In what has proved to be one of the more competitive markets in recent years, Bharti Airtel has launched a string of new digital innovations which might (or might not) wow you.

Jamie Davies

July 10, 2017

3 Min Read
Bharti Airtel innovates through innovative innovation

In what has proved to be one of the more competitive markets in recent years, Bharti Airtel has launched a string of new digital innovations which might (or might not) wow you.

Over the next three years, Bharti Airtel will invest $310 million to improve customer services, as executives continue to plug ideas to stem the hordes of customers heading towards the exit. Project Next, which follows up Project Leap, will hope to engage customers and increase interactivity as a means of creating some sense of brand loyalty in a digital economy where users would sell their grandmother for a months’ free Netflix subscription (okay maybe two months).

“At Airtel, everything we do starts with our customers and we are obsessed about delivering a great experience to them,” said Gopal Vittal, CEO of India and South East Asia at Bharti Airtel. “We look at the customer journey holistically and discovered 17 moments of truth. At each of these moments, our aspiration is to eliminate customer frustration and make the experience better via digital innovation.”

The first update is focused around in-store experience. With the first humble brag of the press release, the Airtel team has spent what we can only imagine was a thrilling 2450 hours watching customers, in a not creepy fashion whatsoever, mapping traffic flows within the stores. Using this information, the team has come up with the inspirational concept of Share, Create, Experience.

Share will be a ‘Social Wall’ which will allow customers to share their experiences with other customers around the country (because people are very reasonable on social media, so what could go wrong…). Create will allow the customers to design their own solutions digitally. And Experience is essentially an area where customers can listen to music and watch Airtel content. At least bored partners will have somewhere to go when dragged along on shopping trips.

Another ground-breaking update will be a real-time experience on the customer app. Customers will be able to see real-time notifications of services and self-care, instead of having to wait for their bill to be notified of extra charges etc.

The final update is the Postpaid Promise, is split into three areas. Firstly, unused data will be rolled over to the next month, which can be tracked on the app. This ‘new-to-the-world’ innovation (Bharti Airtel’s words, not ours) doesn’t sound at all similar to Virgin Mobile’s ‘Data Rollover’, AT&T’s ‘Rollover Data’, Verizon’s ‘Carryover Data’ or Digicel’s ‘Rollover Data’ ideas…

Secondly, customers can now adapt their family plans by adding multiple postpaid connections to their accounts. And what’s more, there’s no paperwork!?! It’s all done online. We’ve just been waiting for an organization to come up with a paperless business idea. Thank your lucky stars, the Bharti Airtel guys have some up with it.

Lastly is an idea that really knocked our socks off: insurance!?!?! Customers can now pay Bharti Airtel so that if there is any accidental or liquid damage, it will replace it. Truly revolutionary stuff we are seeing here.

Just when we thought the Indian market was starting to get a bit interesting, and Bharti was meeting the challenge of Jio with some interesting ideas, this happens. There is a sense of ‘shouldn’t they have been doing this anyway’ with the updates, though it does start to explain why so many customers were willing to jump ship when Jio entered the market. Well, this and it was basically free…

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