Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
Brand is more than a name. It is the total outlook presented to its Public. It is the ‘ trust mark’s that people can vouch for. Brand is more than having services to offer, it is the ability to delight, engage as well as go the extra miles in making sure consumers also can become advocates. In a monopolistic market, many brands enjoy unfettered engagement in most cases just because there are no options. MultiChoice, the custodians of about Nine brands across Africa, which has DSTV(paid TV) as one of its major brands in Nigeria has been around for over twenty years in Nigeria. For so long, there was no competition and prices of its service (from acquisition to full service) was determined by this South African brand.
Along the line, there were epileptics local brands who had come and gone either because of bad management, harsh economic environment among other factors. To achieve more financial goals, MultiChoice Nigeria has also introduced a low profile, affordable brand(GOTV) that can help reach any kind of customer no matter their financial status. The DSTV brand itself has different bouquets.
From its introduction to the market, MultiChoice had been led by a South African until few years ago when a Nigerian is now at the top of the management level. From day one, MultiChoice customers had not really enjoyed the top range customer service one expects from a brand of its status. We stand to be corrected here though. One is quick to say this may largely be due to the fact that the brand has no real competitor.
But with the advent of technology, which now allows everyone to express their feelings, MultiChoice Nigeria had also see the need to incorporate social media tools to its information management flow. Though there is still much to be desired in this strategy. As a concerned customer, I had had reason to interact with the @dstvng on twitter and I knew how long it took to get feedback.
The DSTV email marketing channel is basically to exchange promotional tools or possibly to remind you of the next payment date. MultiChoice Nigeria has also introduced direct phone communication to individual customer. This is very commendable only that the strategy has largely abused customer psyche than do much goods to them.
Every customer knows when you get the once in a month call from MultiChoice staff, the conversation is always going towards a reminder that your payment date is due to be paid in one week or three days time. What has been a constant snag in this once in a month call is that when you get a call and you let them know you are in a meeting and you will prefer they call back, the staff wants to give you reasons you must listen to them now as at when they want you to.
You are likely to hear ‘ I will not take your time sir’. It must be acknowledged they will first ask if you are happy with their services or not? But one wonders why such calls are delayed towards the tail end of a payment due date. Why wouldn’t they make occasional calls to find out service delivery status? We all know issues of infrastructures are affecting every brands in Nigeria, one has had to occasional query the reason while DSTV signals are off when there is small rain.
Yet such lost hours are never compensated for. As a customer, I have been told if I upgrade, I will not experience such again. I have since done that and till today one still have to go through such experience. In terms of data, it is also important MultiChoice upgrade its tools or software as the case may be. There are times when are customer due date for payment is fast approaching and in order to avoid MultiChoice ‘packaged reminder’ call, one decides to pay in advance.
It is a common occurence that one will still receive a subtle reminder message on the screen while one is in the middle of following a discussion. The message tries to remind you of your fast approaching payment date or that you should ignore if you have made payment. Though such message is considered a mass message but in this age of individualism, people want customised message that shows a single customer matters and the brand owners care so much about one single customer.
To add insult upon injury, one may also get a call from the MultiChoice staff too. It is time to upgrage personalise customer service even though you have Hundreds of Thousands.
As we move towards technology application, MultiChoice may also need to consider its operations environment. After payment, especially for those who usually wait till they are disconnected, customers are to send text to a given code for activation of service. For those who are not that literate or will not want to go through that process, one can make action call. Why is the MultiChoice customer services phone lines not toll free? Is it also impossible to make the text message customer is sending free of charge?
In South Africa, one constantly hears ‘give a missed call and our officials will call bamck’ after most adverts. This has become a normal practise everywhere around the world. Why is MultiChoice Nigeria’s customers not given such privilege? Or is it out of place? Yet one may ask how many brands are doing this in Nigeria, what happens to setting a good standard other brands can copy?
We will like to state here this Is not a hate message, as shrewd professional who knows what is available and what MultiChoice can deliver, we are only calling on the brand to wake up and go beyond this ‘ carefree attitude. Customers are watching, do not wait until a stronger competitors enters the market and displace you. That is possible in this age. Never forget when one brand is messing up, another one is studying your process with the aim of coming to the same market and beat you to it. MultiChoice Nigeria has had over twenty years in the market to hone its trade.