Written by John Dickson on March 28, 2017
In today’s constantly changing world, the technological landscape is progressing in at a rate that is unparalleled in our lifetimes. This rapid progression is having profound effects on the cable industry as we know it. So how can we as an industry ensure that we are capitalizing on these advancements to provide the best services possible to our customers?
One of the most powerful advances in the cable industry has been the ability to proactively monitor a network. Monitoring the upstream and downstream of a network provides a clearer picture into the network’s health and enables operations to be sure their network is performing at highest possible levels. However, while monitoring upstream is somewhat common, providers often overlook opportunities for monitoring downstream, even though monitoring downstream can supply vital information that has a real impact on a network’s effectiveness and reliability. Monitoring downstream provides an increased insight into your network that pays dividends in four tangible ways.
Reducing Customer Churn
The knowledge gained from monitoring downstream allows you to be proactive and aware of outages before a customer has to report them. This provides the opportunity to prevent or reduce outages, respond more quickly to maintenance needs and have a better understanding of your network. The big payoff to this? Happy customers. And we all know, happy customers are less likely to switch cable companies, and are even more likely to recommend their cable company. In a society increasingly used to the reliability of over the top streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, having access to the proper downstream analytics allow you to keep customers from leaving and build a stronger, more loyal customer base.
Reduce Your Operation’s Workload
Understanding your network allows you to be more proactive and more decisive about maintenance. Creating a healthier network means less time and workers needed to make repairs. Network diagnostics also enables you to perform maintenance and proactive repairs on your schedule. It also increases the amount of information available to your customer service representatives and on-site technicians.
Discover Problems Quicker
Unless the forward path is monitored, video issues on a particular channel can often go undiagnosed for a long period of time. This is because any other monitoring method relies on receiving customer calls that report an issue, but customers have shown they won’t call unless they absolutely have to, and even then sometimes they won’t. So this leaves an unreported and unrecognized problem on a channel with the only measurable being slight increases in churn. Monitoring downstream will give you a more reliable model for detecting issues and therefore reducing your response time.
Reduce Truck Rolls
Monitoring downstream will provide the tools to improve network health, and that will, as a byproduct, provide a reduction in the number of truck rolls required by an operation. This will lower fixed costs like vehicular depreciation and maintenance in addition to reducing various variable costs such as overtime pay for technicians, fuel for the vehicles, etc.