Telekom Malaysia International rebranding exercise

Recently TM announced their new brand for TMI. Lot’s of full page ads and reports in the trade and consumer media on the ‘rebranding’ exercise. Most of the ‘re-branding’ exercises in Malaysia have consisted of a new logo or tagline or similar. Of course branding is much more than that. The organisation is the brand and a brand development or re-branding exercise is more than a new name, logo etc it’s also about matching corporate attributes with the customers need for value, and in particular in the telecoms sector, the service and speed and efficiency with which customer issues are dealt with.

Although this particular exercise involves TMI, a brand must not neglect its home base as it pursues international growth so we hope that the new brand will be corporate wide.

Based on the two interactions I have had with TM in the last couple of days, my initial thoughts are that TM may have made this an organisation wide exercise.

A massive storm, even by tropical standards had destroyed my telephone line, telephone and internet connection. It also blew out two apple airports, the mother board on both my electric gate and alarm system and a computer monitor. Trust me, when you have three kids, one of whom is a teenage girl, life is hell without Internet or phone!

So I needed to move fast. Firstly I contacted TM about the phone (I assumed, wrongly, that the Internet was OK). I emailed them the morning after the storm via the website complaint option but did not get an automatic response. This made me uneasy so I called TM about 8pm the same evening and reported the problem. My call was attended to within a couple of minutes and the details were taken and I was promised a response within 24 hours.

The next morning before 9.30am I got a call from a technician stating that he was on the way to check the problem. Around lunchtime he contacted me to tell me that he had fixed the problem but nobody was answering the phone in the house. I told him that I suspected the phone had also been affected. So he promised to go to my house and check it. He called me an hour later from my house to inform me that the cordless phone was indeed broken. Throughout the process he was polite and professional.

Once the phone was working I was able to check the Internet and now discovered that it was also affected. I called TM immediately. I had to wait nine minutes before I was attended to. It was late so I think this is borderline acceptable however, during the wait the same jingle played asking me to buy something that expired in 2007! When my call was finally attended to the representative went through the usual process of asking me to switch off the modem for a minute and so on. My only issue with the process was that she wanted me to hang up and call back which would have meant another wait, perhaps shorter, perhaps longer than the initial nine minutes. However when I insisted she wait, she didn’t argue. We couldn’t fix it so she made a report and gave me the report number.

We’ll wait and see how I get on. Traditionally, when the Internet is down it takes longer to be repaired than the phone.

Neverthless, at this stage TM as a (new, re-branded) organisation, has performed well and the signs are promising that this re-branding exercise is more than a new logo.

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