In the Middle East, there is a highly competitive telecommunications industry and the quality of customer experience is a key factor to retain mobile phone subscribers and drive service usage for mobile operators in the region.
“Gemalto has been providing solutions around devices for a long time and over the years. We have a lot of data regarding the device, the subscriber and the use of data, and now we have grown another layer in top of that in order to provide a user experience metric,” says Shaheryar Zameer, head of Telecommunication Solutions CIS, Middle East and Africa at Gemalto.
With the proliferation of smartphones, the experience that the customer gets from different applications depends on the device. In order to measure that experience, Gemalto is considering the quality of experience on its metrics. “We are collecting this information and analysing it. It is something that has not been available to the customer care centre, which is the first point that the customer uses when something goes wrong.”
Gemalto is taking the data from the warehouse and bringing it to the frontline, so that the customer centre can offer an answer to the user as soon as they need it. “Customer experience causes a lot of traction for operators. For long time, real data, in terms of customer experience, is something that sits in the data warehouse. When we talk with operators and their customer departments about taking this data from the warehouses to the front customer, they get really excited,” Zameer says.
“We need the customer service to have the information. Bring that data into the front line and take that approach offers a lot traction today to mobile operators,” he adds.
Zameer highlights the importance of the customer care department and the answer given to the user when phoning for help, as he believes it is key to maintain customers and improve the service that the user is demanding. “When you call to any customer service, the last thing you want to hear is that they will look at your problem. It gives you a bad feeling, you will think that they do not care. However, if you call and they know the problem and they answer that they are already solving it, the response will engage the customer.”
The customer service will be the biggest differentiator in the market, according to Zameer, as the strategy that operators are following nowadays has changed. “The market strategy for operators seems to be about customer retention and customer loyalty. Big data plays a big part of that to make more informed decisions around customer retention and customer loyalty programmes.”
“If you look at the billboards in the past, operators were setting their messages around coverage: ‘We have 90% coverage, we can offer you better network availability than our competitor’. After a while, you saw that the battle field was about social media packages, valued added services and that is saturated today. Nowadays, the battle field seems to be quality: ‘Stay with us because we are giving you a better experience than our competitors’,” he adds.
“For example, if we can measure device check, for a subscriber base, we have the ability to measure if the consumer is on an iPhone and if it goes later to another phone. That is an information that can be useful if you relate it to a segment with the same quality. You might see that there is a problem with the handset or that people behave like that for a reason,” Zameer says.
He believes that there is no value when paying a device, if your service when using the internet is not good. “The mobile operators are reacting to that,” he concludes.