Dialog Axiata boosts customer experience with data-driven network upgrade
As the pandemic brought significant changes to customer behavior and restrictions on traveling, Dialog Axiata used predictive analytics and a data-driven approach to prioritize network upgrades. Coupled with personalized new products and offers, Dialog was able to better meet customer needs at a time of crisis. TM Forum's best practices and standards helped to scale analytics and AI capabilities across the organization.
Group Chief Operating Officer
“With over 18 million Sri Lankans having placed their trust in Dialog, we had a great responsibility to ensure that the lives and livelihoods of our customers were maintained in spite of the pandemic-induced disruptions that were experienced during 2021. We quickly realized that the tremendous strain on our network, caused by the sudden surge in usage dynamics, could not be managed with our traditional tools and work approach: we had to innovate fast. The Network & Customer Experience Improvement Program allowed us to leverage our analytics, AI and digitization capabilities to pull together data from multiple sources to gain insights and make sound decisions, enabling us to discharge our duty of care to all our customers in respect of the trust placed in us.”
The pandemic saw people suddenly working, studying, and socializing online like never before. For telcos, this meant major shifts and spikes in network activity that differed from pre-Covid projections. In addition, new logistics challenges affected network deployment and distribution of top-up cards.
All of this could have resulted in a negative impact on customer experience. Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s largest telecommunications provider, recognized that as a key enabler in people’s lives, it needed to act fast.
A cross-functional team was quickly formed to use data analytics to improve customer experience by deploying upgrades across the country.
With the help of various TM Forum tools, analytics models and dashboards were developed to prioritize decision-making. The major shift was in how decisions were made. Previously, site upgrade decisions were taken based on network parameters. This was changed to factor in the actual customer experience.
Rather than slowing down investment during challenging market conditions, Dialog invested over LKR 29 billion (US$146 million) in the network during 2021. Optimizing CapEx to prioritize the most impacted customers was key.
The team amalgamated network, usage, customer experience and third-party data into one platform that was simple to use for both technical and non-technical stakeholders. Decision-makers could drill down to the customer level and see network, voice, and data quality at a glance.
Dialog also built a model to predict indoor coverage using existing network data on top of a map layer. A total of 494 new sites were added during the project to improve coverage.
Dialog benchmarked its network performance with competitors using internal network data as well as data from drive-tests and indoor walk-tests.
Alongside the network improvements, business units rolled out differentiated new products, such as work-from-home and learn-from-home packages at concessionary rates, and provided personalized offers. In addition, prepaid free credit and emergency loan facilities were granted, which enabled consumers to be connected despite the lockdowns.
Dialog used data analysis to optimize restocking of reloads and scratch cards while also driving users towards online channels by incentivizing them with cashback offers.
The project was made a success by all teams working together, including analytics, network planning and rollout, customer care, finance, supply chain management, marketing, and sales.
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