. Support for these activities is good:

  • Learn about products, product applications, and related tools
  • Check order status
  • Buy/Renew product entitlements
  • Monitor and measure product performance, availability, efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Access and update customer information

 

On the other hand, support for these activities is absent, limited, or weak:

  • Learn about the availability of patches, fixes, and upgrades
  • Diagnose problems
  • Get fixes to problems
  • Create and manage incidents/cases for new problems
  • Check incident status
  • Repair, service, and replace products
  • Return products
  • Resolve billing issues

 

Let’s look a little closer at the best and the worst support for customer activities...

(Subscribers: PLEASE DOWNLOAD PDF TO SEE THE TABLE AND ILLUSTRATIONS.)


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1 comment


  • alicesmith009@yahoo.com
    Alice Smith on May 10, 2016 at 1:44 a.m.
    Keeping your customers happy should always be a first priority, and good customer services always plays an important role in that, at the end of the days our business is there due to our customers.

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