Ooredoo Oman had the highest score in terms of customer satisfaction, customer care, store experience, customer journey, and network. Aligning with the Ooredoo Group’s digital-first strategy into 2022, the company is digital from A-Z, shifting from ‘brick to click’.

To elaborate on how this success has happened, Telecom Review spoke with Ahmed Diwan, Chief Commercial Officer, Ooredoo Oman and learned about the telco’s commercial strategy, key partners, and actions being taken to keep up with the trends of the modern era.

As an international leader in the telecoms sector, what are the challenges and opportunities in making Ooredoo Oman's commercial strategy stand out, consistent, and lucrative?

Telecommunications and digital communications are key drivers in the ongoing digital transformation of Oman, and, in our industry, there is often an overlap between opportunities and challenges. In a competitive market, customer experience is our main differentiator and our digitalization of the customer experience is what sets us apart. Digital is an important component of our seamless omni-channel customer experience, providing touchpoints to our customers through our app, our online chatbots and social media, as well as our first rate contact centre, immersive stores, franchises and dealers.

But we want to provide more than just a channel for contact; it’s about taking our customers on a journey – an end-to-end experience. We also have embedded a customer experience culture within Ooredoo, thus becoming a customer-centric organization, where each and every member of the team is directly and indirectly responsible for the customer journey.

We are also leveraging all of our resources – partnerships, people, network, the latest tech and tools to “indulge” our customers and provide a world class service that connects communities across Oman, especially those in isolated regions who depend on access to a strong and stable network for education, business and trade.

We have won several digital and customer experience awards which highlight our world class, leading digital CX and recognize our efforts to continue moving forward. Indeed, our drive to innovate sees us as the “fast and furious” in our approach to new technology – and to be the first to market.

What is the recipe for commercial success and how could this be reflected on Ooredoo Oman's position in the telecom market?

There is no one definitive recipe, but the key ingredients are to inspire customers, capture their imagination, and allow them to do more. Our aim is to offer great value while moving the sector and the nation forward.

As a connectivity and digital leader in Oman, we carry a huge responsibility towards digital enablement. We connect the world and have always thrived to deliver a great experience, stand out from the competition and become the provider of choice for the communications experience and technology needs of our customers. This fresh approach to the experience has seen us become the industry leader across many social channels.

Our recent focus on regionalization has seen a separate and unique focus on the regions within Oman to reach customers with services important to them in their area. One of the challenges for Oman is that it is such a large country with a small population and vast areas in between the major centres. So, our regionalization strategy and presence on the ground place us close to customers so that we can better understand their needs and cater to them, and this is what sets us apart. A solid partnership with our distribution network has been invaluable in covering the entire country and meeting the needs of diverse communities.

Customers are at the top of our focus hierarchy and we reach them 24/7, across our channels, providing a multi-language service in Arabic, English and Urdu. We also continue to invest in people and technology to constantly evolve our customer journey and experience.

We want to cater to our customers with a diversified portfolio of products and services that addresses their needs and solves their problems; reflecting a fair value proposition to them at all times. From cloud solutions, IoT and mobile financial solutions (MFS) in our award-winning pay+ mobile wallet, to a huge array of home and mobile choices, we have something for everyone!

Who are the key partners that Ooredoo Oman collaborates with and how does the company plan to expand business ventures in the coming years?

We believe in becoming stronger through partnerships with international and local companies from within and outside the sector. We have partnered with industry leaders to offer the very best hardware and product support. In this way, every step of our service is backed by the best, which also streamlines operations and makes us more efficient. Our partners are part of the value chain and everyone has a major role in keeping the ecosystem rolling.

Our network managed service is powered by Huawei, and we have expanded our relationship to include smart innovative solutions powered by Cloud Campus to B2B customers. This will support retail, education, hospitality and healthcare sectors to reduce operational costs and improve overall operational efficiency.

We also collaborated with the National Bank of Oman (NBO) to launch pay+, the first telecoms mobile wallet in the market, while also working with Ericsson for our digital billing system.

Elsewhere, we partnered with organizations such as banks, tech companies, and other third parties to maximize, optimize and differentiate the CX and customer journey. Every partner is an important part of the value chain and every organization has a major role in keeping the ecosystem that we have created going, and enriching our value proposition.

We select a partner based on their expertise and ability to meet ours and our customers’ aims. From cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), value added services (VAS), bank payments (MFS), and more. It’s a holistic service – we are a major part of this service and every agreement provides benefits for Ooredoo and our customers.

We also use local partners to provide a trusted service in each region, and this creates local employment and supports local businesses.

Overall, our view is that the whole world for customers is about digital and telecoms. Every aspect of their lives relies on being connected, so we have a major role to play as these connections depend on Ooredoo providing a high quality and reliable service, and this is something we do well!

What has been the progress on Ooredoo Oman's vision of "enriching people’s digital lives," and what more can customers expect from the company?

The Ooredoo Group will continue its digital-first strategy into 2022. We will stay focused on being agile and adaptable, and on maintaining a culture of innovation within both our organization and in our many partnerships with world-leading technology providers. We are investing heavily in digital capability and capacities.

For us, it is digital from A-Z. We have the highest penetration for digital services. Including our apps, social media channels, website and chatbots, and all other digital touchpoints, we have over 50% digital penetration to our customer base and 35% of all Ooredoo transactions are now digital interactions/services. You could say, we have shifted from ‘brick to click’ but we think beyond digital to see what is next and how to empower customers even more. This is reflected in the many awards we’ve won and been nominated for as providing one of the best digital experiences.

What are the actions being taken to ensure that Ooredoo Oman’s branding, sales, and customer service are keeping up with the trends of the modern era?

As part of the Ooredoo Group, Ooredoo Oman has the best practices among the operating companies when it comes to catering to customers. We provide the best experience and our customer centricity strategy is driving this. Every aspect of our service is tailored to deliver the absolute best customer experience.

We are proud of our global brand with an Omani twist. Understanding the society, community and culture has been a key success for Ooredoo ever since its inception and has allowed us to take the position as a major player in the market, leveraging our brand, national pride and resources. In fact, part of our brand philosophy is our commitment to society and indeed, our responsibility to society. It is a way of life for us, an ethos within the company, and drives much of what we do on a daily basis. And our role in the community is unrivalled. Ooredoo Goodwill has not only provided sustainable support to communities around the country, but has also helped to kickstart hundreds of digitally-focused small businesses and continues to make a telling contribution to the local economy, as well as the overall well-being of society in Oman. The social development message at the centre of our CSR efforts is a further reflection of our customer-centric approach. We see what is needed and we deliver.

In the same way, we spare no effort in providing our customers with the best tools, tech, and service, to fulfil their dreams as business owners, elevate their quality of life, and have greater access to education, training and opportunities.

All of our achievements are reportable too, so customers can trust Ooredoo. We measure our customer experience and CSAT (customer satisfaction). And in fact, we had the highest score in Oman in terms of CSAT and customer care, store experience, customer journey and network last quarter. This will continue as we take the next step in our own journey.

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