Consumer-focused approach will be key, Etisalat executive claims

With the arrival of its first competitor du drawing closer, UAE incumbent telecom operator Etisalat is increasingly putting the focus on the consumer, one of its senior executives claimed last month.

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By  Published  December 16, 2006

With the arrival of its first competitor du drawing closer, UAE incumbent telecom operator Etisalat is increasingly putting the focus on the consumer, one of its senior executives claimed last month.

In an interview with IT Weekly, Essa Al Haddad, Etisalat chief marketing officer, explained that whereas previously the operator had focused on technology, it was now adopting a more customer-focused approach.

“The focus is shifting from the technology build and the solution build to looking at our consumers and recognising we need to create different customers,” Al Haddad said.

He claimed the operator has developed various bundles and packages aimed at catering for specific groups of customers.

For example, for students, he said the operator had devised a package offering competitively-priced SMS in recognition of the fact that a large part of a student’s spend is likely to go on text messaging rather than calls.

For enterprises, on the other hand, Al Haddad said the operator is aiming to improve its client relationships by dedicating a specific relationship manager to each corporate account.

Another group that Etisalat is focusing more closely on is people with special needs. The operator recently unveiled an array of services aimed at serving the needs of people with hearing difficulties more effectively. These include video conferencing with a deaf interpreter, and teletypewriter device (TTD)/ telecommunications device for deaf (TDD), devices which, connected to telephone lines, enable users to communicate via text messages instead of speaking.

The key is working around a needs-based service model, Al Haddad said.

“It is looking at the needs of the customers and how best we can customise our solutions and products to make those needs. No more the old way of working one-size fits all,” Al Haddad said.

“We believe at the end of the day it is the customer who will make the choice and we will give him the freedom of choice,” he added.

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