Airtel leads race with 167 million subscribers

For the leading player, service is really about sustaining relationships.
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Updated on Jul 21, 2011 09:22 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

With more than 167 million subscribers as on May 31, 2011, Bharti Airtel is India’s largest mobile service provider.

The company’s Africa operations make it the fifth largest mobile operator in the world, with a subscriber base exceeding 220 million.

The Indian telecom multinational has operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. It offers mobile, broadband, fixed line, IPTV, DTH, international long distance and enterprise services to subscribers.

With a strong customer focus, the company has emerged in second position in the HT survey.

The company has 1,000 relationship centres across the country. The customers can walk in for assistance.

For 3G support, Bharti Airtel has 380 centres. It also has a dedicated BlackBerry support centre, including field engineers.

The company also has a dedicated support system for customers who own high-end devices like iPhones.

“We take the business of customer satisfaction very seriously,” said Abhilasha Hans, chief service officer, customer shared services, Bharti Airtel.

“For us it’s not about customer service but about customer experience. Consequently, this is a significant part of our key results areas (KRAs) and performance linked incentive (PLI). Not just for customer facing people, but for everyone in the company.”

The company launches a new product only after approval of the head of customer services.

Bharti Airtel is focusing on social media. “We cover over 70 websites — active on social media like Facebook, Orkut, Linkedin, Twitter — where we track voices of customers. We also have a live chat service on Facebook and Orkut, where customers can come and chat with us,” said Hans.

The company is also focusing on rural customers. It has set up a dedicated helpline or call centre in each state to provide real-time backup support to customers. This service has allowed it to overcome the challenges posed by languages and dialects.

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