What strategy did you employ to increase the number of Movistar users, and what does Panama represent for Movistar's global operations?
In Panama, we opted for a company plan focused on the development of a company culture covering simplicity, portfolio, differentiation, and a consistent strategy. We have built a great value proposal based on user experience and our role as leaders in the digital experience of our customers. Our clients' preferences are not just about one moment, but about consistency over time. This consistency has allowed us to be the leaders in service experience by innovating through service channels like WhatsApp or our mobile application with Movistar Play. This allows customers in Panama to be 70% digital. As a result, we have had more than 130,000 monthly conversations through WhatsApp and are able to securely analyze our clients' demands and give immediate feedback. This is linked to the efforts we have made to strengthen our network. We have high traffic in the LTE and 4G networks and are working on not only expanding into new coverage areas but also strengthening our network. This allows us to provide greater capacity and respond to the demands of our customers who are inclined to consume video content.
You plan to invest USD25 million in Panama. What will you focus on with this investment?
We have invested more than USD600 million in the country over the last 10 years alone. We are on track to increase the capacity of the network, bringing new 3G coverage areas to LTE. We already have a Universal Service Fund project with AIG that gives access to communities without connectivity and are launching a second project to cover the areas near San Blas.
What strategy is Telefónica Movistar following to reach the SME segment with products such as Smart Business?
Since our headquarters are in Guatemala, we service five countries in Central America, though our main market is Panama, where the main multinational companies are present. We offer a program called “Movistar sin Fronteras" that allows our clients to make phone calls without having to pay extra roaming fees in Central America. And we are leaders in converting the B2B business into three aspects: cybersecurity; big data, a theme on which we held a forum in 2018 and also is a core factor for our business as SMEs and big companies require more consulting services to help them adapt to future trends; and third, a reconversion of our sales force into a more consultative and digital transformation task, something that we have applied to ourselves and are now extrapolating to the level of big data and digital ratings.
What else have you done to improve your customer services?
We are working hard to keep our employees motivated. Teams are transformed when there is a great deal of transparency. That is a key factor to motivate our workers, and we place great focus on training. Nearly 70% of our training services are digital, and many of them are online courses, so we use on-demand digital platforms to train our employees. Besides, it is important to analyze every interaction with our customers to understand the changes they want us to implement.
What are your main targets for the coming year?
Our main goal is to continue strengthening our relationship with our customers. We will improve the network and also launch new services at the end of the year such as VoLTE. In January 2019, we will support World Youth Day, which is a technological challenge for telecommunication companies like ours. In terms of services, we want to proactively advance in the areas where clients demand more services, instead of waiting for them to warn us that something is not working well.