Customer experience trumps technology

Customer experience trumps technology

Joseph Waring
telecomasia.net
Technology is not a differentiator -- it’s an enabler and can only help a company differentiate. Customer experience, says Telstra Global president and MD Martijn Blanken, is the only true differentiator that is sustainable over a long period of time.
 
“We’re not going to win the war having better technology than Verizon or SingTel or NTT. That’s not going to happen,” he said.
 
“Quite frankly, our IaaS offering is absolutely a decent product. But I would struggle to argue we have a sustainable advantage over most players in the market. That is not going to make a difference. The reason people are going to work with us is the optimal customer experience we can provide. That is supported by our IT tools, which we have turned into a differentiating position.”
 
He admitted that getting there has not been a smooth ride across its day-to-day operations. Network maintenance is a good example.
 
“In the past telcos have not always been good about telling customers about maintenance – customers have often been partially information or misinformed. To get that right, we spend a lot of time. Have to communicate only to those customers that will be impacted, not the entire customer base. This requires engineers to think about the impact on the end customer.”
 
Earlier this year Telstra Global launched a platform for providing cloud infrastructure services from its data centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. A “united services management console” now gives customers online access to the exact same view of their products and services as Telstra staff.
 
But the project came about only after a major three-year IT restructuring. Blanken said before that the company was in a challenging position because its IT landscape was extremely fragmented, which made it difficult to launch new services effectively.
 

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