Interview with Mr Nidal El Kamouni, CEO PCCI GROUP

Lesser the number of offerings in the package, lesser will be the expectations. However, with the market tending heavily towards all-in-one bundled telecom packages, the bar on customer service definitely has risen enormously. There was a time when the quality was being adjudged on what’s being offered and for what price- over time, the parameters have increased to the kind of products on offer, the speed and ease , the control and privacy features, the multi-device compatibilities and many more. So, how are the communication providers rising up to the challenge and what’s in the pipeline to ensure the customer experience is as smoother than imaginations could set limits on?

1. What kind of customer services do you provide? Are your services available only onsite or are they available online and offline as well?

In addition to providing traditional customer service like contact center and front line service outsourcing, we go beyond customer service to provide a full customer experience solution, whereby covering all aspects of the customer’s interaction with the brand.
Online and digital solutions are now core to our strategy given the consumer shift and the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). We have therefore developed a full suite of online services in order to offer a different experience.

2. What differentiates the customer experience provided by you from those of others in the market?

The truth is that even though there is a lot of buzz around customer experience, not many companies have practical and proven solutions in order to move the needle from a customer satisfaction perspective. Our advantage comes from the fact that we have practically implemented integrated customer experience strategies across a large footprint and have the capability to deliver that operationally across a number of touch points. Our approach and methodology is used in global companies considered as reference for customer experience worldwide. Our best reference metric is a survey feedback from our customers 6 - 12 months after implementation.

3. What’s the latest in offing to ensure customer experience is improved with ease and convenience and minimal unnecessary interruption?

Given the increased competition, customer experience has become the main driver of differentiation between companies. This is one of the main trigger why many companies are adjusting their structures to be more customer centric and are implementing many new technologies in order to zoom in on individual customer experience rather than using a one size fits all blanket strategy.

4. What kind of endeavours are you engaging in to derive real-time insights on consumer experience and what kind of systems are in place to address issues (if any)?

We have implemented a platform which we can integrate with a company’s internal systems. This platform, with our associated processes, enables us and the company executives to detect real time insights from customers which can drive tactical and strategic improvement in the company’s customer experience, in a simple and meaningful way. We have taken this further, when it comes to companies with more sophisticated technology like telecom since it involves a lot of big data which needs to be analyzed and presented in ways that people can interpret and drive action when it comes to data monetization and customer experience improvement.

5. How do you think the customer expectations from solutions and services in your space have changed over time?

This has changed in numerous ways. Customers now have much more options and they expect the companies they interact with to be present and available to support across all channels. Furthermore because of the increased competition, companies are demanding more than traditional services and are asking for better value like big data analytics, experience mapping and contribution to revenue generation through total customer lifecycle management. Today, the market dynamics have changed and only those with innovative solutions will survive.

6. If you had to enlist just three things to ensure a cutting-edge customer experience, what would those three be?

We believe that Company’s must drive customer experience as they drive any other revenue generating initiative. For us, in order to enhance the customer experience, we would recommend the following:

  • Integrated strategy covering the whole organization not only customer service
  • Put the right enablers in place, platforms and supporting functions
  • The right skills for execution

7. There have been several scenarios of incumbents losing out to newer entrants providing similar solutions and services at lower costs- How can incumbents replicate successful newcomers?

The answer lies within the question. Our model is not about providing service at a lower cost, we are very competitive but we think the value we provide to the business is not only about cost cutting.

8. What are the biggest organizational hurdles to improving customer experience?

The real challenge we see is having the real commitment from the top leadership. What we mean by ‘commitment’ is not just the approval from the CEO, but it is more about ensuring from a strategy, governance and accountability perspective, where the executive committee is aligned with the new customer experience objectives of the company and is really backing the organizational effort to improve it. Wherever we had this commitment, positive results have always followed.

9. What are your views on the usage of social media for enhanced customer experience?

Being active and present in social media is not a choice anymore. From service to brand to PR to communication and targeted marketing , social media plays a pivotal role today in any effective customer experience strategy.

10. Have you implemented any new systems of technology to boost customer experience in the past year? And what areas are you working on to improve customer experience and make it even better?

Our focus for the past year was on roll out of touch points insights platforms. In all our implementations, the average improvement in Net promoter score has been > 20% in less than 1 year and even more depending on the baseline the company is starting from. The other technology focus was developing processes to manage customer experience platforms for mobile operators and creation of big data models to help them improve their network experience and monetize the tremendous amount of information they have about their customers.

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