Telcos should use social media for better customer engagement: TRAI

by Sohini Bagchi    Mar 08, 2013

telco social

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is increasingly urging telecom service providers to improve their delivery of service in order to enrich consumer experience across the country. At a recent telecom event in Kolkata, TRAI officials said that service providers should leverage emerging technologies such as web, mobile and social platforms to attract and engage their customers - whether it’s about launching a new product or service, announcing a change in their policy or tariff structure or in any other area that directly or indirectly has an impact on consumers.

To tap the new breed of enterprise and end user customers, TRAI officials believe that social is the way to go. Anuradha Mitra, Principal Advisor, TRAI told CXOtoday that it is essential to offer a unique customer experience across traditional and social channels that can help consumers to make decisions on a particular plan or product.

Customers today are increasingly using newer channels to ask questions give feedback and share and connect with others, and it is important to personalize their experiences wherever it’s possible. At the same time, the telecom environment is also becoming highly competitive. Mitra added that in such as scenario, service providers should leverage social media to engage with their respective communities.

Brands such as Vodafone, Tata DoCoMo, Airtel, Aircel and Reliance are already using social media campaigns as part of their markting strategies for greater customer engagement and insights. “We have observed that quiz and sports information on social platforms have a greater level of engagement than mere talking about our services,” informed Mitash Chatterjee, Circle Head, Kolkata, Reliance Communications Limited.

Facebook is undoubtedly the most powerful platform to reach out and engage with customers with 61 million users in India. The best examples are seen during the festive seasons, as for telecom providers, visibility is becoming a key in the market. “Innovation in social media often pays off as it did for Vodafone Zoozoos for example that was ranked number one last year in terms of people engagement both on Facebook and You Tube,” said Suresh Kumar, General Manager- Zonal Operations at Vodafone.

Twitter is yet another engaging platform for telcos as messages reach quickly and very effectively and brands like Airtel and Vodafone are banking on this platform for better interaction with customers.

The regulatory body has recently announced the Standards of Quality of Service for Wireless Data Services Regulations and mandated that every mobile phone service provider or must set up a test comprising servers and test probes to cover the entire geographical area of coverage of different data services in the licensed service area.

It has also been mandated that service providers have to publish on its website, the details of all data services offered, along with their tariff, clearly indicating the cities and towns where such data services and tariff plans are applicable. Any changes in plans or addition of information should also be notified to the customer on their mobile numbers.

When you create positive brand experiences, it can lead to insights that have an impact on all of your customers. And most importantly, it builds trust which adds a lot of value to your business and this is what emerging technologies can help telcos achieve, said Chatterjee.