How VNPT transformed customer experience in Vietnam
VNPT is one of the largest communication service providers (CSP) in Vietnam. In line with the country’s national plan for digital transformation across the government, economy and society, the state-owned operator is undergoing its own transformation from a traditional telecom company to a digital service provider (DSP) and to become a Digital Hub for Asia. The operator set out its ambitions in an eight-year strategy, called VNPT 4.0, from 2017 to 2025, to lay the foundations for its DSP vision for 2030.
As part of this strategy, VNPT recognized that delivering good customer experience (CX) was more important than ever in the new digital age. Understanding its subscribers would be a key factor in enabling digital service growth in consumer and enterprise segments. The operator saw how CX could be a competitive differentiator in the market not only to attract and retain loyal customers through better engagement but also to expand service offerings into new areas. VNPT launched an ambitious project to make its brand loved by customers.
CX limitations in the DSP journey
However, VNPT faced many challenges in its CX transformation, particularly in the areas of strategy, skills and technology. The operator’s existing CX capabilities were outdated and inconsistent while many employees lacked relevant skills and an appreciation of the value of customer service in their roles and to the company.
The operator did not have a CX strategy for long-term development or a model for implementing such a strategy across the operator’s different business units. Furthermore, CX systems and processes were fragmented. Activities in sales, marketing, communications, and customer care were performed in separate silos with departments unaware of what others were doing.
In addition to limited skillsets and a lack of in-depth knowledge, the importance of CX was not consistently recognized across the workforce. Many employees, even some managers, believed that customer service was not part of their job and was only handled by salespeople.
Among the technology challenges, VNPT experienced incomplete customer journeys exacerbated by a lack of touch points and channels to interact with customers. It lacked consistent and comprehensive measurement criteria and key performance indicators (KPIs) for customer care and satisfaction. Customer data was distributed across many systems, making it difficult to access and analyze interactions. Furthermore, the operator did not have an omnichannel system in place to deliver consistent CX.
How VNPT modernized CX
VNPT used TM Forum’s Customer Experience Maturity Model as a guide for the CX transformation program across six pillars: Strategy, Operations, Experience, Culture, Technology, and Data. It tackled this massive project through agile development methods. That is, it broke up the program into smaller, more manageable components to speed development. The operator focused on building one element, deployed it to a priority customer team, took learnings from the experience, improved it, then replicated it more broadly. In this way, the operator was able to pursue its CX transformation in parallel with its broader digital transformation.
Comments from one of VNPT’s regional government customers in Quang Binh Province show how the operator’s CX efforts have a positive impact on engagement in local communities.
“VNPT …has always been excellent [supporting] the work of the [local] authority, governmental office systems and especially the people when information technology is concerned,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Tinh, Vice Chairman of Ba Don Commune People’s Committee. “In addition to information technology infrastructure and digital transformation, the service of the officials and employees … is enthusiastic and thoughtful.”
CX strategy pays off
Initial results from VNPT’s strategy implementation show it has made good progress with improving CX in a short time. In 2022, the operator’s CX maturity increased 21% compared to 2021. For 2023, the operator aims to improve CX maturity by 25%.
VNPT’s CEM Index scores increased 15% from January to December 2022 with the average score for the year exceeding the operator’s target by 3%.
Independent research has also reported improvements in VNPT’s customer service following its transformation efforts. According to KPMG’s 2022 Vietnam Customer Experience Excellence Report, VNPT ranked 18th out of 79 local and global brands with the best customer experience in the country. This marked a big leap from its 60th place position in KPMG’s 2021 ranking.
In addition, a recent NielsenIQ survey found that 89% of customers are satisfied with VNPT’s services, which was the highest percentage compared to rivals Viettel and FPT Telecom.
TM Forum provides a roadmap
VNPT relied on multiple TM Forum models and toolkits in its CX transformation. The Customer Experience Maturity Model was key for defining the scope of the program. For the customer journey maps and KPIs, VNPT consulted and applied Frameworx best practices for Lifecycle Management and Lifecycle Metrics, respectively. To build the Customer 360 system and a model for analyzing customer behavior, the operator used the Customer Centricity Toolkit, Customer Experience Use Case Toolkit and Customer Experience Lifecycle Model and Metrics Toolkit.