Article – Profiling the Telecommunications Sector
Economists argue that monopolies or even duopolies are bad for customers because it is the presence of competition that creates the best deals for them, be it in product variation, prices or service. In the absence of real competition customers are brow-beaten into accepting what they are given. The evidence from this first ever, multi-industry nationwide customer service survey is that customers are getting good, but not great service. Monopolistic power is alive and kicking! This survey collected over 7000 responses on customer service in Namibia, covering 12 industry sectors from Telecommunications to Transport, making it the most comprehensive survey on customer service in Namibia and probably Africa.
The survey undertaken by the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business in the Polytechnic of Namibia collected 666 responses on telecommunications security services across the country. 556 of these responses were about MTC so use of the term monopoly is not unreasonable. The industry is represented by MTC, Telecom and TN Mobile (owned by Telecom), these are the finalists that will be represented at the Awards ceremony on the 5th November at the Polytechnic’s new Health & Applied Sciences Building in Windhoek, competing for the Telecommunications Customer Service Excellence Award.
Main service drivers for the industry are in first place responsiveness of the service to the needs to the customer, competence of staff to deliver the service expertly and efficiently, courtesy the degree to which staff are polite and respectful, reliability the extent to which the service is consistent and dependable and finally the ability of the service to recover from failures. Identifying these service drivers provides companies with insight into what customers are looking for from their service encounter. It guides them where to spend time and resources in training to obtain the maximum return on their investment. A customer’s perception of service quality may vary for many reasons, but the factors that shape those perceptions will remain remarkably constant.
As expected when drilling-down on key service drivers we find plaudits and brickbats are equally spread between the contenders. MTC heading the group for responsiveness at 73% and competence of staff at 80%, TN Mobile tops the list for courtesy at 77% rating and recovery at 75% rating, finally Telecom scoring highest for reliability with a 73% rating. What are we to make of these ratings and the underlying comments of customers, an industry ‘coasting’ all the way to the bank.
However, which organization will walk away with the award for best customer service in this industry? To find out you will have to attend the awards ceremony on the 5th November. Tickets can be bought by contacting Conference Link on (061 251 014) or through the website www.csmafrica.org.
To book seats for the first Namibian Customer Service Conference, Awards or Master Class or to purchase a Customer Service Industry Report call or email Conference Link on (061 251 014) or firstname.lastname@example.org or register through our website at www.csmafrica.org.
Professor Grafton Whyte
Director – Harold Pupkewitz GSB