Focus your Business on your Value Proposition

Value Proposition at the centre of a Business Model. Source:

I moved into a new apartment recently and took on the internet account. What I thought would have been a simple, user-friendly task, unfortunately, was far from it. I’ve never seen something so simple made so difficult. The internet service provider’s (ISP’s) business processes are so poor. The customer is not the focus at all.  ISPs do this every day all over the world, but my ISP clearly never bothered to look at how they do it.

We know when a company has a customer focus. We feel welcome. It is easy to deal with them. We feel we are getting value for money. We feel appreciated. We want to go back and we tell our friends to go there too.

Current ISP Process: Non-User Friendly

Prior to moving, I contacted the ISP and asked them to transfer the existing account holder – the leaving flat mate – to me. I was, surprisingly, informed that a transfer of the account holder was not possible. Instead, the existing account had to close before I could open a new one. There is a cancellation period of up to 10 days, so I moved in with still a few days of the previous account running before closing. To confirm, closing the account also switches off the internet. So, a new account can only open when the ISP switches off the previous internet. Below is the current state process map:

Image showing current ISP process highlighting the issue for the customer

If requesting a new modem, the installation time is between 5-15 business days. If bringing your own, it is up to you to set it up. No instructions, walkthrough, or step-by-step guide were provided to support installation. After several calls to technicians, I was:

  • Given a list of configuration settings with no indication of what to do with them
  • Told that ‘I don’t have experience with that sort of router, so cannot help…please ring the router provider’

I contacted the router provider. They gave me some generic installation instructions that, unfortunately, didn’t provide any insight on where to enter the configuration settings I’d been given. More back and forth ensued. After finally sorting things, we had the internet up and running after 4 days with no internet or valuable support.

Suggested ISP Process: Customer Focus

This was a rubbish customer experience – especially for my flatmates who work from home. It wouldn’t be very hard to design a better way to do it – with less hassle and little or no downtime. My suggested process overcomes both these issues. Quite simply, allow for a change in account holder. This may need confirmation from both the leaving and entering tenant to authorise the change – nothing a short phone call can’t sort. Below is my suggested process map:

Image reflecting suggested ISP process with more focus on the customer

Transferring the account on a specified date ensures the following:

  • No period without internet
  • No setup time by the customer
  • No frustrated calls to the provider asking for continuous help

Think of your customer. Create your value proposition and business model with them in mind. Look at how others have done it for ideas and insights. Design your processes accordingly. They call it Best Practice for a reason.

Rich Downey, Consultant, Hague Consulting Ltd. © Hague Consulting Ltd 2023.