AOTMP has conducted several research studies to determine customer churn rates for TEM vendors in the telecom management industry. The primary purpose of these studies has been to diagnose the cause of churn and to establish best practices to improve results for enterprises and vendors in the telecom management ecosystem.
One of the most common sentiments expressed by enterprises with in-life engagement conflict is that they believed the TEM vendor was to perform work or deliver specific work products that the vendor indicated was either not in scope or not their responsibility. This is not an isolated phenomenon and is at the center of many TEM vendor relationships that have gone bad.
The fundamental issue in these cases is that the customer believes they have purchased a level of service different than what the TEM vendor is providing. For example, a TEM vendor that provides monthly invoice audits may deliver different types of audit solutions. One solution provides software configured to identify invoice charge variances as an audit, and the customer is responsible for taking action to investigate and resolve disputes. Another solution offers the same automated audit features and provides analysts to visually inspect charges, perform deep dive audits and resolve disputes on behalf of the customer. While both scenarios are audits, if the customer expects the latter level of service and only receives the software audit, then conflict will ensue.
To prevent friction caused by misalignment and misunderstanding of expectations, a TEM engagement scope of work should be clearly defined and it should include a RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, Informed) matrix to articulate partnership roles throughout the engagement. Understanding what the service offering is and which party is responsible for performing the work effort serves to level-set expectations from the beginning and reduces solution and role confusion that leads to customer dissatisfaction.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler. Download free telecom management industry thought leadership resources here.