Telecom is one of the most dynamic service industries today. India has the second largest telecom network with around 10 telecom services providers competing with each other. With changing customer needs, introduction of new services and fierce competition, it has become imperative that a Telecom Service Provider understand the market and its customers completely and maintain its quality standards.
We at Q&Q, help these service providers in monitoring their quality standards, review competition – how they are faring, suggestions on best practices followed across the service industry, checking customer’s pulse and understanding customer’s needs before the needs turn into disappointments leading to dissatisfaction.
This helps the service provider not only understanding the consumer better but also making their processes more efficient and customer friendly.
1.Quality monitoring at customer touch points-
These studies involve contacting customer touch points and doing a health check. The touch points include retail outlets, call centre, MBOs, Drop boxes, corporate kiosks etc. These studies give an idea on quality of interaction happening with the customer, adherence of SOP by the front-enders and identifying the loopholes with an ultimate aim of enhancing a customer’s experience. The most popular method for monitoring quality is through Mystery audits where in the auditor contacts the touch point as a customer with a general customer query. He interacts with the front ender and observes his mannerism, efficiency, quality of information given and adherence to the Company norms. In retail outlets he also observes the general ambience of the outlet to check whether it matches Company’s laid down rules.
2. Understanding Voice of Customer-
Looking at the highly competitive telecom space, the service providers always struggle to improve their customer base by acquiring new customers and by retaining the old ones. To be ahead of its competitors, the service providers are now looking at having a devoted customer rather than a merely satisfied one. This devotion comes from delighted customers who had a great service experience with their service provider. Hence to get a devoted customer, it is important that the service provider must understand what exactly the customer thinks about him and understand his needs, so that the customer turns into a devoted one. Through voice of customer studies we map the customer’s pain areas with the service providers and then reach out to the customers to understand what caused this pain. The reasons are then taken back to the service provider and a whole strategy is planned on how to mitigate that pain.
The study involves face to face interviews with the customers at their home / work place etc to understand their pain and what they want from the service provider to enhance their experience.
3. Studies on Customer satisfaction and Customer Delight Index-
Customer Satisfaction studies give an idea on how satisfied the customers are from their service provider. These studies are conducted to understand how the customer feels about his service provider, his perceptions and expectations with an ultimate aim of getting a customer delight index. The studies also give a Net promoter score which is a reflection of actually how many customers are the promoters of the brand – who would actually contribute in enhancing the customer base. The C-Sat studies are conducted by face to face interviews among the customers. These studies can be conducted among the customers exiting the Company retail outlet or at customer’s home. The customers are selected randomly and the questionnaire is canvassed. Later analysis is done to get a NPS along with other feedback like customer views on current service standards, areas of improvement, brand USP etc.
4. Process benchmarking-
In Telecom, each service provider has defined process to operate. These processes are designed keeping in mind the type of customer, location and infrastructure availability. Hence the processes vary from circle to circle and one service provider to other. Though the processes are designed keeping in mind a customer but there may be certain loopholes which lead to customer dissatisfaction. The processes vary from one service provider to other hence there may be case where one service provider carries out a process in a more customer friendly way. This leads to a need of process benchmarking among the circles of a service provider or among the different service providers to identify and implement best practices.
We carry out process benchmarking studies by studying in detail the processes followed during entire customer life cycle – from on-boarding till churn.
5. Brand visibility Studies-
The entire telecom industry is heavily dependent on the Multi-branded outlets for its sale. The service providers compete with each other in capturing as much space as they can in the MBO to improve their visibility inside the store. Though the marketing teams take care of their branding at these outlets, it is important to understand that despite their efforts – is the brand really visible in the MBO.
We carry out studies at these MBOs to understand service provider’s visibility in terms of presence of posters/banners/danglers and other POS material.
Our client is a leading telecom service provider operating in all the 23 telecom circles. This telecom major has its exclusive retail outlets across the country in all tiers of cities, towns and in rural areas. The company has well defined SOPs which it expects to be adhered to at its outlets. It is extremely difficult for the client to monitor the quality level and SOP adherences at all these touch points. Hence they wanted us to conduct a regular exercise among all its exclusive outlets which would enable them to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to ensure process adherence.
The main objective of the study is to visit the outlet in disguise of the mystery customer and monitor the look and feel of the outlet along with monitoring the quality of interaction and information given.
Sampling and Methodology
The mystery shopping is a routine track exercise which is conducted in a cyclic manner with each cycle of 30 days. In a cycle more than 3000 outlets are covered in 23 telecom circles. The teams of mystery auditors visit these outlets and conduct the audit. The feedback is reported on a well laid out audit sheet through which score is generated. The information captured in hard copy is entered online into soft copy through cloud computing. The scores thus generated are then combined and a circle wise and then national score is calculated.
- Q&Q Research Insights have a unique system of intimating the client about the major deviations observed during the mystery visit called RED ALERTS. These alerts are system generated mails which highlight the anomalies observed. These Red alerts are generated within 24 hrs of field visit. Through this, the client does not have to wait for month end report to know the issues and corrective actions are taken immediately.
- In the month end report – apart from the scores, a lot of insights are shared with the client including Root Cause Analysis of the issues observed; identifying training needs to enhance customer experience. The entire presentation is made using special software called OASIS.
The client, a latest entrant into telecom space took initiative to work towards mitigation of customer’s pain which the customer encountered while using services. Though they had identified the pain points – reasons for the pain was an area they wanted to explore and understand. They also wanted to know what is the take of the stakeholders responsible for the process in which pain was arising.
To understand from the customer’s perspective – the problems he faced after encountering the pain and in getting its resolution - is his query heard and actioned upon, what extra does he want from the service provider, how satisfied is he from the services he is getting and what the areas of improvement are. Apart from this, the objective was also to understand how the customer’s query is resolved at the call centre and what steps the process owners take to mitigate the customer’s pain.
Sampling and Methodology
The study was conducted in 5 telecom circles. The pain areas were identified by the client and taking those pain areas, customer who had actually faced the pain were interviewed. The call centre executive who handle such queries were also interviewed to check what all possible reasons are given to the customer for the pain and what is done at front ender’s level to resolve customer’s issue. Later the process owners were interviewed to understand how things work at their end and what processes they follow to mitigate customer’s pain and ensuring such problems do not occur again. All the interactions were video shot.
- The video on customer pain, their feedback followed by the call centre executive’s responses and finally the views of process owners was made and shown to the business heads at the corporate office. This helped them in understanding the issues at ground level and what does customer feel about them.
- The information provided to the client helped them take steps to strengthen the process which would ultimately enhance customer experience.
The client wished to take a step ahead into understanding the C-Sat on an overall level and wanted to focus more on its retail outlet and the experience customers get at these outlets. Since these outlets are the face of the Company and most important sale centre, it was very important to get customer’s view point on these outlets and how satisfied they are with the entire visit. This led to genesis of the concept of monitoring C-Sat and CDI for exclusive retail outlets.
The study was taken up with a main aim of understanding what exactly a customer observes in the store, how his query is handled by the executive and how happy is he with the interaction. Later based on his willing to promote the brand an NPS was calculated.
Sampling and Methodology
The study was conducted among 900 customers at 30 retail outlets. The customers exiting the outlet were approached and interviewed there or at their home wherever they felt comfortable. Feedback was taken on their experience at the store, what went well and what did not and what did he observe in the store. Later his suggestions on improving experience in the store were noted. In the end he was asked whether he would promote Vodafone based on this visit to generate Net Promoter Score.
- Customer Delight Index measured for each retail touch point which was a reflection of how good/bad the outlet is at handling customer’s query.
- Details on what customers observe in the store were given highlighting most recalled infra elements, what was liked and what were not.
- Simple actionable points were given to the circle for each outlet to work upon. These actionable were those which would give maximum result in shortest possible time.
- Detailed action plan was also shared to be implemented over a period of 3 months. Later implementation of this was monitored through another round of CDI.