As per the study done by Gartner; in the Era of Customers; the growing competition and consumer power both are eroding the traditional product-based advantages, forcing organizations to shift to a new battlefield: ensuring the customer experience through Omni-Channel. Marketing leaders are expected to create exceptional branded moments at every customer touch point.
In this article; I'll discus how Omni Channel is leveraging and driving customer experience in the Telecom Sector and also list some of the success stories.
To start with; what is Omni-Channel? And how is it different from the Multi-Channel Strategy?
The multi-channel approach in Telecom Sector came to the fore several years ago, when they launched online platforms and encouraged customers to use call centres and their touch points for their everyday needs. The number of touch points increased, the number of calls to the call center increased as well but with expansion came more complicated IT systems. Additional channels were bolted on to legacy platforms but many companies struggled to offer a joined-up approach to servicing customers.
Then came Omni Channel. Omni Channel is about seeing your business through the eyes of your customer and delivering seamless, integrated and consistent customer experiences across channels. In the recent years; with the rise of Digital Media, Internet and faster data speed, we are seeing that the Telecom sector are all working towards this one goal; ensuring seamless customer experiences across every single touch point.
Now that we know what Omni Channel is lets discus some success stories. Well, few years back, Telecom companies used to ensure the availability of their airtime recharge product as well as other services only through the retail outlets, flagship stores, call centers etc. Now a day a customer can chose any of the options; Recharge through a retail outlet, through online web sites, through ATM, through Apps, through mCommerce etc.
Now let me cite a success story! Amongst all Telecom Operators in Bangladesh, airtel Bangladesh is even ahead of the Omni-Channel game by ensuing seamless customer service delivery through a virtual 3D online airtel experience center. Through this online airtel experience centers; customers are now able to get every single services that they'd have received by physically visiting airtel centers or calling the call center. In the Era of Customer Service Excellence through OmniChannel; airtel Bangladesh has indeed set an example.
For this excellence Airtel Bangladesh Recently won the Asia Communication Award under the customer experience initiative criterion.
So what is the most important factor for customers? Do they really care about the channels or the touch point through which the service gets catered? Well the answer is No. Customers don't think in terms of channels and touch points; they just expect seamless, integrated and consistent customer experiences. They are looking for a level of engagement that retailers are often struggling to provide.
When you visit Airtel online experience centre, you'll be amazed to see how Airtel is able to engage customers through this virtual customer service centre. A customer can even chose the best internet/data pack and buy it. They can buy a new SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) and get the SIM shipped to their addresses through a service named as "Door Step Service".
Finally, most of the companies in Bangladesh are still in the very beginning stages of their journey towards delivering Omni Channel customer experiences. The majority are still struggling to get a single view of customers, products and inventory across channels. And in this battle; Airtel Bangladesh is indeed the winner!
Ruhullah Raihan Al Husain is Head of mCommerce Operations, Airtel Bangladesh