The Italian consumer perceived the cellular phone was a possession that was both expensive and exclusive, something that only people of a certain stature had the right to own. Italians, as fashion conscious people, liked to show off to their friends that they have the most fancy, most expensive, most technologically advanced handset available. Above that phones were used as an expression of one's personality.
1. TIM - Telecom Italia Mobile, during 1995-1996 was perceived as a monopoly which possessed 97% of the 7.5% penetration of the cellular telecommunication market in Italy. It's marketing strategy was primarily devoted to the upper class of the Italian society, due to the fact listed above that the Italian consumer perceived the cellular phone as a status symbol and an item of indulgence. As most monopolies TIM was perceived as an impersonal company, with bad customer service, never offering a polite word. 19% of TIM's customers were unsatisfied by TIM's technical assistance and plan flexibility.
Omnitel, Italy second GSM operator, who launched its commercial service in December 1995, was perceived as providing high quality customer service. Omnitel, as the polite operator', was perceived as always answering the customer's calls according to the American approach. Furthermore, the company tried to minimize the customer waiting time, with 85% of Omnitel customers were answered in less than 20 seconds. Above that, in order to improve the service Omnitel operators were trained as "one stop calling", in order to avoid transferring a call to another operator.
2. By May 1996, Omnitel had only signed up 180,000 subscribers, and Omnitel was dissatisfied with its market share of 4%. Though customers were very pleased with the quality of customer service that they received, it had not resulted in a corresponding increase in market share as Omnitel had hoped it would.
First of all Omnitel needed to alter the psychological barrier...