Sandeep Upadhyay, Sales Director, Knowlarity

India vs Pakistan...final over...8 runs off 6 balls...intensity at its extreme...bowler begins the run-up...the signal goes out!

As you shout on your ‘Cable wale Bhaiya’ over the phone, thunderous cheers and whistles stream in slowly from some of the neighboring buildings, adding to your woes. Those were the days when digitization was still in the nascent stage, and these incidents demanded immediate intervention of the cable guy, who was unfortunately not always available. 

Local cable operators (LCOs) who were once the backbone of home entertainment in India, are on the verge of becoming extinct due to the increasing popularity of technologies such as DTH, Wireless data, etc., which provide better, constant services at very affordable rates. The most important factor, however, is the unique customer service offered by these companies. Even with their comprehensive services and a steady level of connection, they have, however, not been able to capture the entire market. There are still more than 30 million households in India that are using services of LCOs. How then can LCOs maintain their relevance and expand the market share they still enjoy despite the competition? 

Most of us have dealt with LCOs and some still do. Whenever there was any issue, we used to request our LCO who in turn would ask one of his team members to rectify the problem. Sometimes it used to take 3–4 days to resolve the issue while the owner was not even aware of this or maybe he did not care because of his monopoly. Mobile technology has solved one part of the problem but service is still a major issue as LCO owners simply are not equipped enough to handle numerous complaints simultaneously. The problem is a fundamental one as LCOs are not even able to track the service complaints. This is leading to a huge migration of LCO customers to DTH operators.

Enter cloud telephony. Cloud communication solutions can come to the rescue of LCOs in resolving these issues effectively. Each LCO can have their own identity with the help of a virtual IVR solution hosted in a cloud telephony environment such as Super Receptionist. All the callers will be greeted through IVR, which enhances the image of an LCO and is the first step toward providing a better service experience. All the calls coming to this application will be tracked and monitored. LCOs can then track their employee productivity and monitor the service requests through call recording features. This simple solution can reduce the service-related churns drastically.

Not only LCOs, even master service operators (MSOs) can use cloud communication solutions to resolve some of their pain points. One major issue which all MSOs are facing currently is storing or creating a database of the end customer contact details. Here again cloud communication companies can help by promoting a single-number solution to all the customers. This number can be popularized through TV channels and end customers can enter their STB numbers by calling on that number. This way MSOs will get the mobile number data which they can use for cross/upsell activities in the future.

Cloud Communications are the future for small and medium-sized businesses in India. These solutions can help in reducing the CapEx drastically and in providing intelligent solutions and deep insights to cable operators, which they can use to improve sales and service efficiencies. Embracing cloud telephony can be that big step that LCOs are waiting for to enhance their relevance in today’s extremely competitive business landscape and can help usher in an era of evolution for them at large.