As competition between broadband providers heats up, customer service comes into play as a deciding factor for households sticking with a service provider over the long haul. “In today's economy, price matters,” said Paul Cronin, CEO, i3 Broadband, LLC. “But we know while a price may get a customer, it's really the service that keeps them on.”
I3 has made customer service and efforts engaging with the communities it serves as a cornerstone of their operations, believing that proactive engagement builds long-term sustainable relationships. Embracing the Net Promotor Score (NPS) measurement system as a key metric of company productivity alongside traditional financials, i3 has earned one of the highest NPS ratings in the industry.
“We've got a very robust program in place to make sure we stay connected with our customers,” said Cronin. “We're constantly measuring throughout the course of their lifecycle with us, getting that feedback and most importantly, we're acting on it. We've surprised several customers [by calling them back]. When i3 gets a response that’s not really what we want it to be, we'll call them up and ask how we can fix what went wrong. How can we learn from this? Many customers are surprised and appreciate it.”
Other tools i3 uses in assessing how well it is delivering customer service include customer surveys from the beginning of the sales process throughout the “lifecycle” of the customer and focus groups before going into a new service area as the start of the company’s presence.
“We really do believe in the saying ‘All business is local,’” Cronin stated. “We've made a special point to be involved in the communities, whether it's opening local offices or joining all the associations in the community. We try to hire employees specifically from the communities we operate in. Our call centers are local. We really want this to be a core part of our operating fabric.”
As a part of its community engagement in Champaign, Illinois, i3 stepped up and created a free Wi-Fi network in a mobile home community. “The demographics were such that not a lot of folks could afford a broadband connection,” said Cronin. “We worked with the city, community, and other organizations in Champaign to make it available so kids could connect to the internet and get work done.”
To learn more about i3’s approach to delivering stellar customer service through its employees and how it proactively handles network interruptions, listen to the latest Fiber for Breakfast podcast.