There are thousands of offers and products in the Thai telecoms market. It’s not only confusing for customers but it can hamper dtac’s digitalization efforts due to the extra costs such complexity entails. Currently at dtac house are two Scandinavians who bring experience in slashing through convoluted schemes. At Telenor Sweden, Catharina Kulldorff and Katarina Saalman worked on a “business model simplification” project that looked for inefficiencies throughout the organization. They now bring their expertise to simplifying dtac, using agile methods to work with local teams on transforming both offers and customer journeys. dtac.blog spoke to them about their experience in Bangkok thus far.
What was the business model simplification like at Telenor Sweden?
Katarina: It was a really big project that involved a lot of groups in the organization. We did a complexity analysis including customer journeys, channels, products and IT and we found out where complexity was costing us the most money and where we should simplify.
Catharina: And a lot of those things are customer pain points.
Katarina: For example, Telenor Sweden offers fixed broadband but setting it up is quite technical. It causes lots of calls to the call center and sending out new routers. We redesigned the journey to allow for better onboarding with proactive guides in the form of short videos.And how did you go from that project to dtac?
Catharina: We were approached in December and given just a few days to decide if we’d be interested in going to Thailand. We said yes and few weeks later we flew off! We’ve already completed the diagnostic phase and we’re now in the design phase.
Tell us about the design phase.
Katarina: It consists of two main streams: customer journeys and products. We’re looking at both pre- and post-paid. Each group of products is divided into families and then tariffs and then different promotions per channel, so it can add up to a lot of options. If you add toppings it’s even more. It’s not just a headache for customers but also internally. It’s very difficult for customer service and sales people.
Catharina: I’m looking at the customer journey: billing, payment and collection as well as pre-to-post migration of customers. We want to simplify and improve the journeys for the customers to increase their satisfaction, convert or retain more of them and reduce costs.
How do you operate?
Katarina: We’re “agile” inspired, which was a new way of working for Sweden, too. We function as smaller teams, all sitting at the same table, working shoulder to shoulder, all day, every day. It starts with a check in, a review of daily tasks and then the day ends with a checkout reviewing how you’ve progressed and how you feel about your day.
Catharina: It’s actually quite good. It’s fun and it creates a feedback culture. If the day is doing well, great, if not, you can tweak things.Any culture shock working in Thailand?
Katarina: It’s quite a big difference with Sweden.
Catharina: In Sweden every decision requires a consensus. Here, if there’s a decision from your boss, you accept it. So in Sweden you spend much more time, having long discussions to get everyone on board.
Katarina: The other difference is how we think of time. In Sweden, it’s very precise. Here time is more flexible; it’s a bit more floating.
How’s Bangkok treating you?
Katarina: We actually live together in Thonglor. I think Bangkok is fantastic. It’s very charming, with lots of good food restaurants and bars.
Catharina: Of course, the weather is very hot; but you get used to it. And people are just so friendly and helpful.
dtac’s business model simplification project, in collaboration with consulting firm Bain & Company, began Jan 15, 2018, and is set to end mid-May 2018.