B2B Customer Experience: Corporate is the Underdog of Telecom Operators

How Turk Telekom has put a focus on the corporate customer journey.

Within the customer experience and marketing industry we tend to focus on B2C, however the B2B side provides its own challenges and rewards and the Customer Experience Management in Telecoms B2B Summit, which took place in London this week (30 June - 2 July 2015), focused on this unique relationship within the telecoms industry.

Mehmet Ali Akarca, CEO Corporate Business at Turk Telekom, discussed the corporate journey of the telecoms provider in his insightful presentation on the first full day of the conference.

One of his opening remarks that received a lot of nods of agreement from the audience, was that one of the biggest problems for the B2B sector is that the corporate side is the underdog of the telecom operators.

SEE ALSO: Customer Experience Director: "Complexity Doesn't Help Telecoms"

To battle this perception, Turk Telekom have changed the way they do business. They started off with a range of different divisions taking care of the customers, which included the VP Customer Care, VP Sales, VP Marketing and VP Supporting Functions, but in 2013 Turk Telekom decided to create a more customer-centric approach. To do that they changed from a function-based company to two main business models: the corporate side and the consumer side.

Within the corporate side, customer care, sales and marketing were all integrated into one team. "This was quite a challenge for us," Mehmet said, as they had to change a lot of departments and many employees were affected by the changes.

"However," he added, "customer experience management is a journey, and it's very important for everyone within the organisation to understand this."

As a result, the challenge to change things was integrated into the company.

They're now enriching their business by using customer insight to discover the customer's true needs. The team does this through channel surveys, process surveys, segment surveys, mystery shopping, focus groups, in depth interviews and call centre quality control.

The key here, Mehmet emphasised, is that after they have done research that actions are taken on the back of the insights.

They now also utilise internationally accepted scales to measure customer experience; CSI (customer satisfaction index), NTS (net trust score), NPS (new promoter score) and CES (customer effect score).

Following international standards makes it easier, Mehmet said, though he did warn that this changes all the time, one size doesn't fit all and different customers have different demands, which is why it is important to have different approaches.

In addition, he added that customer satisfaction has a profound effect on financial results and it's imperative to invest."Money is not an issue. The company makes more money if we follow through with the investment".

As an example he said that it was more expensive to switch to live agents, but they did it and customer satisfaction increased by 7 points, while customer effort went down by 8 points.

Mehmet added that within the dynamic telecoms industry all providers face similar challenges. The corporate side is more problematic as it handles a diverse portfolio and add services at different levels. However, he reiterated, to be successful with CEM, everyone within the organisation should be involved in this.

"We've taken the first steps, but we should be aware this is an ongoing process and we could always do something better in the future. As long as everyone within the organisation is aware of this," Mehmet concluded.