Kathy Gibson reports from Huawei MEA Service Summit in Cape Town – A service operation centre has helped Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) in its customer experience transformation.
Derek Chen, from HKT, points out that Hong Kong has been deregulated for the last 20 years, and mobile penetration is already at 233%, with IPTV at 102%.
Most of the complaints to government are about telecoms, Derek says.
“So we realised we had to change from a technology company to one that provides superior customer experience,” he says.
“Hong Kong is a fast city – everyone moves quickly. So users want a fast and reliable network – and they want services rather than just a network.”
But customers were not satisfied with the network or with the customer experience.
HKT aimed to provide a pleasant customer experience by following a number of steps.
The fist was changing from reactive to proactive, processing upfront customer care, monitoring service quality, even monetising customer experience and finally reaching digital customer care.
Testament to the transformation, the company has received a raft of awards recognising its customer experience.
“And we are not just competing with other telecoms operators, but with banks, insurers and retail chains,” Derek says.
Importantly, HKT has realised consistent growth on both fixed and mobile revenue – and it has doubled its share price
“So we are very happy, The customer experience transformation has helped us to excel in industry and to perform well on the revenue side.”
To achieve this success, HKT made customer experience a company-wide imperative, driven from the CEO. The company changed its motto to “Here to serve” and established a customer service centre.
On the network side, it transformed its network operations centre to a service operations centre.
“The first thing we did was change the employee mindset, facilitate a cultural change.”
The next step was to establish a superior network, with broadband everywhere and multiple access technology.
“But that’s not enough,” says Derek. “Content is important. A good network lets you be connected, but it’s a dull connection.”
HKT offers quad-play and a unified customer experience strategy. And this targets not just Hong Kong residents but Chinese people all over the world.
“Building a robust SOC we found that customers appreciate that, and now they outsource service operations to us as well. Now we can look at not just our network, but customers own WANs and LANs.”
Importantly, this builds “stickiness” with customers and helps to keep customers loyal or longer. In fact, 60% of HKT’s revenue now comes from enterprise customers.
Digitising customer care has gone a long way to improving the customer experience. Digital channels mean customers don’t have to wait for information, while staff can be better optimised in improved care.
The SOC ensures the stability of these digital features.
HKT is planning to extend its digital services to customers in the future, and is looking ahead to the smart city.
“In Hong Kong we have a lot of smart city implementations,” Derek says.
So we are creating a satellite SOC in the smart cities for smart inventory and smart office, and soon smart living and smart stores.”