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At Hughes, a satisfied customer is always the first goal. That’s why the company is constantly adding to and improving its capability to provide new and improved product and service offerings. As part of its program of excellence for customer satisfaction, Hughes adheres to a comprehensive set of standards, certifications, and industry guidelines to assure the highest quality throughout the entire lifecycle of a Hughes product or service.
For example, Hughes assures overall quality management and process performance across all functional areas by adhering to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system standard, developed by the International Organization for Standardization. The company meets U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, which protect the communications infrastructure across all technologies, as well as complying with similar standards from regulatory agencies around the world. Hughes has developed optimized data transport standards, such as the Internet Protocol over Satellite (IPoS) standard to promote improved performance of global broadband satellite technology by using an industry-standard open interface based on IP-centric technology. The company also complies with standards such as the Payment Card Industry/Data Security Standard (PCI/DSS), which ensures that rigorous security levels are in place to protect sensitive consumer financial information.
Hughes also voluntarily goes beyond mandatory standards by qualifying for additional industry certifications that help lead directly to a happier customer and an improved customer experience. For example, the company is certified as a Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Master Partner, which provides customers with the assurance that Hughes has the service quality capabilities to deliver cloud and managed services employing Cisco technology. The company also adheres to technology standards such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. ITIL is a set of best practices for IT service management that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business, as well as using IT as a tool to facilitate business improvements and growth.
Certification to all of these standards requires Hughes to participate in either an independent audit or a formal review from an accredited organization as performed by certified industry experts. The rigor of the evaluation process demonstrates to customers that Hughes has the processes, tools, and training in place to meet industry standards and best practices.
In the telecommunications industry, the technology, customers, products, and services are always changing. Even though standards are somewhat static, the company must be agile enough to adapt to what the customer needs today, while still meeting the formalized requirements for standardization. To accomplish this, Hughes leverages the quality management practices that are called out in the ISO 9001:2008 standard to both company and customer advantage, by going beyond simple compliance, and applying these practices to create a better customer experience.
“Not all service providers go to these lengths,” said Bob Stedman, assistant vice president of Service Quality. “We take a number of extra steps on behalf of our customers to develop the capabilities to ensure that we’re consistently delivering a high-quality service experience. For instance, the use of the ISO standards and the ITIL service framework isn’t required by our customers, but the adoption of these standards gives Hughes access to a collective embodiment of knowledge and best practices that directly benefit our customers.”
The Hughes company philosophy is to integrate everyone from the Hughes family into the value chain, blending all functional areas, including engineering, marketing, manufacturing, operations, and customer care into the quality of every Hughes product and service. The company measures its effectiveness in driving customer satisfaction with regularly scheduled self-assessments, customer surveys, and audits. Hughes Quality Assurance takes the feedback from these and other sources, checks for patterns and trends, and sets up working teams to better align what the company does with customer expectations.
The teams constantly ask themselves, “How do we add value to our services and improve the customer experience?” Hughes believes that going the extra mile on the customer’s behalf is an important key to a satisfied customer. By refining its approach on an ongoing basis, Hughes can continually integrate customer expectations, customer service, and product and service quality with all the support activities put in place throughout the company to create the best customer experience possible.
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