July 2015 | Nithin Rao

A telecom tune to hum

The communications revolution and widespread use of personal devices such as smartphones and tablets have transformed the very definition of a 'customer' for Tata Communications

The explosive growth of smartphones and other personal devices has changed the very definition of a customer for a company such as Tata Communications. While in the past most of the dealings, in terms of networking and infotech services, were done through the chief information officer at the client’s firm, these days the number of stakeholders has increased, with more and more consumers becoming ‘prosumers’, the marketing term for professional consumers who are also online influencers.

Tata Communications’ public telepresence rooms, located across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America, provide face-to-face video collaboration, anytime, anywhere

Says Julie Woods-Moss, chief marketing officer and chief executive, NextGen business, at Tata Communications: “Even in the business-to-business segment, there is the growing influence of the ‘prosumer’. This professional consumer wants the same level of tools that he or she uses in home life at the workplace as well.”

According to Ms Woods-Moss, the foundation of customer centricity is employee engagement, which, she says, is the lead indicator of customer advocacy in an organisation. Tata Communications’ employee engagement is 85 percent, which is higher than the global telecom industry norm. They are the first advocates for Tata Communications.

Watch how Tata Communications made the Mercedes AMG Petronas team faster in the Formula 1 championship
As always, the challenge lies in meeting expectations. “It is just not enough to provide value-for-money and reliable services,” says Ms Woods-Moss. “Customers expect innovation and value additions. We have to show leadership in products, services and cost innovation.”

The company has adopted the concept of identifying ‘moments of delight’ and ‘moments of frustration’ that a customer undergoes. Another programme, called ‘hundred voices’, identifies top 100 customers and, based on the interactions with them, Tata Communications seeks their response to the quality of services it provides.

Customer view
Formula 1 is one of the most popular spectator sports in the world. As the ‘official connectivity provider’ for Formula 1, Tata Communications already has the major fibre operations in place, making it possible for us to pick up high quality content at an improved latency rate...

Jelmer Kleingeld, vice president and general manager, Chello DMC, the official F1 licensee and broadcaster

This is a shortened version of the main article, which is part of the cover story about the customer-centricity culture of the Tata group featured in the July 2015 issue of Tata Review. Read the complete article here >>
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