By Elizabeth Kameo
Six years ago when MTN launched its network in Uganda, it
was introducing a relatively new concept. The challenge, says
the company’s General Manager Customer Services, Ramsey
Mosethedi, was to ensure the company does not put on market
a product that is not understood and has no support.
That is where customer services came in, and six years down
the road, MTN’s customer service department is propelling
the company’s success.
“Customer services at MTN comprise two areas,”
explains Mosethedi. “One is the service centre environment
where we do face to face interactions with customers; we sell
as well as educate customers on field inquiries on any of
the MTN products and services. The other is the call centre,
which is more of a reactive environment. What the call centre
does is after sales support to our customers. We have a licence
in Uganda for providing mobile and fixed line solutions and
both our environments cater for both solutions.”
Mosethedi further explained: “From an internal view
there were constraints and now we are finding ways and means
of getting across those constraints so that we deliver effective
service to our customers, and we have done a lot of changes
in the last six months.”
He added: “We critically looked at our situation and
all business requirements and one critical issue was how do
we add value to our customers as MTN.”
To this end, MTN identifies and acknowledges customers who
have faithfully supported the company and rewards them accordingly,
but without disregarding all the others.
Away from the customers, Customer Services is also offering
support to the dealers so that the MTN value for customers
trickles down to the dealers.
According to Mosethedi, to support this, they have come up
with a dealer help desk and are also looking at developing
a separate online solution for them so that they can, via
the web, interact with people at MTN.
The company is also looking at defining what the customer
experience should be at all touch points within MTN. “We
are embarking on an exercise to bring customer centricity
within the organization. We are saying it is not only the
Customer Services department responsibility and obligation
to deliver customer services but it is everybody who works
for MTN,” says Mosethedi.
This is aimed at ensuring first class service for all MTN
customers. From the service centre point of view, Mosethedi
says they are working on a triangular strategy where they
will have a regional office in three key areas to switch the
focus from Kampala alone. This will ensure that services offered
at the main service centre are offered at the regional centres.
For now the company is planning to set up centres in Mbarara
and Mbale, before venturing into other regions. Over the past
few years the Customer Services centre has acquired different
technologies, which are helping in evaluating calls to see
if they are up to the set standards of the company’s
customer care service.
The secret of MTN’s succesful customer service department,
Mosethedi says, is in the commitment of MTN to good customer
“We make sure the working conditions are very condusive
for people to look forward to working for MTN and committing
to MTN values because you have to take care of your staff
for them to deliver to your desired effect. So one, technology;
two, the processes; equipments and staff wellbeing and environment
are key,” says Mosethedi.
Mosethedi argues that the above attributes have given MTN
a cutting edge as far as customer service goes. Next year,
Mosethedi says, the company hopes to develop a comprehensive
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for MTN Uganda.
“Many companies have attempted to implement CRM but
because of the magnitude and complexity of the exercise a
lot have failed. We have commissioned that exercise internally,
we are going to be doing lot of Internet surveys so that as
soon as we decide to implement CRM holistically we have all
stakeholders’ requirements and concerns drawn and attended
to,” he said.
“That is the focus and it will not only be in the
context of the call centre, but from every customer touching
point.” Mosethedi is aware of the benefit that the business
gains from a successful customer care environment.
“The reason why we moved the service centre from here
to Lugogo is because customers were complaining, each time
a customer would walk in before they would present their problem
they would complain about parking. We wanted to make it convenient
for customers and Lugogo fit in well, as it is a convenient
place. This came about through the feedback our people were
getting that customers were complaining about parking,”
MTN draws a lot of feedback through the service centres.
Moreover, the MTN Customer Services centre offers customer
service in about eight Ugandan languages.
“From a call centre point of view, we have diversified
in languages. We now serve in about eight languages. We have
English, Luganda and the four Rs,” he said. Through
our recruitment process, Mosethedi explained, “we identify
areas where we need to capacitate.”
Over the past few years, the customer services department
has grown to see the number of people in the call centre growing
from 43 to 75 and this will further grow to handle the company’s
new policy of providing a 24/7 customer service.
Mosethedi’s goal as general manager Customer Services,
is to make MTN Uganda’s customer services department
the leading customer services department not only in the industry
in Uganda but within the group as well.