In this edition of the Voice of the Customer, we welcome Matteo Gamberini, Head of Operations and Customer Experience at CoopVoce.
CoopVoce is a leading mobile phone operator of the Coop Group and based out of Italy. From Matteo, we gain a better understanding of how the telecom market is affected by COVID-19. Any industry peer can learn from Matteo’s customer-centric advice on how customer feedback matters more than ever before as the consumers’ digital behavior is rapidly changing.
Bram Weerts, Chief Customer Officer of Wonderflow: Matteo, from 1 to 10, how important is your customers’ input to the decisions you make as a company today?
The number 10 as our answer is probably simpler to explain than with others.
This is strictly related to what Coop is, which is not a simple company and is the main Cooperative in Italy. It is also the main retailer with more than 1000 shops and whose members are involved through election to choose their social representative and participate actively in the decision-making processes of the entire organization.
Just to help you understand, listening to the customer is not an option; it is simply part of our mission as Coop.
Most of CoopVoce’s customers are also members of the Cooperative, and this gives us an additional responsibility. In practical terms, if we miss satisfying our CoopVoce customers, we also risk losing his shopping revenues.
However, what’s worth much more than this is the greatest value that is his loyalty toward the Cooperative.
Bram: What led your company to want to understand your customers better? Was it related to a particular event/decision?
We strongly believe that only through a deep understanding of the customer’s needs can we serve them better and strengthen our market positioning.
The telco market arena in Italy is very competitive, and in recent times prices dramatically dropped. Our service proposition is based on Quality and integration with the core business.
Human touch is also a factor: our colleagues in the Super and Hypermarket speak face to face to our customers, which is not common in the telco market. However, we want to be sure that our customers are also satisfied in their post-sell life, in their daily experience. Collecting and analyzing their feedback is part of this path.
Bram: What challenges did you initially face when transforming your company to a more customer-centric approach?
As said, this was not really a challenge for us. It’s part of our culture. And let me say, this makes us different from most of our competitors in the telco market.
Bram: How has your way of working changed over the years? What changed after you started embedding customer feedback data into your company? Can you give us any examples?
Giving value to customer feedback is a way of thinking that should spread to every single management decision.
Before launching new services, we often test them in some shops to evaluate their potential success and sustainability. In the same way, once we have launched them, we try to collect as much rich and articulate customer feedback as possible to always have our fingers on the pulse.
Bram: How do you see the future of consumer feedback in your company? What’s the next idea/frontier/technology you are looking forward to using to become even more consumer-centric?
Our next steps could be to insource in the Wonderflow tool and not only chat and Facebook post as we do now, but also calls and emails. In particular, we expect a wider spectrum of issues that could arise from these channels and give us further hints toward better understanding our customers and improving our services.
Additionally, in another particular case, we will investigate some of the hints in the customer retention area since, and you probably already know, a high churn rate is peculiar in the telco market.
Bram: How do you see COVID (permanently) changing the ways of interacting with customers and customer preferences and expectations?
As a Telco, of course, Covid had a huge impact on the behavior of our customer base. People need to be always connected; homeschooling and working is a daily experience for all of us.
Reduced mobility, in general, has also had a big impact on internet use. This meant for us, among others, to increase investments in new web onboarding processes and leverage on the remote caring more than the physical (e.g., always to have our fingers on the pulse in our shops).
The turnaround on BOT and AI that we are actually carrying out is just the first step on the self-care omnichannel revolution we will face in the next few years. In this scenario, we also learned an original lesson in customer care: if you leave the easy choice between human and self to the customer, most of the time, he will opt for the fastest way to address his need. That is, and it is much more often than expected the Self-care choice.
Bram: Could you give one example of how your teams are currently using data from the Wonderboard?
To be sincere, when we chose the Wonderflow customer feedback solution, we didn’t spend enough time to understand where to focus our attention. We mislead ourselves into thinking about what could be the real benefit for us.
At the beginning of our partnership with Wonderflow, we thought that analyzing chat conversations in detail could help us better understand the reason for contact. Recently, we decided that greater value for us would descend from relating contact reason to satisfaction index.
We also want to measure and compare how satisfied our customers are regarding our single branding proposition and the single element of service (i.e., Convenience, Transparency, Simpleness, Quality, etc.).
Bram: Thank you for your insights and for taking the time to speak with us, Matteo.