Academic journal article Journal of Competitiveness Studies

Saudi Telecom Company: Customer Focus

Academic journal article Journal of Competitiveness Studies

Saudi Telecom Company: Customer Focus

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Late in the afternoon on a very hot Friday in 2014, in the north of Riyadh city Mr. Bader, a General Manager (GM) at the Saudi Telecom Company (STC), was browsing customer data sets that had been recently added to the company's advanced electronic customer management (e-CRM) system Mr. Bader thought back to the beginnings of the company, established in Saudi Arabia in 1998. Since then it had become a public company providing telecommunications services to all comers of the Kingdom. He smiled when he read on the STC site (www.stc.com.sa) that the STC name was listed in more than 35 countries in the international market, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, North America, Europe, North Africa, and South Africa. Using the latest technology, the STC provided a variety of telecommunication services through different platforms; Mobile Services, Landline Services, Data Services, and Internet Services. Mr. Bader recognized that the telecommunication industry, like any industry, operates in a very dynamic environment and knew that the top management was feeling challenged, especially with the increase in market competition from its two competitors: Mobily and Zain companies.

Mr. Bader and the STC top management had scheduled a meeting the next morning with the company staff to discuss the updated e-CRM system, particularly how to use it to accumulate and analyze customer-focused information and its effect on overall customer satisfaction. Another important issue for the meeting agenda was the service quality that was currently provided to customers and its role in the company's long range strategy for competitive growth. Mr. Bader turned his attention to his notes for the next morning's speech. He wanted to make sure he was communicating effectively to the staff.

On the day of the meeting, the GM looked out at the staff and took a deep breath. He began by emphasizing the importance of achieving the company's goals, taking into consideration high quality and time commitment of the staff. Increasing customer satisfaction was one of the important and immediate goals that STC hoped to target, the GM explained, and then went on to outline the strategic plan needed to accomplish this goal from three interrelated aspects: service quality, the new STC e-CRM system, and customer satisfaction.

SERVICE QUALITY

A clear relationship exists between the quality of service a company provides and the customer satisfaction level gained. High customer satisfaction, which involves building business relationships with customers, transfers to loyal long-term customers. However customers had increasingly sophisticated requirements. This demand was compounded by the fact that consumers were willing and able to switch to another provider if they felt unsatisfied with STC.

The GM presented a brief summary about the new products and service growth that STC had launched in 2013, mentioning that these services were part of the company's strategy to offer the highest service quality in the industry. The 3G & 3.5G STC networks were increasing their coverage range and expanding in Saudi Arabia. The 4G network had also expanded its coverage range and currently had more than 7,000 sites. The customer base for wireless broadband had increased more than 40% during 2013 when compared to the previous year. This had led to a 29% revenue increase during 2013 as compared to the same period the previous year. More than that, a 37% growth in QuikNet sales had been reported in the same period.

Next, the GM detailed what it meant to build complexity in quality systems. He explained the creation of an integrated quality framework that addresses performance across key enterprise activities, including finance, IT governance, service management, information security, sourcing, and social and environmental responsibilities. By ensuring service quality and quality management, STC could gain a variety of competitive, economic, and performance advantages. …

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