Retail trips to Verizon will no longer include a trip down memory lane for each transaction.
Speaking at a Tuesday investor conference, Verizon’s executive vice president of Wireless Operations David Small said the carrier is working to streamline in-store transactions with a new customer interaction model called Flex Flow.
“If you come into a store, historically, it’s been ‘let me pull up your account and let’s walk through the things we need to walk through,’” Small explained. “In this Flex Flow environment it becomes ‘what exactly did you come in for? We are going to jump right to that section.’ If we need to go back, we can do so, or we can jump right to the end of the transaction.”
Small said the Flex Flow system is in the process of being rolled out to its in-store sales teams this month. The new workflow is already yielding reductions in transaction times, he said, which allows the carrier to “be far more efficient with the employees that we have.”.
Additionally, Small said Verizon is in the process of taking feedback from its employees so it can also improve customer care experiences. The work there, he said, is also centered on tuning screens and workflows to eliminate roadblocks and prompt more proactive assistance.
In the past year, Small said Verizon managed to decrease its average call center interaction time by around one minute and 15 seconds year over year.
Small said there is also work going on behind the scenes on Verizon’s network side.
Like AT&T, Small said Verizon is doing a “fair amount” of work to virtualize its network. Though he declined to give a percentage figure for how far along the carrier is, Small said Verizon has already virtualized “many of our planning tools, our capacity management tools” as well as “some of the network elements themselves.”
Small said Verizon views virtualization as a way to become more cost-effective in its operations.
“We can scale it in a more cost-effective way and by putting it on cloud infrastructure, where you have thousands and thousands of servers and processing capability, you have far more not only economic efficiencies but, frankly, operational efficiencies,” Small said.
“If you want to add a software load to a switch today or to a network element today, you are going around the country in the maintenance window at night and you are augmenting this,” he continued. “Envision where we get to a play where many of our network elements are hosted via three, four, five different servers, farms across the country; it becomes a very, very efficient way to upgrade your network.”