What does Vodafone owe its success to?
The latest figures show that the sales volume of Turkey’s mobile phone market has surpassed 2 billion euros. According to estimates, there are 65 million mobile subscribers.
Turkcell, the market leader, has 34.5 million subscribers, while Vodafone has 18 million, making it the second biggest. Since it launched its Turkey operations in 2006, Vodafone has invested 11 billion Turkish Liras, and it is the biggest operator in the country. It also is the fastest-growing European region operator of the Vodafone Group.
CEO Serpil Timuray, who was transferred from France’s Danone in 2009, and her dynamic team undoubtedly have a big share in this success.
In a past conversation with Timuray, she said much of the success was due to an aggressive program that foresaw a record annual growth of 30 percent.
Wearing more than one hat, Timuray is the deputy president of both the Turkish-British Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), and the International Investors Association (YASED). She is also a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Board of the Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), as well as a board member at the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER), the Endeavor Association and Forum Istanbul.
She contributes importantly to the activities of Vodafone Foundation, such as the “Women Movement In Technology,” “Dreams Academy” and “Support for Teachers.” Her energy is naturally reflected on the entire Vodafone team.
Yesterday, I had the chance to observe the “Stevie Awards,” known as the Oscars of the business world, with a group of fellow journalists in Las Vegas. At the ceremony, Vodafone Turkey literally crowned its success. In seven categories, the company competed as a finalist and is returning home with three bronze, three silver and two gold awards.
“We work focused on customer satisfaction,” said Hakan Çelik, the customer services chief, as he focused on the secret of success while receiving the Stevie awards.
Vodafone organizes regular surveys to measure customer satisfaction every month. Utilizing the most recent statistical methods, these surveys reveal what customers want. Strategies are devised in accordance with these data.
Vodafone Turkey has added 2.2 million subscribers which were “carried” from another operator.
Call centers are another key trump of the company. To be closer to the customer, the company has established call centers outside Istanbul and Ankara – in Samsun, Uşak and Elazığ.
What criteria does this city selection depend on?
“We prefer cities which host universities. Thus, we offer new job opportunities for the youth,” says Çelik.
Vodafone call centers employ 500 young people. Istanbul and Ankara aside, for a young person in Elazığ to work at the call center of an international company such as Vodafone brings important prestige to the person and the family.
Hakan Çelik’s example from Elazığ is really interesting: “If the young man works at the Vodafone call center, families let their daughter marry that man without much questioning.”