According to Communication Authority of Kenya analytics, approximately 35 million Kenyans own mobile phones which run on any of the three telco platforms. However, Safaricom Ltd takes the lion’s share of this as it serves about 25.1 million customers and it is easy to see why this is so. The company continues to focus more on bettering customers’ experience through the huge investments made. According to the Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, the company has invested an average of 30 billion a year to build the best network for Kenya.
For a company which handles 30 million calls and 70 million SMS per hour as well as facilitating transactions worth about 11 billion per day, quality service for customers is a priority. A while ago, customers would wait in queues for close to 45 minutes before getting services at a Safaricom service centre but this has significantly reduced over the past 12 months thanks to the launch of numerous simple customer-driven solutions aimed at putting more control in the hands of customers and thus enhance their experience.
While focus is shifting to the 4G spectrum, the grim reality is that approximately 166 sub-locations in Kenya still don’t enjoy any coverage. This is despite the fact that there is 98% 2G coverage and about 74% 3G coverage. 4G which is yet to hit the 50% mark has been adopted by customers mainly in the urban areas. Although Safaricom has made huge strides in the telecommunications industry, there is a great deal of opportunity to enhance the experience on the network for customers.
This morning, the company launched a suite of products aimed at providing customers with increased control over the services they use on the network. These services are:
The Safaricom Guarantee
This service guarantees customers of high quality uninterrupted calls when making or receiving calls within the network. As a way to committing to this pledge, the company will be refunding customers with up to 60 seconds of airtime in the event that they experience a network disconnection during local calls to other Safaricom subscribers. The person who initiated the call will get the refund immediately once they experience a disconnection due to network failure. It is also important to note that this service will be limited to a maximum of 5 call disconnections a day per customer to curb unlikely incidences of unscrupulous customers trying to benefit from the service. The refunded Safaricom Guarantee talk time will only be valid for 24 hours from the time of the refund and can only be used for local Safaricom to Safaricom calls.
My Data Manager
Over the past few years, there has been huge consumption of data by Kenyans and an equally high number of complaints from dissatisfied customers who use Safaricom platform. Prior to the launch of this service, customers who ran out of data and had credit loaded on their phones would end up spending the credit as it automatically switched to the pricier airtime option when surfing the internet. With this service, it is now possible for customers to control their data bundle usage as it will allow them to restrict browsing on out of bundle rates. Prepay customers can access the service by dialing *100# while PostPay customers need to dial *200#.
My Subscription Manager
This service will enable the customers to know exactly what they are subscribed to such as data, SMS, Skiza and Premium Rate Services. It will also be possible to manage these subscriptions either by adding more services or opting out of what they are already subscribed to.
Safaricom has hit a milestone as the first operator in Africa to announce such initiatives and the first in the world to offer a real-time refund for network related call disconnections.