Give a one-page summary of the case study stating all the important information.
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) established in 1998. STC that listed in more than 35 countries provided a variety of telecommunication services through different platforms. In the 1st half of 2013, STC profit increases 4% from the previous year and reached SR 22,080m. One of STC’s important and immediate goal is to increase customer satisfaction. There are three interrelated aspects to outline the strategic plan, including service quality, the new STC e-CRM system, and customer satisfaction.
The high quality of service leads to high customer satisfaction. Satisfy customer will be transferred to the loyal long-term customer and prevent them from switching products. Because of the telecom market is very sensitive to switching customer, STC implemented quality procedures, namely customer partnership, service planning, process management, performance management, continuous improvement, employee participation, and supplier partnership. STC also provided service assurance, a set of procedures intended to optimize performance and provide management guidance in communications networks and media and content services for individual users and business customers.
STC e-CRM System
STC e-CRM System helps STC to learn its customer needs and behaviors and to develop a stronger relationship with them. To operate the IT system, STC cooperated with Logica and Cisco. STC CRM depended on bringing lots of pieces of information about customers and market trends to support sales and to market STC products and service more effectively by the understanding the behavior of customers and the value of those customers. There are two keys of the e-CRM feature, namely improved customer profitability and advanced reporting. CRM is proficient in creating sustainable connections between STC and its customers and capable of evaluating the quality of services provided to customers and customers’ satisfaction.
A method to retain customer conducted by STC is loyalty programs. e-CRM provided access to extensive information on each member that can be used to improve customer insight, personalize the customer experience, and improve decision making. In another word, the effectiveness of e-CRM helps loyalty program lifecycle through defining innovative offers and set up new partnerships. There are two main loyalty programs, namely Qitaf, a program to show gratitude for STC customer loyalty, and Tamayouz, a loyalty program designed to offer high-class services and privileges to distinguished customers.
2) According to the case, one of the challenges STC faces is “achieving market dominance (which) required innovation in operations”. A lot has changed since this case study was written, considering the changes in technology in 2018, what recommendations would your group have in terms of innovation in operations that STC could consider in order to remain relevant to consumers in this high paced technological revolution we are currently experiencing.
First of all, they should acquire the 5G technology as soon as possible to be first to market to provide the service. Furthermore, while the My STC mobile application is not mentioned in the case study, STC has developed the app to a good level of development. STC should capitalize on the app to make customer service operation more accessible and convenient. Another suggestion would be to introduce operational level agreements between the different departments of STC to give better estimations for delivering the services to the customer. Finally, using big data technology to forecast future trends to better customize services that align with customer needs.
3) Critique the loyalty programs STC has that are mentioned in the case, and what ideas would you suggest in terms of loyalty programs that would be useful for all the segments that STC serves. (think about the heterogeneity of the customer base of STC and how they can benefit from loyalty programs tailored to them).
The criticism is that STC only uses annual billing amount and historical consumption to segment their customer base. This loyalty program focuses only on current customers and does not keep in mind future customers and doesn’t focus on long-term customer relation management.
They should develop loyalty programs aimed at families, this will get more customers in the form of whole families and loyalty has a good chance to develop in children of the family. Also, they should focus their loyalty programs to be more customized for certain demographic groups like the youth’s interest in social media.
4) In your opinion, what challenges do you think STC faces today in terms of customer satisfaction? What are the strengths of STC and their weaknesses?
The greatest challenge is keeping up with the heavy internet usage of the younger population which is exponentially growing by the day. Their strengths lie in their high availability, the economy of scale, financial capabilities and government interest; on the other hand, they have a bad public image stigma and they are going through a dramatic cultural and organizational changes.
5) One thing the case study does not address, which is very relevant in today’s world, is the digital marketing operations of STC, specifically social media. Analyze briefly STC’s use of social media and what recommendations would you have?
STC is having a hard time using social as a means of marketing to because of the bad image that is being inflamed by salty users. They are often ridiculed and antagonized by a large number of social media users. It has an objective of STC to remove the bad image that has been haunting them to no avail. We suggest a different approach that was used by the German airlines K.L.M where they combated low brand recognition by becoming what the people identified them as. For instance, STC can joke about their supposed incompetence, getting people to laugh and naturally change their view over time.