Nawras is the leading GSM technology provider in Oman since 2005 and claims to have a customer friendly approach to the provision of services with customer care their top priority with the widest approach in Oman and serving to about 92 percent of population, as well as being the first provider of internet mobile services based on EDGE technology. Nawras was launched by The Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company SAOC in 2005 as the second mobile operator in Sultanate of Oman. SOAC was established in 2004 and got second GSM license in the same year.
It is a joint venture with the majority shares being held by Qtel (Qatar Telecommunications), one of the largest public companies in the country, and TDC, a company with telecommunication operations in 12 European countries and about 15 million customers, together with many leading Omani partners, providing information critical for company’s operations and success (Nawras, 2010). End of March 2010 Nawras had reportedly 1.94 million subscribers, up to 22 percent year-on year. This represents about 48.5 percent of market share from estimated total market of about 4 million subscribers. Today to describe in the words of CEO Nawras, Ross Cormack, the company has reached a point that it is one of the main competitor in business and corporate market (comm..ae, 2010).
With a large workforce of about 700 employees the company manages its services with the help of eight departments namely,
1. Network department
3. Customer Care.
5. Human Resource
Nawras provides optimal services to provide their customers best services
Nawras Ajel is the post paid package by the company, giving freedom to customers to avail services without any worry. The company charges what it claims to be competitive prices for both international and national calls, tailor made solutions for businesses and committed customer service. The billing is itemized and easy to understand. There are different packages provided with in Ajel including Nawras Ajel, Nawras Ajel Duo (providing ease of having two sim-cards with consecutive mobile numbers in the same package), Nawras Ajel Twin (Designed for those in business. It facilitates customers with the convenience of two sim-cards with the same number and all services are activated to both the sim-cards), Nawras Ajel Unlimited (gives the facility to customers to make unlimited calls against payment of a minimal amount, keeping in view the fair usage policy).
Nawras Mousbak is the prepaid package from Nawras enabling customers to keep a check on the amount of spending with the ease recharging account when ever and virtually wherever required, even during international roaming. Competitive prices are offered for both calls and SMS for the facilitation of customers with the convenience of international prepaid roaming. With a minimal payment, internet service is provided to the customers even with the limitations of prepaid.
Services and connection of Nawras compliment blackberry services very well with the typical black berry services and security. The company has designed exclusive package for this purpose only which they claim highly suit both genres i.e. personal and business. In case of any problem customer friendly help line with personnel to resolve are available through out the year 24 hours a day to resolve any complaints regarding blackberry services. It also offers services not only with in the sultanate of Oman but also wide international roaming facilities. Nawras Blackberry supports emails from leading enterprise platform and a range of applications. It is compatible with all the smart phones to give the customers a choice from the blackberry products available in the market.
Nawras 3G+ provide facilities for a number of products and services including the latest available in the market. It is a complete package of solutions that, as the company claims, brings people closer and helps connecting people. Listed are the services provided through Nawras 3G+
Nawras Broadband Internet is easy to use internet service that is instantly available for users with out any physical boundaries with in the Sultanate of Oman. It provides all the internet services including surfing, chatting, E-mailing and what not you name it!
Nawras Mobile Info Browsing enables customers to check e-mails and surf internet on the go with the help of their cellular phones at a high speed
Nawras Video Calling from Nawras 3G+ gives customers the opportunity to make use of video calling technology with two way video calling on their cellular phones.
Nawras 3G+ provides video monitoring tremendously useful for business monitoring, personal surveillance as well as visual updates.
Nawras Business Solutions
It enables businesses to choose specific components from range of services provided to serve needs that suits the business needs of customers. It enables businesses to operate efficiently and experience corporate mobility. Nawras provides both mobile and fixed services specifically designed for business users (Nawras e-newsletter, 2010).
Fixed services provide high quality fixed voice together with fax services together with great fixed internet services. Fixed services are suitable to all sizes from small organizations to large corporate concerns. Its data services provide tailored packages for tailored packages for site to site connectivity with in Oman. Where as, mobile services all the regular services offered.
Nawras is a service sector organization and as is typical of service organizations it also faces problems like their simultaneity, that is, the service is produced at the same time as they are consumed (Daniels and Daniels, 2004). Whether it is IT, marketing or customer care no service exists until it is actually being consumed by the network users. Though the personnel at Nawras try to standardized output of their services it is very difficult for them as while using services consumers are looking for different levels of utility thus have different expectations and will be fulfilled by different levels of services. This is especially true for customer care where maintenance of consistency is next to impossible due to the individuality and the mood of each customer at the time assistance is given. Although the customer expect standardization of services offered it is hard to attain it. Also services offered are perishable and perish as soon as they are consumed or offered (they occur at the same time as discussed earlier).
As the company gives prime importance to customer care, for performance management purposes we will focus on the customer care department. The structure for customer care department is simple and is divided in to three sections:
1. Support Team
2. High Value Customers
The support team looks after the mass customers and the target is to answer 70% of the phone calls and talk for 30 sec.
The high value customers’ service looks at answering 85 percent of the call and resolves the issue within 20 seconds. High Value Customers are customers that spend an average of $ 20 OMR per month. These customers are very important for the business.
The quality assurance section looks at the problems complaints of the customers. This section escalates the technical issues etc. There are 7 employees that monitor the quality assurance section they listen to the recorded calls.
The procedure for choosing calls, as all calls cannot be checked for quality maintenance, to be observed for quality assurance is carefully selected so as to avoid formation of a pattern. Keeping in view that personnel might get negligent for calls that lay outside the scope for this pattern, the method of random sampling is used. Random selection ensures that all calls attended have an equal chance of selection. Random selection is performed with the use of random number tables. Selection is periodically checked to ensure that it is not following a specific pattern in order to avoid dangers mentioned above. This sampling is performed for both support team as well as high value customers.
The standards set play a major role in communicating plans of all the departments with in the organization and coordinating activities of customer care and all other departments with in the organization (Bacal, 1998). The standards are set at 70 percent for support team; these are constantly reviewed so as to ensure that these are appropriate. The criterion for 30 second call is also reviewed periodically. For high value customers the target is set at answering 85 percent of the call and resolves the issue within 20 seconds. These standards are also closely scrutinized for appropriateness.
Appropriateness is seen in the light that customers are satisfied with the quality of services and that the employees from the standards have enough of an incentive for the work force to strive to achieve better, that is, they are not so low as to have an unfavorable impact on the motivation of employees because the employees, over the time, may realize that the standards are easily achievable and become bored and lose interest if they have nothing to aim for. Also they should not be excessively high so that the employees becomes demotivated as they are unattainable; it is highly unlikely that the standards will be achieved thus the employees feeling that the goals are unattainable will not work so hard. The standards are set in a manner that provides a realistic but challenging target of efficiency.
Actual results is collected and compared using the technique of standard costing and variances investigated into and corrective measures taken if appropriate. For instance the issues that are not resolved with in 20 seconds are looked in to and if the problem is due to system lapse or negligent behavior on the part of employees is dealt with strictly and measures needed to taken are done as soon as possible.
Learning curve effect in the standards are incorporated i.e. the standards might not be met, on some occasions due to on job learning that the employees are getting. Though the employees are constantly under training as new packages and services are launched there are some employees in a period of time who are new to the system or have just completed training with respect to a new package, may take some time to get adapted to. The variances for learning effect are calculated with the help of expected learning rate or the standard learning rate. If later the learning rate is found to be incorrectly calculated it is allowed for in the variance calculation. Variance due learning effect is then calculated and any variances above a certain level are investigated in to (Moore, 2008).
Building block model is a means to measure performance to help with performance management the standards with all their problems are set keeping in mind the objectives of ownership, achievability and equity (all these are discussed above). The standards set are designed in a manner, as discussed earlier, that encourage workers to achieve them. The reward system should also be designed in a manner that guides the individual to work towards the standards three issues need to be considered to operate successfully;
Objectives of the organization are communicated clearly so that they are understood by the people whose performance is being measured so that they know the goals they are working towards.
The personnel are motivated to work towards these goals, goal clarity and participation, so that the people involved accept these targets, is used as a tool to ensure that the targets are attained.
Personnel at higher levels are given control over the work their area of responsibility and not be held responsible for things they have no control over for instance care is taken that if there is a deficiency has occurred in customer care due to any lapse in the system out of control of that particular department the employees in that department are not held accountable for it.
Dimensions are also used as a tool for measurement (these are applicable to all departments including customer care) these include competitive performance (sales growth, market share), financial performance (profitability), quality of service (courtesy, competence), flexibility (deliver service with in standard time and respond to precise customer specifications). Focus in the examination and improvement of the determinants helps company to achieve improvement in results.
Together with all this it is made sure that the personnel that are employed are not having any idle time because minimizing cost is a part of company strategy together with the attitude that there should be no compromise on the over all service quality as is a practice in the industry.
Management at Nawras is particularly concerned about the churn rate, being second to enter in a market dominant with a single cellular company it adopted a consumer focused strategy in the initial stages and as it gained market the company had its services appraised by general public. The customer reviews were then compiled and the suggestions were incorporated into the system to facilitate customers (comm..ae, 2010). The company has a continuous improvement strategy right from the beginning based on response from general public and important business users against which they appraise their services and any deficiency in performance is rectified on priority bases. The point is not only to keep churn rate to a minimum but also to keep its performance as whole up to the expectations of the customers.
Bacal, R. (1998) Performance Management. McGraw-Hill
Comm..ae (2010, July) The perfect storm, Retrieved July, 29 2010, from, http://comm.ae/
Daniels, A.C. and Daniels, J.E. (2004) Performance Management: Changing Behavior that Drives Organizational Effectiveness. Performance Management Publications
Moore, R. (2008). Benchmarking 100 Success Secrets – The Basics, The Guide on how to Measure, Manage and Improve Performance based on Industry Best Practices. Emereo Pty Ltd
Nawras (2010), official website, Retrieved July, 29 2010, from www.nawras.om
Nawras e-newsletter (2010), official website, Retrieved July, 29 2010, from www.nawrasbusinessnews.om