Serkan Öztürk was appointed to a newly created post of Executive Vice President, Customer Experience and IT, at Turkcell in July. He discusses biometrics, physical retail and omnichannel strategies. What is the most significant change Turkcell has made this year to improve the customer experience it offers?

Serkan Öztürk: Focusing on the digitalisation of the experience, Turkcell has created digital channels to hear what its customers have to say.

Applications such as My Account are our most significant digital channels to offer the best customer experience.

With the “biometric signature program”, one of the most important services Turkcell offers customers, we aspire to engage customers with digital services as much as possible.

Apart from digitalisation, our main objective is to provide our customers with a smooth and convenient experience.

In order to achieve that, we offer the right solution to the right customer through the right channel at the right time.

We carry out numerous tasks, including realtime interaction management, realtime churn scoring, and customer and plan support.

How has digitalisation affected your physical retail stores?

There is a greater demand on the speed and best experience of technology.

Therefore, retail stores are not just ordinary stores to sell products any more.

They have transformed into digital experience centres full of technology [in which] knowledgeable customer relations staff focus on helping customers make comparisons, do research and choose the best product.

With the aim of creating a futuristic and creative shopping experience, Turkcell began to change all of its retail stores in the last quarter of 2016.

Now, Turkcell customers can enjoy a cosy and comfortable shopping experience in a digitalised, fast and secure way.

Thanks to the smart displays in the new stores, all paperwork has been completely removed so all operations can be done in the digital environment within seconds.

Information about products, services and plans are easily accessible from these smart digital screens.

Since we provide our customers with a side-by-side experience with the same CRM screen, they can experience all the services in the retail stores with Experience Areas.

At the same time, to ensure a better experience, we provide all our employees with educational programs granting them certification and try to increase their competencies to provide a unique customer experience.

What challenges do you face in delivering an omnichannel experience?

The most significant impacts and so-called obstacles of an omnichannel strategy are seen in the areas of data management, systems integration and daily operations. 

Since not only a huge amount of data flows through the telco networks each and every moment, but also the complexity of data increases, data integration becomes more and more challenging.

The demands and desires of our customers are of great importance for us to get insight into their fragmented needs.

Another challenge is to refine the insights of consumer behaviours by asking right questions. Since a telecoms customer utilises multiple channels in a complex journey, a smooth and convenient experience is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction.

Therefore, telecom companies need to conceptualise and deliver their channel strategies in a unified context.

At Turkcell, we prioritise our objectives and start small by winning our customers’ hearts first.

We capture meaningful data by utilising the footprints that our customers have left in our digital channels and we analyse the data to improve the experience we provide our customers with. 

Now we aspire to add one more layer: a unified view of customer.

While we are developing the big data analytics in our company further and further, we also focus on our daily operations.

Since our feedback channels are extremely important for us to provide a better service to our customers, our employees should have an insight into the overall customer experience to offer better solutions and make customers complete their intended task effortlessly, which we believe will result in an efficient operation.

Our channels should be easy and simple to work with so that our customers will not get lost between channels.

In order to offer a smooth and convenient experience, we constantly improve our IT platforms.

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