Verizon FiOS fights cancellations with Big Data

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) collects a vast amount of data about its FiOS users, which is used to effectively halt subscriber cancellations amid a competitive pay-TV market, a company presentation at a New York Big Data conference revealed this week.

Presenting at Data Driven NYC, an event covered by tech pub Quartz, Mahmoud El Assir, senior VP and CIO, global technology services for Verizon, said his company keeps track of everything from data usage to potential DVR conflicts, and as a result, is better able to respond to frustrated pay-TV customers.

"Now when an agent gets a call, instead of blindly resizing customers' cable packages, agents can tell them how they might lose these two channels and how often they watch them," El Assir said. "It's a more educated conversation with the customer."

FiOS led all of pay-TV in subscriber growth in the first quarter of 2015, adding 90,000 video customers. 

"Customers are four times more likely to upgrade their DVR boxes to newer versions that record more shows when we bring up the data on recording conflicts," El Assir told Quartz.

El Assir said service supervisors stay poised to jump into phone conversations, he added, responding to ominous keywords such as "Comcast, Cablevision or Time Warner."

A program called mobile coaching, he said, allows call-center supervisors to monitor customer service reps in real time and step in with coaching help should a competitor's name come up.

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