Online Customer Care Management at Grameenphone
Subject: Management | Topics:

The vital objective of this report is to analysis Management and Solving Process at Grameen phone. General objectives of this reports are to find out the satisfaction level of Grameenphone subscribers and to locate specific areas of dissatisfaction of the GP users. Finally this report make swot analysis Management and Solving Process at Grameenphone.

 

INTRODUCTION

GrameenPhone (GP) today is apparently the largest mobile telecommunication industry in Bangladesh. It operates its function with an aim to accomplish two principal targets. Firstly, as with other commercial organizations, it operates in such a manner that it receives a good economic return on the investment. Nonetheless, secondly, it contributes significantly to the economic development of the country in making telecommunication a popular medium for exchange of information.

GP, in its operation, has to address a large number of customers throughout the country. It is therefore imperative to get to the customers to know their impression on the services of this important communication medium. This encouraged me to choose the topic of this internship as “Online Customer Care Management and solving process at GrameenPhone Ltd.”

 

Objectives of the Study

This Program was designed to accomplish two objectives. The objectives were identified through a closer interaction and exchange of views with the management of CMD. The objectives are:

  • To find out the satisfaction level of Grameenphone subscribers.
  • To locate specific areas of dissatisfaction of the GP users.

 

THE ORGANIZATION GRAMEENPHONE LIMITED

GrameenPhone Ltd. (GP) is the market leader in the mobile telecommunication industry of Bangladesh.  The address of its Head Office is: GP HOUSE. Bashundhara, Baridhara Dhaka – 1229, Bangladesh. GP is a joint venture between Bangladesh and Norway. Major shareholders were Telenor (68%) and Grameen Telecom (32%). In 2008 it went public. Presently the shareholder status of the company is Telenor (61.2%), Grameen Telecom (28.8%), Institute (5%), and Public (5%). Telenor is the state owned telecommunication company of Norway. It has operations in different countries of the world. On the other hand, Grameen Telecom is the sister concern of Grameen Bank, one of the biggest Non Government Organizations (NGO) of Bangladesh.

Principally GP was established in 1995. But due to government policy, GP did not permission to start their operation. The license agreement was signed on October 31, 1996. They started the hard work of the developing the infrastructure facilities in the country. GP did not take much time to start its operations. The commercial launch was on March 26, 1997. Bangladesh is a developing country. Per capita income here is very low. Very few people have access to telecommunication. In this situation GP started their operation here. GP’s aim was to develop one GSM cellular mobile communications network in Bangladesh in competition with two other GSM operators and one AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) operator. GP aims to provide the best possible technical quality, customer service, and coverage also in the rural areas at the most favorable prices, to as many customers possible in Bangladesh.

GP has a dynamic management composed of business people with a profile drive, prepared to take calculative risk. The shareholders of the company are stable, established companies with solid international reputation. They have already made approximately $125 million investment to GP and will reinvest their profit share to GP.

The GrameenPhone network is designed with latest computer assisted design technology. GP has reached its break-even point in the year 2000, in the fourth year of its operation. The company made its first net profit of $ 3.7 million during the year ending in December 2000.

GrameenPhone is the leading Cellular Net Provider in Bangladesh. GrameenPhone started their business approximately 11 years. Since then GrameenPhone has been operating in the market for a long time. During this time GrameenPhone went for different types of mergers as well as acquisitions. They gained success from the very beginning of their operation and were capable enough to hold the success year after year. GrameenPhone main competitors are AKTEL, BANGLA LINK, and CITYCELL WARID TELECOM & TELETALK. One of the strongest sides of GrameenPhone is its customer’s service and relationship.

GrameenPhone was awarded license to operate as a mobile telecommunication service provider in Bangladesh on 28th of November 1996. It officially launched its network on 26th of March 1997 and went into commercial operation on 15th of April.

History of GRAMEENPHONE Ltd.

March 26, 1997: GrameenPhone launched its service on the Independence Day of Bangladesh. November 28, 1996: GrameenPhone was offered a cellular license in Bangladesh by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

September 1999: GP started its service in the industrial city of Khulna. Once again, a number of other districts came under coverage of GP because of the cell to cell coverage between Dhaka and Khulna. Earlier in September 1999, it introduced the EASY pre-paid service in the local market. It also introduced the Voice Mail Service (VMS) and the Short Message Service (SMS) and other Value Added Services (VAS). June 1998: GP started its services in the port city of Chittagong, the second largest city in the country. Cell to cell coverage in the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor also enabled GP to introduce its service in a number of other districts along the way.

August 2003: After six years of operation, GrameenPhone has more than one million subscribers. June 2000: GrameenPhone started its services in Sylhet, Barisal and Rajshahi, bringing all six divisional headquarters under the coverage of its network. The service in Barisal region was started after the microwave link between Khulna and Chittagong was completed.

November 16, 2006: After almost 10 years of operation, GrameenPhone has over 10 million subscribers. GrameenPhone has built one of the most extensive infrastructures of Bangladesh and is a major contributor to the development of the national economy. November 2005: GrameenPhone continues to being the largest mobile phone operator of Bangladesh with more than 5 million subscribers.

December 31, 2007: GrameenPhone is one of the largest private sector investments in the country with an accumulated investment of USD $1.7 billion up to December 2007. GrameenPhone is also one the largest taxpayers in the country, having contributed nearly BDT 5000 Crore in direct and indirect taxes to the Government Exchequer over the years of which is amount, BDT 1670 Crore was paid in 2005 alone.

GP was also the first operator to introduce the pre-paid service in September 1999. In addition to core voice services, GrameenPhone offers a number of value-added services, in each case on both a contract and prepaid basis. It established the first 24-hour Call Center, introduced value-added services such as VMS, SMS, Fax & Data Transmission Services, International Roaming Service, WAP, SMS – based Push-Pull Services, EDGE, personal ring back tone and many other products and services.

GrameenPhone nearly doubled its subscriber base during the initial years while the growth was much faster during the later years. It ended the inaugural year with 18,000 customers, 30,000 by the end of 1998, 60,000 in 1999, 193,000 in 2000, 471,000 in 2001, 775,000 in 2002, 1.16 million in 2003, 2.4 million in 2004 and 5.5 million in 2005 customers. Currently the customer base of GrameenPhone is over 20 million.

GrameenPhone offers the widest coverage in Bangladesh. The population coverage has increased from approximately 85% in 2005 to above 90% in 2006. Currently the population coverage is 98% (Including voice call and Edge/GPRS). In addition; GrameenPhone also offers GPRS in most of the country and EDGE in urban areas.

From the very beginning, GrameenPhone placed emphasis on providing good after-sales services. In recent years, the focus has been to provide after-sales within a short distance from where the customers live. There are now more than 400 GP Service Center, 20 GPC Franchise, recharge retailers: 1,05,000+, total retailers: 18000+, distributors: 96, Single hotline which operates 24/7; the country covering all 64 districts. In addition, there are 62 GP Customer Centers in all the divisional cities and they remain open from 8am-7pm every day including all holidays.

GrameenPhone has generated direct and indirect employment for a large number of people over the years. The company presently has more than 6,000 full-time, part-time and contractual employees. Another 70,000 people are directly dependent on GrameenPhone for their livelihood, working for the GP dealers, retailers, scratch card outlets, suppliers, vendors, contractors and others.

In addition, the Village Phone Program, also started in 1997, provides a good income-earning opportunity to more than 200,000 mostly women Village Phone operators living in rural areas. The Village Phone Program is a unique initiative to provide universal access to telecommunications service in remote, rural areas. Administered by Grameen Telecom Corporation, it enables rural people who normally cannot afford to own a telephone to avail the service while providing the Village Phone operators an opportunity to earn a living.

The Village Phone initiative was given the “GSM in the Community” award at the Global GSM Congress held in Cannes, France in February 2000. GrameenPhone was also adjudged the Best Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year at the Bangladesh Business Awards in 2002.

GrameenPhone considers its employees to be one of its most important assets. GP has an extensive employee benefit scheme in place including Gratuity, Provident Fund, Group Insurance, Family Health Insurance, Transportation Facility, Day Care Centre, Children’s Education Support, higher Education Support for employees, In-House Medical Support and other initiatives.

 

Shareholder’s of GRAMEENPHONE Ltd.

The shareholders of GrameenPhone contribute their unique, in-depth experience in both telecommunications and development. The international shareholder brings technological and business management expertise while the local shareholder provides a presence throughout Bangladesh and a deep understanding of its economy.

Telenor

Telenor AS is the leading Telecommunications Company of Norway listed in the Oslo and NASDAQ Stock Exchanges. It owns 61.2% shares of GrameenPhone Ltd. Telenor AS have played a pioneering role in development of cellular communications. It has substantial international operations in Mobile Telephony, Satellite Operations and Pay Television Services. In addition to Norway and Bangladesh, Telenor AS owns GSM companies in Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Montenegro, Thailand, Malaysia and Pakistan.

Grameen Telecom

Grameen Telecom Corporation, which owns 28.8% of the shares of GrameenPhone Ltd., is a non-profit company and works in close collaboration with Grameen Bank. The internationally reputed bank for the poor has the most extensive rural banking network and expertise in micro finance. Grameen Telecom, with the help of Grameen Bank, administers the Village Phone Program, through which GrameenPhone provides its services to the fast growing rural customers.

Grameen Telecom’s objectives are to provide easy access to GSM cellular services in rural Bangladesh, creating new opportunities for income generation through self- employment by providing villagers with access to modern information and communication based technologies.

 

 

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths

Good Owner Structure – GrameenPhone has the best owner structure in the telecommunication industry of Bangladesh.  Telenor is one of the largest company, which is operating in different countries around the world. Again, in Bangladesh, Grameen Bank is one of the largest NGO, which has the better communication all over the country. Gonofone is also network base telecommunication organization, which has good reputation in USA. Marubini is called one of the Asian tiger organizations for its expansion of Business.

Market Leader – GrameenPhone is the first organization in Bangladesh, which have reached to the general people. Though City Cell had started their operation beforehand, but they were unable to reach the general people. So, the people are being used to with GrameenPhone. This is a huge advantage of GrameenPhone.

Network Availability – GrameenPhone has widest network coverage and a large number of BTS station (Tower) all over Bangladesh. That’s why the company can provide better connectivity in most of the area of the country.

Brand Name of Grameen Image – Grameen Bank is well known all over the country because of its appreciable activities in financial sector for poor people in Bangladesh. So, when the name Grameen has been added with this telephone company, the organization gets a huge exposure due to this Grameen image.

Financial Soundness – Because of effective planning, GrameenPhone is able to earn a healthy amount of revenue, which gives them financial soundness.

Skilled Human Resource All the staff, which are related to GrameenPhone are skilled and effective in their own job responsibility. The reason behind this is the Human Resource department of GrameenPhone follows ethical strategy to recruit new employees.

Effective Support Organization – GrameenPhone have shared the idea from the employees of Bangladesh Railway and Grameen Bank, who are experienced and was able to provide precious guideline for the operation of GrameenPhone.

Access to the Widest Rural Network through Grameen Bank – Through the help of Grameen Bank, this was easier to GrameenPhone to reach the rural area of Bangladesh.

High Ethical Standard – To keep the quality of service, GrameenPhone is strict to follow its ethical standard.

 

Weaknesses

Culture Gap: In GrameenPhone management, employees from different country are existed. Suppose, The Managing director is a Norwegian, Director from technical is Indian and many more employees come from different country. That’s why; some times there may be lack of understanding due to cultural gap.

Different Ideas create problem: In Grameen Phone, this is highly encouraged to apply new strategy for the better performance. Sometimes it creates problem because employees are used to with the previous strategy.

Complicated Pricing Structure: GrameenPhone has lots of products. The pricing of these products and their billing policies are different which also difficult for a user to understand.

Incomplete Messages through Promotional Activities – Most of the time the advertisement of GrameenPhone do no clear the appropriate messages. Not only that, most of them are also so confusing to understand. As a result subscribers get the wrong meaning of what has been said to them.

Different Departments are not Working Together – The interconnection of the department is little bit weak. The reason behind this, there is no exchange program for employees to work between departments.

 

Opportunities

Economic Growth of Bangladesh – The economic growth of the country will increase the expansion of telecommunication industry. From 1995 to 2006, there is a huge change in telecommunication sector.

New and Better Interconnect Agreement – GrameenPhone is going to have agreement with T&T to have better connection from land phone. The organization has agreement with other operators like AKTEL, City Cell or Bangla Link to have better internal connectivity.

Huge Demand for Telecom Services – The market of telecommunication is expanding. So, this is easy for GrameenPhone to achieve the major portion of expanded market because of its leading position.

Increased Intentional Activities in Bangladesh – As international activities increased in the country, people need the connectivity not only in the country, but also out side of the country. So, the market for outside of the country is also expanding.

Declining Prices for Handsets – Few years ago the people of low income could not effort mobile phone services due to the high price of handsets. Now the price of handset has decreased and the low income people want to get connected through mobile phone.

New International Gateway – As BTTB has established new gateway to connect internationally, this is easy for mobile phone companies to provide services of ISD call and international roaming.

Flexibility of Mobile Phone – Communication through mobile phone is popular because the land phone connection between inter city is costly. Mobile phones are also easier to carry and because of its lower cost and portability, people are getting more dependent on mobile phones than land phones. So there is a chance to achieve more subscribers and more market share.

 

Threats

More Rigid Government Regulations – Government is becoming restricted for taking away currency from the country. So, Foreign Company are threatened because they may have risk to back their investment to the country. The government also put restriction for the work permit of foreign employee.

Upgraded Technology Used by Competitors – New mobile phone operator like Bangla Link are establishing their channel with latest technology. Whereas GrameenPhone using the stations which are five years old. So, this is the disadvantages for GrameenPhone.

Political Instability – Political instability is another threat because, with the change of Government, policies are also changed. So, this is difficult for any multinational organization to cope with new policies.

Devaluation of Taka – As the investments occurs in foreign currency, that’s why the devaluation of Taka decrease profit from financial point of view.

Risky Position of Valuable Resource – The organizations have a large number of BTS stations which are spread all over the country. Any one can make damage to these BTS station and this is also difficult to arrange proper security for these stations.

Non-co-operation of Government for the Revenue of BTTB – Government des not want to provide the better services from BTTB to other operator due to remain competitive.

 

Survey Findings

Introduction

In order to measure the satisfaction of the customers a series of questions were asked to the customers with the help of a questionnaire, the data from these questions are tabulated below. For clear understanding, the overall satisfaction has been divided into satisfaction with the package and satisfaction with the after sales service. As already mentioned, the survey was conducted among thirty GrameenPhone subscribers; it was conducted in three way direct appointment, over telephone and with the help of email.

I asked total twelve closed end question to thirty subscribers. In the basis of strongly agree to strongly disagree. So the point of strongly agree is 5, and strongly disagree is 1.

So the highest point for a question is 150 (30*5) and the lowest point is 30 (30*1). Here I find out the total point for each question and also find out the average point of each question.

7.2 Questions

Q1. Does the customer manager carefully listen /give attention to your problem?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 123 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 4.10. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are satisfied.

Q 2 when you call to GP helpline you always get the service?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 104 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 3.47. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are moderate.

Q 3. When you buy a new service does it activated quickly?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 124 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 4.13. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are satisfied.

Q 4. Do you satisfied with the network coverage of the provider?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 143 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 4.77. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are highly satisfied.

Q 5. Do you provider fulfill your need with the current product and service?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 103 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 3.43. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are moderate.

Q6.The EDGE service of GrameenPhone is very good?              

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 106 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 3.53. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are moderate.

Q 7. Does the customer manager behave well to you?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 129 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 4.30. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are satisfied.

Q 8. Do you get the service quickly?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 102 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 3.40. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are moderate.

Q 9 When you make a complain does your complain settled quickly?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 83 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 2.77. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are not satisfied.

Q 10 GP helpline is very helpful in meeting my queries and other needs?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 106 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 3.53. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are moderate.

Q11 Do GrameenPhone concentrate on quality services?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 129 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 4.30. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are satisfied.

Q12 If another company comes up with the similar offers, would you still be loyal to GP?

We ask this question to 30 subscribers and the total point of this question is 97 out of 150.  So the average point of this question is 3.23. So we can say in this criteria subscriber of Grameenphone are moderate.

 

Conclusion

Analysis of the Results

It is already discussed that GrameenPhone is the leading company in the mobile telecommunication industry in Bangladesh. This has been possible because it has a created a superior image in comparison to the other operators. In other words, GP has a clear advantage over competitors.

From each point of my survey I analyze the result

GrameenPhone Subscribers get the service what they need and whenever they need from grameenphone customer service, so grameenphone achieve customer satisfaction in this area.

Subscribers are satisfied about the activation of new service or product and also they are highly satisfied about network coverage of grameenphone, so grameenphone need to keep this satisfaction level of the customers.

Current product and service cannot fulfill all the need and demand of the subscribers, customer satisfaction of this area is moderate. Edge service is also not so good, So Grameenphone need to improve their product and service to increase the level of customer satisfaction.

Subscribers are satisfied about the behavior and attitude of customer managers they behave well and listen carefully the problem of subscribers and provide the right information to the customers. So the customer is satisfied.

Customer satisfaction level is moderate about the speed of the service and price of the different package. So Grameenphone need to give concentrate in this issue to increase customer satisfaction.

However, there is dissatisfaction among the GP users with the service of the company. Many important factors are acting as reasons behind this overall dissatisfaction. Quality of airtime and network call rate is not satisfactory. Different package is not match with subscribers preference. GrameenPhone connections are difficult to reach sometimes. It so happens that the subscribers used to pay extra money to get the access. This is especially true for prepaid service. It is encouraging that very recently situation has improved to a certain extent bases on the findings in this report.

The GP helpline is an important customer care tool. But it is also in shortage of capacity. Subscribers need to spend significant amount of time to reach the helpline. So they have to pay extra money for that. Complains is not solve quickly. Behavior of the helpline CM is also sometimes unmanageable. They are to handle continuous queries. So it may so happen at times the CMs cannot keep up smiling voice and amenable behavior.

So GrameenPhone need to improve their product and service continuously to satisfied their subscribers. Because in service related organization Customer satisfaction is very important, and GP provide service to their subscribers and they need to find out where and why subscribers are dissatisfied and improve the situation to retain the subscribers.

As my discussion shows, GP is doing great in its business. Their market share is significantly high. The mobile telecommunication industry is also growing at a significant pace. But, if we assess the external environment, we find, the path for Grameenphone is not that smooth. The service of GP is extensively dependent on BTTB (Bangladesh Telephone & Telegraph Board). In many cases, GP did not get full support of the government owned department.

Initially, GP provided connections that were accessible to BTTB land phones. But at one point of time, BTTB stopped to provide anymore support in this regard. At that time GP had to innovate the ‘mobile to mobile’ concept to continue the business growth.

So, it has the scope to enhance and strengthen its market position. To do so, they need to put more stress on their policies like efficiency, quality, innovation, and customer responsiveness. If everything goes right, with least risk I can say, GP is headed towards a bright future.

 

Possible strategies to improve customer satisfaction

  • Analyze the market and find out what customers need and want.
  • Communicate with the customer in easiest way so that subscriber can understand all the product and service, and in this way Grameenphone can increase customer satisfaction.
  • Offer various kind of package so that their subscribers can match with their preference.
  • Create strong Brand image, so that subscribers will be very much loyal.
  • Offer various services with their connection so that subscribers can enjoy various services at their mobile.
  • Fulfill corporate social responsibilities to create a good image in subscribers mind.

 

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