22 September 2015 0 Comments

Consumer communication and MultiChoice / DSTV

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps 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) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

MultiChoice and DSTV and consumer communication, bad customer serviceMultiChoice Africa and indeed Nigeria is a known name in satellite Television service provider. Its leading factor may not be unconnected with being one of the early entries into the market if it is actually not the first. With years of experience, one expects the organization should have mastered its acts in consumer communucation process especially with the level of patronage it enjoys.

Consumer communucation is part of corporate communication strategy. Many great organizations have great consumer communucation principles which can help enhance their value delivery to their esteemed consumers. The major essence of consumer communication is to influence positively the consumer, increase loyalty, enhance repetitive buying and increase consumer supports for the brand or the product.

To do this effectively, consumer communication must be consistent and mutually beneficial. Consumer communication becomes essential because of the mass market, rapid development of similar or related products in the market. For best value, consumer communication is driven by research to know what the consumer really want i.e, how s/he wants to be reached, what forms of messaging and platforms best suited him/her. But when a corporate entity insists on doing things in its own way, it is a matter of time. Brand is no longer owned by the owner but by its consumers is a mantra today.

In fact beyond consumer communication which is basically data driven there is what is called consumer communication management systems. Consumer communication is direct communucation with the customer to discover their real needs. It is majorly driven by data analysis and management with the help of information communication tools/ technology.

When a corporate entity fails to understand the real needs of its consumer or ways they want to be reached there is a big trouble. Personalised consumer trajectory of today demands a company goes beyond gathering consumer data and abandon such in a cooler. In most cases, it is obvious the use of telephone by MultiChoice customer representative is majorly to remind them of only payment date.

I for one as a long time and loyal customer had consistently told the representatives to avoid breaking my day,especially in the early morning, with the calls to remind me of my payment’s due date which they usually make on a day to or the day I am supposed to make new payment. Its really a distraction. If I really count the service provided as essential I should not forget such date. Interestingly they hardly make such calls in between the month. They have other channels they use: Email, message on the decoder etc. This is especially so when there is increase price or additional channel, maybe.

In their other forms of consumer communication, no mention is also made to whether a consumer has issues with their products and services but in the guise of not been seen as selfish, the rhetoric of their phone calls start with ‘ we just want to know if there are issues with our service’. I had kept asking and still do, why is it that when my due date is tomorrow that MultiChoice staff suddenly realises a customer like me do exist on their database?. Why not when there is rain and there technical transmission system malfunction? Why not monitor when I just made payment and there seems to be something wrong with MultiChoice technical department and my account can not be promptly activated? Which occasionally happens.

MultiChoice Nigeria, owner of DSTV needs to note very well the words of Al Caldwell when he said ‘in business as In life, the message and Impact you leave behind Is more lasting than the circumstances under which it is initiated’. The way we market and communicate is Important in the general and overall relationship building with consumers.
Our advice:

1. Do your research: each customer has their own communication preference. Find out from them what is the best form of communication platform they prefer. Interestingly every time MultiChoice representative calls to remind me of my payment’s due date I usually asked that they help include in my data that email is ok as a reminder if they must do at all.

2. Know your consumer well: What you think the consumer need may not be what they really need. I, as an individual needs no telephone reminder especially when it is a day to my payment’s due date. We have asked other MultiChoice consumers and they have agreed Other channels like email and decoder message are enough. Telephone call is a distraction and in no way will propel me to pay if I do not want to.

3.If MultiChoice must use Telephone: Find out from the customer what is the best time to call and input that into their customers’ data with the company so they do not call at odd hours. Also, it is our advice they do not use the phone/make the call only when the customer’s payment is due. Why not make the call when there is a technical issue fromnthe comoany’s end to say sorry or to find out from them long before the due date how they can help improve services.

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