Cincinnati Bell will scale its universal call center workforce to 300 agents, giving the telco more customer service firepower to handle growth in its burgeoning Fioptics broadband business.
Based in Greater Cincinnati, the new agents will handle any problem a customer might encounter after installing new or upgraded broadband and video services.
The telco has been aggressively expanding its call center capabilities over the past year. Starting with 20 agents at the beginning of 2016, the service provider currently has 100 agents. Cincinnati Bell said the number of universal call center agents is growing every month and complements the telco’s team of call center agents who are based overseas.
Scaling call center capabilities comes at a time when Cincinnati Bell is expanding its local fiber network to support its Fioptics Entertainment, internet and Voice services. Fioptics is currently available to 64% of the region, and Cincinnati Bell plans to continue growing its fiber footprint in 2017.
As of the end of the third quarter, Cincinnati Bell passed close to 78,000 new homes and businesses to reach 64% coverage of greater Cincinnati with its Fioptics service.
During the period, Fioptics internet subscribers totaled 186,000, adding 11,000 subscribers for the quarter with 36% penetration rates. Fiber optics internet ARPU was $47 for the quarter, which is up 9% compared to a year ago.
Smart home emerging
At the same time, the agents could also assist customers that are leveraging their broadband connections to support various smart home devices like thermostats and Wi-Fi extenders.
Cincinnati Bell offers customers a suite of smart home devices in its eight retail stores across Greater Cincinnati, including eero’s whole-home Wi-Fi system, Amazon Echo, and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
eero’s whole-home Wi-Fi system will allow Cincinnati Bell’s broadband customers to deploy Wi-Fi via multiple access points throughout their homes to create a wireless mesh network that enhances coverage.
The adoption of smart home devices reflects the overall Internet of Things (IoT) trend. A recent Parks Associates study revealed that in homes with a broadband connection, 26% now own a smart home device, up from 19% at the end of 2015. The research firm said that over the past two years, smart home device ownership “has more than doubled,” forecasting that “companies will sell nearly 55 million smart home devices in 2020.”