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Introduction to Airtel

Question:

Write a report to discuss the positive and negative communication aspects of the company Airtel. 

In this report, the communication process of the Airtel has been discussed. In this report both the positive and negative communication aspects of the company Airtel has been discussed. Airtel is one of the major telecommunication companies in India. The company was founded in the year of 1995 (Airtel, 2016). The revenue of the company is approximately US$ 14 billion (Airtel, 2016).  It has been found that there are more than 24,000 employees are presently working in the organization.  There are 5 major subsidiaries that the company has. They are such as Airtel India, Airtel Sri Lanka, Airtel Bangladesh, Airtel Africa and Airtel-Vodafone (Airtel, 2016).

In this report the major focus is on the communication techniques used by the company Airtel to communicate within various departments. In this report, excellent communication model will be used to discuss the integrated marketing communication strategy used by the organization Airtel.  On the other hand, poor communication model will mainly focus on poor communication on customer care.    

In this report, both data will be gathered with the help of primary and secondary research work. Obtrusive observation is used to formulate the basis of this research work. On other hand, secondary data is gathered from various updated books, journals and websites.  

 As Narayanan Manchanda and Chintagunta (2014) stated that, effective communication strategy has become an important part of present day business operation. As Shimp and Andrews (2013) mentioned that, it has become a crucial part of success in a business. Presently effective communication skills have become critical component of the modern society. In order to develop effective communication strategy, there are some major aspects need to follow. They are such as:

  • Being clear about the reason of communicating
  • Organization of message to achieve a job
  • Using the effective medium of communication to gain market advantage

In the excellent communication model, the integrated marketing communication strategy used by the company to promote its products in market has been discussed.

Bharati Airtel is the largest service provider in India, having more than 200 million subscribers till 2012 (Thorson & Moore, 2013). The company provides products and services such as 2G, 3G and 4G. It provides broadband services with the help of DTH, IPTV, DSL and fixed line services. The company is presently providing services to 23 licensed telecom-circles that cover more than 420,000 towns (Airtel, 2016). In order to make effective communication with customers there are various traditional marketing and word of mouth marketing strategy has been used. 

The major target customers of the company are college students for prepaid connections and postpaid connections for working peoples. There are some major communication strategies, have been used by the company. They are mentioned below:

Communication though traditional advertisements

With the help of advertising in news hours and prime times, the company is able to make effective communication with customers. With the help of Television marketing, the company is able to provide information about their new products and services to their customers (Thorson & Moore, 2013).  The company also develops radio advertisements which are delivered between various musical programs. In these radio advertisements, the company provides information about its existing offers and services (Brown et al., 2012). In addition, the company also provides advertisements in newspapers, magazines, billboards and brochures. It can be stated that, the company has given extraordinary effort to develop effective advertising strategy in order to make effective communication with customers (Brown et al., 2012).        

Communication Techniques Used by Airtel

Communication through word-of-mouth

In order to develop effective word-of-mouth strategy, the company has offered lowest value packages to some of the customers for a limited period of time (Thorson & Moore, 2013).  The company also provides preferences to their premium customers to select the best offers for their connections.

Public relations 

In order to develop effective public relation, the company has developed effective communication strategy to promote and protect image of the company (Soteriou & Stavrinides, 2013). The company has taken various sales promotion strategies to attract more customers towards the company. The company tied up with Lufthansa Airlines to provide bonus miles on the German Airlines (Thorson & Moore, 2013).   

Communication through campaigns  

The company has developed various campaign activities to make enhanced relationship with customers. For example, in order to promote Airtel internet, the company has developed campaign activities such as “Jo tera hai wo mera hai.” In this campaign activity, the company talks about strong relation between friends, cool factors and memorable moments in friends.  This campaign helps the company to attract more young customers towards the company.   

Developing effective marketing communication strategy has high impact on the overall business performance of the organization. It helps the company to become the leader of the telecommunication market of India with 28.50% (Meuter et al., 2012). 

Figure 1: Market share of the company Airtel in India till 2013

The company has developed effective communication with some of the well-known global equipment providers. The company has developed effective relationship with well-known companies like Nokia, Siemens and Ericsson. In order to communicate and manage the IT department, the company has taken the help of IBM. As Brown et al. (2012) mentioned that, it helps the company to enhance brand image, gain higher market share and strengthen the stakeholders of the organization.      

As Brown et al. (2012) stated that, poor communication at workplace can develop un-friendly working environment inside the company. On the contrary, developing poor communication with customers can decrease customer satisfaction for the company.  In the poor communication model, it has been discussed how a customer (person A) has to suffer due to poor customer service given by the company.

Person A has paid rupees 1440/- for South Ultra Pack on one Saturday morning. A has paid the amount of money through credit card. The sales person of the company (person B) has committed A, that the service will be installed with Sunday 6 pm.  However, none has asked or called person A about the status. A has called 40-50 times in the customer care of the company. However, none of the customer care executives are able to provide any basic information about the transaction id or the status of the transaction.   

There are some complaints have been found where it was mentioned that the customer care department disconnects the call, without answering the quarries of customers. Some of the customers also complaint that, the customer care executives do not have the patient to stay online while solving their problems. After analyzing these case studies, it has been found that, there are two major issues have been found in this company. They are such as inappropriate communication training and lack communication between executives of customer departments (Meuter et al., 2012). 

Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy of Airtel

It has been found that, the company only provides one month of training to the fresher employees who are enrolled in the customer care department (Soteriou & Stavrinides, 2013). In this training session, they are provided technical knowledge mostly. These fresher employees have lack of experience to handle customers appropriately. Hence, under stressful and pressure conditions, the customer care executives start to exhibit poor communication techniques. They use inappropriate verbal communication technique in this situation. As Brown et al. (2012) stated that, customer care executives used to disconnect calls, when they are tensed and unable to solve any issue. On the other hand, it has been found that the customer care executives of Airtel not maintain proper communication with each other. For this reason, it takes several minutes for customer care executives to provide simple information such as transaction ID and status of transaction. It has been found that, the communicational training given by the organization to its customer care executives is not effective. They are required to provide proper language training, communication training so that they can handle tough situations. As Meuter et al. (2012) mentioned that, they need to maintain proper communication within themselves, which will help them to response to the customer complaints.

It has been found that, increasing amount of customer’s complaints has affected the brand image of the company. As Brown et al., (2012) stated that, increasing amount of customer’s complaints will decrease the customer satisfaction level for the organization. It will in term decrease repeat purchasing behavior of customers. For this reason it has been found that the market share of the company Airtel has decreased by almost 6%. By the year of 2014, the market share of the company is 22.87% (Airtel, 2016). In the graph given below, Bharati means Bharati Airtel. 

Figure 2: Market share of the company Airtel in India till 2014 

6. Conclusion

In this report, both the communication models have been discussed with examples from the company Airtel, to discuss how these communication models can be used to send a business message to appropriate target audience. The excellent model of communication depicts the use of different media to develop integrated marketing communication. On the other hand, poor communication model depicts that lack of appropriate communication skills of customer care executives have affected the business performance of the telecommunication company Airtel.    

Reference list

Airtel,. (2016). Retrieved 13 June 2016,

Brown, T. J., Mowen, J. C., Donavan, D. T., & Licata, J. W. (2012). The customer orientation of service workers: Personality trait effects on self-and supervisor performance ratings. Journal of Marketing Research, 39(1), pp.110-119.

Meuter, M. L., Ostrom, A. L., Roundtree, R. I., & Bitner, M. J. (2012). Self-service technologies: understanding customer satisfaction with technology-based service encounters. Journal of marketing, 64(3), pp.50-64.

Narayanan, S., Manchanda, P., & Chintagunta, P. K. (2014). Temporal differences in the role of marketing communication in new product categories. Journal of Marketing Research, 42(3), pp.278-290.

Shimp, T., & Andrews, J. C. (2013). Advertising promotion and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Cengage Learning.

Soteriou, A. C., & Stavrinides, Y. (2013). An internal customer service quality data envelopment analysis model for bank branches. International Journal of Bank Marketing.

Thorson, E., & Moore, J. (2013). Integrated communication: Synergy of persuasive voices. Psychology Press.

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