Lawrence Akosen, MTN Senior Manager for Customer Planning and Enablement, has urged businesses to invest in digital innovations for exceptional customer service delivery, in order to thrive in Ghana’s competitive business space.
Sharing insights on Effective Customer Service Delivery during an interview at the Citi Breakfast Show organized as part of the Citi Business Festival, Mr. Akosen said that in an era where both customers and competitors are going digital, businesses that do not use digital channels of engagement set themselves up for failure.
Mr. Akosen advised businesses to recognise that given the extent of internet penetration and social media use, exceptional customer experience hinges mainly on digital innovations.
Reminding businesses that almost half of the world’s population owned a mobile phone in 2015 and smart phone users are expected to reach 5.9 billion by 2021, he stated that, “Digitalisation has transformed the way our customers discover, buy and engage with products and services.” “We need to understand that customers want to reach us through avenues and platforms they are familiar and comfortable with; this means they want to interact through virtual assistance, social media and mobile apps,” he said.
According to Mr. Akosen, it is important for businesses to understand that the nature of their customer service delivery contributes to the perception of them held by the public, and to a large extent, the definition of their brand.
“We need to make one point clear: products can be copied and your competitor can easily get a copy of your strategy,” he said. “What distinguishes you from others – the only thing your competitor cannot copy – is the experience you give to your customers,” he added.
Mr. Akosen stressed that investing in customer service experience drives loyalty and advocacy, which translate into long term gains. He share statistics indicating that customers are four times more likely to buy a product when they are referred by friends and 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels and how they were treated. On the other hand, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative one and 89% of consumers take their businesses elsewhere after experiencing bad customer service.
He revealed that in line with its resolve to champion the delivery of exceptional customer experience, MTN Ghana intends to transform all of its customer service centres into state-of-the-art flagship stores by the end of 2017. The telecommunication giant has also introduced at least one mobile customer care agent in every region for customers who are unable to visit customer care centres.
Mr. Akosen, who is the second thought–leader from MTN Ghana to have appeared on the Citi Breakfast Show as part of the Citi Business Festival, also highlighted a number of key areas during his session, including Culture and Customer Service, Effective Customer Engagement and the Importance of Customer Service.