There is always this bittersweet relationship between customers and brands. A kind that only works through transparency, collaboration and a two-way connection rather than just building a product / service and imposing it on to the people without improving on a daily basis and of course getting both negative and positive sorts of feedback and working on it as well.
I am not usually someone who participates a lot in debatable issues on social media but recently I came across a thread on Twitter as part of their recent #TelenorHearsYou campaign, where someone had tagged Telenor, one of the leading Telco brands sharing a concern regarding wrongly charged amounts against their number and it was joined in by many other tweeters affirming the problem. Though I am not a Telenor user myself, it did trigger my interest because at the end of the day we all are cell users and the Telcos operate more or less on the same strategy and it got me wondering if my service provider was doing something similar.In such a relationship, concerns will always be there and this was genuinely raised too but what really makes it better is how pro-actively something is dealt with, once it has occurred. So I read on to check how the brand was responding to the issue, got involved with the team and requested them to be more transparent about their operations as a large number of my friends use this service too so this was my personal curiosity and guess what? I was invited to visit the 345 Telenor Head Quarters situated in Islamabad and see for myself how things worked here. That was a pretty welcoming gesture indeed.
The tour was very extensive and enlightening as we got to experience call shadowing which is listening to live customer complaints and see how the team responds to it on a real time basis. Where teams would take longer number of days for almost all types of complaints, their current resolve system has made some of the complaints to be resolved there and then on the call to avoid piling the complaint bundle, specially resolving concerns related to EasyCard.
With 64% increase in turnaround time, Telenor has reached a new level of customer query resolution. With their 24/7 customer support service, an average of 90% customer complaints are resolved within the communicated time and even the overall success ratio is on an astonishing 98%. Telenor currently receives 30,000 calls per day which used to be 100,000. The volume of calls are certainly reduced due to automation, well-coordinated structure and streamlined processes. Yet the dissonance continues.
The Telenor campus applies smart tools for regular up-gradation of service through inclusion of the end user into the business process. Their customer integration center invites in customers for feedback and trial of new features/ services which is voluntarily recorded for studying consumer behaviour and thus identifying how each consumer is different and how to design the service module accordingly. This dedicated regular research is extremely important and not to be missed in such rapidly changing tech times. Their smart voice response tool enables customers to interact with the IVR and use features without having to talk to an agent and also receive customized packages that are designed specifically according to the individual usage pattern, which clearly indicates the thought and attention that goes into studying each customer separately.
The Networks Operation Center is a true geek’s corner with complex and highly advanced systems for monitoring real time performance. It’s a 24/7 dedicated service monitoring any major or minor alarms triggered on any site as depicted by complex graphs and calculations on multiple screens. In order to avoid hurting customer experience, teams are present at all times to re-route the traffic on alternate paths in case of a fibre cut. Constant upgradation is an important deliverable for their customers, which has led Telenor to be the first Telco brand to have launched 4.5G services.
Speaking to the Chief Technology Officer, Director Marketing and Director Customer Care, ideas regarding service upgradation, plans on innovative advancements, improving the relationship with customers, building a stronger connection and mitigating the negative responses that are often seen on social media were also put on the table.
Although, Telenor has been ahead of other brands in terms of social engagement and not only connects with the customer but also its retailers from all parts of the country via social media groups for attaining complaints and feedback. This really makes everyone associated with the brand feel the importance of their role.
My personal favorite service by Telenor is the self care booth and it’s SIM dispensing feature that provides you a new SIM in less than 5 minutes. All you need is your CNIC and some cash and that’s it! Select your number, verify yourself through biometric feature and Congrats, you become a Telenor user. I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t on their customer base but just the curiosity of trying out using the booth made me one 😀
What customers really want is convenience and hassle free services and the brand to be available to listen to their problems at all times and give them special attention and reduce the gap that exists between consumers and service providers and Telenor aims to become better at reducing this gap to the maximum point by reaching out personally to those who face any sort of issue and by empowering the existing base of happy customers.
Witnessing these processes so closely, my earlier concern, that actually got me here was also answered – the teams after thoroughly looking for any loopholes at their end, personally reached out to the customer facing the issue and it turned out to be a totally different reason to begin with, where infact Telenor was actually sending out alert messages to beware the customer of overusing the credit, which normally most brands don’t even bother sending
At the end what matters is that the customer remains satisfied knowing the team is there to hear them out and solve their issues whenever called out.
I was personally very delighted to see their operations and the setup so closely and also about getting my own SIM card, which I will gladly use on my travels to the North as that’s where I believe Telenor works flawless and I’ll be able to relate to their processes and procedures even more.
Here’s a concise visual tour of the 345 Telenor HQ for you