A day in the life of the LNP (Local Number Portability) Team
Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I always hesitate. “Oh, I work for a software communications company. I am a number porting specialist.” Of course, no one has any idea what I’m talking about. When inevitably that person follows up and asks what a number porting specialist does, I’m not sure how best to answer. To put it very simply, we make sure that telephone numbers make it from point A to point B. On the other hand, it’s never that simple! Instead of getting bogged down in the details of the job, I tell them about an average day in Bandwidth’s LNP team.
First off, what on earth does LNP mean? It stands for local number portability, and an LNP order analyst is the person that helps shepherd a telephone number as it moves from a different carrier to one of our customers. Generally, these are phone numbers that an end user is taking from one carrier to a new provider, who is the direct customer of Bandwidth. All of my fellow team members are cross-trained on everything, so we tend to jump in and out of different tasks throughout the day.
Our main conduit through which we port numbers is the Bandwidth Dashboard. It’s a great tool for porting numbers, both for myself, but also for our customers. It works heavily through self-service, so our customers can place orders, make changes to those orders, or check for status updates, and the LNP team doesn’t have to get involved. This is great, because our customers don’t have to spend their time opening tickets or calling us to create and update orders, and we can spend our time on the more important tasks like answering customer questions over the phone or providing customer support in more meaningful and impactful ways.
When I get to my desk in the morning, I check in the dashboard to see if there’s anything that needs my attention. In the LNP department, we really strive to be proactive. Our goal, as lofty as it is, is to keep phone calls and trouble tickets to an absolute minimum. This means trying to resolve issues before they can even appear, providing a smooth road for our customer’s ports to travel. Our team manager, lead and members are always trying to brainstorm ways to improve our customer’s experience and to help us to work as efficiently as possible. Recent stats show that we are blowing away our SLA’s on ticket responses. One effort that Bandwidth has recently launched is the Bandwidth Learning Lab. The learning lab is an ever-growing series of short and easily digestible videos that explain a range of subjects, from how to port telephone numbers into bandwidth to what certain porting terms mean. All of these efforts mean that we can exceed our customer’s expectation, and in turn, exceed their end user’s expectations.
In addition to working in the dashboard, I also receive trouble tickets and take customer phone calls. Very few orders require our direct attention, and the ones that do are generally proactively worked so that there is very little disruption to the ports. However, in very rare instances, our customers need to call us or open a ticket. These are opportunities that I relish. I love interacting with our customers. At Bandwidth, we are very customer focused, and we have a great team of porting specialists that not only resolve customers issues, but do so with a smile on their faces. If we have a customer that is not having a great day, we try to turn it around by giving them world-class support and friendly service. Often times, we get phone calls about routine issues that can be solved by our customer. We understand carrier processes and take the education approach with our customers so they can work with their end users to ensure success. We look at ourselves as advocates for our customers and we are proud of that.
At times throughout the day, I will get stuck. There may be an issue that I’m unsure of how to address, or I need some extra help in activating some time-sensitive ports. I’m lucky to work with a team of world-class individuals that not only care about the customer, but also their teammates as well. They all have a great understanding of industry practices, and how to leverage that into real impact for our customers. It’s a great thing to be able to work with teammates that not only make me laugh, but to also have a group of people that support each other through thick and thin.
As you can see, even without a lot of detail, there is a lot going on in the Bandwidth LNP department! At the end of the day, our job is to help educate our customers and help get their ports through as quickly as possible. My office is a place where every day we go in trying to figure out better ways to help out customers. It’s a great challenge, but one that is totally worthwhile.