Questions for Quality & Customer Experience in Telecommunications

Mayta Pinard contributed the following interview to QuestionsForLiving, July 2011. This interview focuses on questions for maintaining quality while continually improving the customer's experience in telecommunications.

QuestionsForLiving: What are your questions for branding in a B2B environment? 

Pinard: In both B2C and B2B environments, branding goes beyond a name and a logo. A brand embodies values, promises, personality... The main difference between these two environments, and it is quite obvious, is that in B2B your customer is a company, an organization of people.

When marketing to a company, you are reaching out to the group of individuals involved in the decision-making process. Their decision--their personal choice--will impact their performance evaluation, their colleagues and the company as a whole in its day-to-day operational activities. Insightful research will put to evidence that the psychographic profile of an individual being marketed to by a B2C company will differ from the one established by a B2B company. Consequently, the following reassurance they seek should drive your brand strategy: your brand promise is believable and will satisfy their needs, your brand values guarantee quality and your brand personality inspires trust and encourages a long term relationship. Therefore, in a B2B environment, the branding you create for your company by thinking through the many points of contact you have with your customer is crucial, and brand consistency will ensure that the full power of your brand is realized.

The following questions can accompany a brand manager in this branding process. Whether developing a new brand or refreshing an existing one I answer these questions in the following order:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Who takes part in the decision making process?
  • What place is my organization, and its brand, aiming to occupy in the minds of our customers and on the market place?
  • What is my company's culture, its vision and its values? Are these embodied by the brand's personality traits?
  • What is the promise we are making to our target audience and customers? Is it relevant to our target audience, and is it believable?
  • Is top management involved in the brand strategy and its implementation or is branding only a domain of the marketing and communications department? If so, how will that ensure brand consistency throughout the entire organization and every employee?
  • Have I thought about annual brand audits and encouraging continuous improvement?
  • Have I defined metrics in order to assess the brand's value and how it impacts the bottom line?

QFL: What are your questions for balancing between pushing the edge regarding innovation and establishing a quality / reliable service?

Mayta Pinard: Your branding efforts inevitably lead your customers to have expectations regarding your product and/or service. A definition of quality is the aptitude for a product or service to satisfy the needs (expressed or potential) of its users. Or in other words, your promises need to be believable, and deliverable; your product/service needs to meet the expectations these promises have built in the minds of your target audience.

But how is the quality of a specific product or service defined when "quality" is such a subjective notion? Indeed, quality...

  • according to whom?
  • in comparison to what (other product/service)?
  • for whom? (the manufacturer/service provider or the user?)
  • technical or economic quality (quality/price ratio)?
  • based on what use of the product? (personal or industrial, occasional or frequently?)

Therefore, these questions need to be answered through your branding strategy, which if well implemented, should drive the entire organization and in particular, the post-sale customer service which will assist customers who may experience difficulties using or understanding innovative products and services.

QFL: Independent of the work environment, what questions do you believe that people should/could ask themselves to make our world a happier and healthier place?

Pinard: I have noticed that we often give up on doing small deeds because we stop believing that they can make a difference. It is really too bad because small actions such as smiling, listening, and walking that truly make the environment we live and work in a happier and healthier place. I ask myself the following questions to remind me that such small actions can make someone's day as well as my own.

To make the world a happier place:

  • Do I treat others in a way that I would appreciate being treated?
  • Am I a good listener or are my "conversations" a one-way speech?
  • Have I learned something new today?
  • Have I smiled today?
  • Have I met my neighbors?

To make the world a healthier place:

  • Have I considered public transportation or walking/biking to do errands that don't require long distances?
  • Is my plate colorful? If so, it is more likely to have fruits and/or vegetables in it!



Excellent questions!

Mrs. Leslie Juvin-Acker's picture

Mayta, your questions regarding B2B and brand development are excellent for new marketing/communications professionals as well as refresher questions for pros who have been at it for a while. These basic questions drive the nature of our work on so many levels that it's great to see them all in one place! Certainly, these are great 'reference' questions. 

As far as your personal questions go, you're right about taking small actions each day. Such great motivational questions for people who, at times, find themselves in ruts. 

Thank you for these questions and insights. I'll be sure to ask them to myself.

-L.J. Acker

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