So today was quite interesting as we had to help a Big City Phone Company (BCPC) navigate a critical decision that plagued management. The company is a leader in the telecoms space and are known for their excellent customer service. Big City Phone Company offered long-distance and wireless services to a service area comprised offer 30million access lines. The company was a big player in the market and even provided local telephone service to long-distance carriers. By 1999, they had over ten million subscribers rated the best customer service company.
For those unaware of how teaching works in an MBA class, you just had your first introduction to case-based learning. It’s an advanced level of learning where students cognition skills are promoted using real-life scenarios. The peculiarity of this case was that you were solving it in a multidisciplinary team. For people like myself that attended the class online, we faced firsthand the challenges associated with virtual teams.
Anyway, let us get back to the case. So there was a new technology in the telecoms and data space known as High-speed internet access (HIT). Although not new anymore, it was the game-changing technology for connectivity, offering over six times the speed of its closest substitute. As a significant player in the industry, BCPC was contemplating taking a bite of this pie. The strategy was to leverage their massive customer base and popularity to gain first movers’ advantage. The drawback with this was the novelty of the technology; it was never field-tested long enough to guarantee a glitch-free service. This means that many customers would most likely call for one problem. This would require BCPC to employ and train new staff to handle the anticipated large volume of calls. BCPC used four months to train staff to get them to the level of competence required to maintain their exceptional service, a duration that would cost them the opportunity of being pioneers in this new space. The entire #EMBA27 class was divided into various team members I the company, all with their motives to come up with a decision for top management. The decision options were:
0. Lunch the HIT service as a retiree (B2C)
0. Lunch HIT support services to their competitors (B2B)
0. Do not lunch the HIT product and risk losing market share in the industry
This was a fascinating exercise as it made me experience a real-world decision-making scenery, which is why I sold my leg to pay for an MBA in Lagos Businesses School.
Days like these make me forget that there are courses like CFA where AAA members like me have to learn new skills needed to make better decisions. Anyway, we move.
Before I leave, I would like to encourage you with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Simon Sinek. In his 2009 book, Start with why, the author explains the power of sticking to why you started. He said:
‘People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’
Signed: The Prince of Business