Head of Customer Experience Monitoring, Virgin Media O2
Holding on a call for 15 minutes to say thank you to his colleagues in customer service, sums up the approach Matias Quintanilla has to his role of Head of Customer Experience Monitoring at Virgin Media O2.
Agentinian-born Quintanilla is providing that human touch to the ever-increasing automated world at the newly-merged Virgin Media O2 as they journey towards an automated network.
For a customer service team who continuously field queries or complaints, hearing from Quintanilla who has only called to say “you’re doing a fantastic job - thank you” can come as a surprise.
“This is something I personally do as it is very rare for people to ring up and just say thank you to a customer service team. I must admit it does get people a bit puzzled but I think this is important,” said Quintanilla, who feels that trust in business is the most valuable commodity in the world. He is now working to ensure a seamless move to autonomous networks which can be run with minimal human intervention.
“It is a journey where you need to build your automation by defining one use-case at a time - what I call the magic triangle - which is data, processes and platforms,” comments
Quintanilla, who joined O2 (Telefonica UK) in 2018, transferring from Telefonica in Argentina.
Two years later Quintanilla was working in London when the £31b merger, by O2 owner Telefonica and Virgin Media parent Liberty Global took place - one of the largest UK telecoms deals ever which saw the largest and most reliable mobile network combined with the fastest broadband provider in the UK.
Despite thinking of himself as a “techie” Quintanilla initially trained as a pilot - clocking up 1,300 hours in the air - and worked for his entrepreneur father in his home country.
“My passion was flying and I wanted to be a pilot until I fell in love with the telco industry and I saw the potential that could bring just as I finished my telecommunications engineering degree. I now fly as a hobby and it is great to get a different perspective on the world from up in the sky. It also helps you deal with pressure as you often have to make lightning-quick decisions so you learn a lot about yourself.”
Quintanilla initially started working with his father who invested in the telco industry creating an Internet Service Provider (ISP) named Skynet Communications. “We started on that adventure together and I got to learn everything from operations and sales to management and being the tech guy. This helped me massively but I didn’t have experience in the major telco industry so I started with Alcatel Lucent after sending them my CV. Prior to joining Telefonica, Quintanilla also worked for Huawei and Skynet Communications.
When asked if there was any chance his father could be tempted to poach him back from London, Quintanilla smiled and said “in a heartbeat - I would do anything for him as he’s my superhero but he loves me too much to do it”. But in the meantime he is putting all his efforts into monitoring the customer experience at Virgin Media O2 as it paves its way into a new era of autonomous networks across the UK.
Commenting on the essential qualities needed to be a leader today he said: “An effective leader should have empathy, as everyone is on their personal journey, clarity, decisiveness, and creativity to think about different ways to do things. This is important following a merger like we have experienced when two teams come together to become one.”
Quintanilla cites Mark Evans, the former CEO of O2 as a leader he admires for his communication skills. “ He has complete clarity when he is delivering a message and manages to bring people together. He has that magnetic pull and when you listen to him you want to give the best you have.
“His recommendation to me was to find the skills I lacked and find someone who can polish those skills and be disciplined in everything you need to do, which is good advice for everyone in business,” he said.
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