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Sat 6 Jun 2015 10:04 AM

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Why the customer is king

Customer experience management is a vital investment in future company growth for telcos in the region

Why the customer is king
Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Commercial Officer, du

Customer Experience Management (CEM) has become a vital resource in telecommunications, as operators compete with other industries taking part in the digital revolution. Telcos are more focused on the overall customer experience, than ever before; they recognise the importance of promoting customer experience to gain customer value.

Made up of various processes of designing and reacting to all interactions between the customer and the organisation throughout the customer lifecycle, the main aim of CEM is to meet or exceed customer expectations and increase loyalty. While traditional interactions through call centre communication and point of sale service remain important, social customer relationship channels (CRM) such as Facebook and Twitter need to be closely monitored in order to maintain customer satisfaction.

It offers a two-fold benefit, both internally for the organisation, and more importantly for the end user. Internally, this kind of omni-channel or omni-interaction view of the customer can facilitate faster response and resolve times and a more intimate understanding of customer behaviour, resulting in a seamless unified experience for the end user. CEM provides single user authentication across multiple devices, omni-channel experience, continuous and instant user feedback and closed-loop engagement and improvement; this is customer management in real-time to deliver a personalised, intuitive and responsive experience.

Today the customer experience is primarily focused on the ‘removal of customer dissatisfaction’, whereas the customer experience of tomorrow is about enhancing engagement to drive value. Hence, one can look at CEM as an investment in the future growth of a company.

Some key development areas for CEM include technology investment; without an infrastructure to monitor customer interaction and understanding break points or opportunity points, the customer experience will remain a superficial endeavour, as opposed to the systematic treatment of customers. Organisations have to learn to put the digital experience at the heart of the customer experience. Finally, financial analysis is imperative; without understanding the return on the customer experience investment, it will continue to come second to revenue generating initiatives in the telecom industry.

With multiple vendors and micro-industries supporting CEM, it still remains open to interpretation and, thus, everything from network management tools and contact centre business process outsourcing to branding and experience design agencies and effective complaint management has become part of the CEM process. While many companies are adopting CEM practices, they are starting in multiple areas of business without a cohesive approach or strategy.

At du we are strengthening our own CEM initiatives on several fronts including; embedding measurement capabilities across our channels, network and vendors; devising performance management that cascades accountability from our executives across the company; and digital capability development, using existing and new digital channels, digital enablement into new experience and businesses.

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