Safaricom’s Success Spanning beyond Provision of Consumer Products
Over the last couple of years, Safaricom has lead Kenya in being the largest telecommunication company in Kenya. It has continued to break the boundaries of technology in a bid to improve their products and services. This has garnered them worldwide recognition which as was exhibited by their recent win where they were awarded Brand of the Year in the just recently concluded World Brand Awards in London.
One of the areas Safaricom has excelled and continues to excel in is in customer care service. Their quality customer care services are aimed at ensuring their customers have a seamless experience when using their products. They have established customer care service centres in most towns in Kenya including Thika, Garissa, Nanyuki, Embu, Nyeri, Kisii, Malindi, Mombasa Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru, Naivasha, Narok, Bungoma, Kakamega, and Kitale. Their just concluded Customer Care Week held annually allows them to celebrate their customers and those who serve them. This year we were able to get to know the people we hear behind those call lines and what customer service entails.
There is a lot that goes into customer service. Those lovely voices who guide us whenever we have a problem accessing Safaricom products and services are well-trained professionals. You must admit that the level of patience exercised by these customer experience executives while dealing with impatient emotional customers is applaudable. However, amidst dealing with different customers with different needs every day, customer experience executives guide their callers to help them fix their problems as quickly as possible. They aim at going beyond their job scope to provide the customers with a wholesome experience for service excellence.
I have been here for last 10 years and it’s been an exciting journey. Interacting with customers, ensuring they are satisfied and making a difference in their lives is the most fulfilling part of my role. – Julius Gatitu, Customer experience executive
Their customer care service does not end there. Safaricom Care is well known for its social media presence. Research by Social Bakers, a social media research company placed Safaricom among the top 10 brands worldwide on Facebook with the best customer service. Their response time was at 39 minutes with a warping 96.58% response rate. With Social Media growing rapidly, people have quickly shifted to posting their issues on Safaricom care pages on Facebook and Twitter.
The social media customer experience executives respond to people’s queries no matter how small they may seem. Over the years, they have provided many with humorous relief with their witty replies to some of the customer’s remarks. Their funny responses often go viral which goes into building a connection with their customers by humanizing their interactions. Often when dealing with brands on social media, it can be easy to forget that you are conversing with a human being. Such jokes do a lot to negate such an issue.
I always put myself in the customer’s shoes to better understand their needs and find the best way of meeting these needs.” Sauda M. Bashir – Social Media Customer Care Safaricom
We cannot talk about Safaricom without mentioning their keen attention to employee well-being. It is every company’s responsibility to ensure that they provide their employees with a conducive environment that allows them to thrive. This includes going out of your way to provide your employees with services that cater to their personal wellbeing beyond the workplace. It makes all the difference in the level of performance in the workplace. Safaricom believes in creating a comfortable working environment for high results. This shows in places like their Jambo Contact Centre located in Mlolongo along Mombasa Road. With a seating capacity of more than 1000 staff who work in shifts, it is first one of its kind in Africa. Some of the services offered by their employees include;
In accordance with employee regulations in most companies, new mothers are given 3 months leave while new fathers get 2 weeks leave. After the period expires, one is expected to organize child care services as they are expected to come back to work. The nursery at Jambo Call Centre provides an opportunity for new parents to bring their babies to work. The child care centre is divided into sections with a provision of the Malezi room where mothers can express their milk. Later, professional babysitters get to feed these young babies. There is also the toddler and infant rooms where the children between the ages of 4 months- 4 years get to nap. Safaricom is one of the companies that have dealt with the challenges faced by pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace.
People are quickly becoming ‘woke’ as many millennials like to put it, in the fitness sector. It can, however, be a struggle to visit the gym in another building right after work. The Jambo Call Center provides gym and training facilities in the same building which is open to all their employees. This promotes wellness and also works as a stress reliever to the interested employees
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Everyone needs to let loose once in a while-find a way to blow off some steam. To break the monotony of work, Safaricom has provided its employees with a room where they can relax and indulge in a little physical exercise as well. They get to enjoy watching TV, playing pool, darts or table tennis. The room is designed to ensure maximum mind function and to keep them alert during the day.
Accidents are bound to happen in the workplace. There is also a chance of medical conditions acting up while in the workplace. Having quick and immediate medical service goes a long way in keeping the employees protected. The medical professionals administer first aid and medical assistance required by the employees. It is fully equipped with a pharmacy, laboratory, and doctors.,
These highly maintained cafeterias provide snacks and food to the employees at subsidized prices so they can remain fed as they go about their activities.
It is provided for employees who may want to pray or enjoy some alone time away from the workplace. This way, people can promote their spirituality and rejuvenate.
Great Customer Service and promoting employee wellness are great ways to boost business performance. Most companies should adopt a couple of these suggestions and see how far ahead they can go.