I have worked with telecommunication since my first summer at university. Starting as a typical service agent for an American VoIP provider, I moved on to sales and then, at my 4th year at the university I became team leader for the sales team, which was great as my major was Mobile Networks.
Moving to Sweden was a big step for me. I got the opportunity to work at TSIC as a summer worker in 2013 and I’m still working here in Voice and Mobile Operations while finishing my Master’s Degree in Networks Services and Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
Working for TeliaSonera, a Tier 1 operator, has given me a whole different perspective on how the communications market functions as now, I see my former employers as our customers and I use the knowledge I got from my studies at work. Now, I see the bigger picture of the troubleshooting process. I’ve experienced first-hand how end-customers report problems and how to start with basic analysis in my previous jobs but currently I’m dealing with the biggest mobile operators worldwide on a much larger scale. It isn’t just any Tier 1 player, but one that has many world-class achievements ranging from the simultaneous 4G world premiere of 4G in Oslo and Stockholm till the first 1 Tb/sec transmissions in our carrier network in the US and having 100G-enabled networks.
When dealing with all the big mobile operators that are known worldwide on a daily basis, one sees how efficient troubleshooting can vary from one operator to the other. For instance, some operators have their first line of support outsourced while others have it in-house, as we do, and one sees how big an impact that has on the quality and efficiency of the department.
Our team at TSIC is definitely exceptional in many ways. Most of us are either holding a Bsc. or Msc. in Engineering as well as having a good technical background that enables us to solve 80% of received cases without any escalations. When troubleshooting with other carriers, we usually deal with their second or third line of support from our first line at TSIC which helps us achieve the minimum spent average hours per case.
Sweden is always on the top of the list worldwide for the percentage of people having English as their second language which makes living in Sweden and working in the field of communications with just English fairly easy compared to the rest of Europe but, since we deal with people from all over the world, sometimes language can be a barrier. Our first lines of support for IP and Voice services speak 20 languages which makes our operations much smoother as we do our best to get the cases solved in the least time possible regardless of any language barriers.
The first line of support is divided into two main operations, one for Data and Infrastructure and the other is Voice and Mobile. Within Voice and Mobile, we are divided into teams of Knowledge Leaders for Voice, Roaming and GRX services. For voice services, there are three Knowledge Leaders and I’m one of them. The job of Knowledge Leaders is to meet every four to six weeks to review how the operations are functioning and come up with new ideas to improve routines for faster resolutions and spread the knowledge across the team so, we always test new routines and see how it affects our performance in accordance with the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) which results in an always-improving performance as we always strive to raise the bar as high as it goes. I do appreciate this type of bottom-up management as I’ve seen how it affects our performance positively.
It isn’t just about our technical knowledge or how diverse our department is but also, we have no automated responses like most other carriers as we reply and update our customers personally to inform them with the status of the case and where we stand in our investigation even if they never ask for updates and in time we get to form strong bonds with the carriers we deal with the most resulting in shorter times for resolving any issues.
We come from different backgrounds and some of us are even studying at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm which makes us colleagues here and at school so we get to share more stuff together. Finally, working in such a team that’s super diverse is such an amazing experience as one never stops learning from each other and having such opportunity is really appreciated.
What are your thoughts and expectations on customer support? Please share your thought with me.