The COVID-19 pandemic was a big shock to the world. No one was prepared, and the lockdown in India made things very hard for the economy to function properly. At a time like that, the telecom sector of India had a big challenge ahead of itself to ensure its mobile networks were ready to support higher data demand as people started working from their homes. For entertainment, people started relying on OTT (over-the-top) platforms. There were more video conferences and voice calls. The average time that a user was online on the internet went up in India.
During that period, just like every other telco, Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom operator in the country, was working hard to ensure that its customers were always connected to its blazing fast mobile networks. In a conversation with Tanay and Tarun from TelecomTalk, Abhijit Kishore, COO (Chief Operating Officer), Vodafone Idea, talked about the change in customer engagement trends post the pandemic.
"There is no denial to the fact that telecom as an industry was the lifeline during the pandemic. It wasn't only about keeping the network infrastructure up and running during those times; it was also important to ensure that we were in touch with our customers; that we are learning along the way, and that we are providing the information to the customers' needs," Kishore said.
Customer Engagement Trends Which Changed Post the Pandemic as Shared by Vodafone Idea COO
"I think we have seen a very, very significant shift on a couple of things, and I am sure this would have also happened across the industries. The digital payments, digital recharges, the kind of digital solutions that the customers are now looking at, whether it is in the consumer space or in the enterprise space. The digital interaction and digital content consumption was significant," Kishore shared.
"There was also a shift in the peak hours. Typically in the telecom world, the peak hours were in the evening. During the pandemic, that shifted as people were working from home. Some of the consumer behaviour that we saw changing was one person in the family recharging for everyone else, whereas earlier multiple recharges used to happen. The retailers wanting to adopt to the whole digital ecosystem of, you know, whether it is auto-channel or UPI payment."
Post pandemic, these things and consumer behaviour have become the new normal, Abhijit said. If you want to see the full conversation, check out the YouTube video above or just go to the YouTube channel of TelecomTalk.