By Emeka Aginam
For Nigeria top reap the full benefits of telecommunications in the digital economy, issues relating to quality of GSM services, customers care must be given priority attention, participants at the just concluded NigeriaCom conference and exhibition have said.
The NigeriaCom conference and exhibition is part of a series of annual events targeted at bringing together the entire digital ecosystem to discuss opportunities and development in the sector.
The conference with the themed ‘Working Together to Provide Quality Services throughout the Digital Realm’ had in attendance telecommunication industry experts, regulators, activists, customers and other stakeholders.
At the event with Etisalat Nigeria Headline Sponsor and Host Operator Partner.
For one thing, speaker after speaker at the event noted that it was time service providers in the counry’s telecoms market begin to take quality of service and customer care seriously.
For the President of the National Association of Telecommunication Subscribers, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, while contributing as a panelist on the topic ‘Loyalty in the Age of Number Portability,’ MNP presents subscribers with choices and affords operators the chance to woo subscribers with quality services and value offerings.
Accordingly, discussants appeared unanimous that certain factors ranging from restive youths, terrorist activities in some parts of the country and overzealous revenue officials who exercise little restraint in tampering with telecommunications infrastructure in the bid to compel operators to do their bidding were some of the major challenges faced by operators.
While Eugene Juwah, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission would not disagree with other stakeholders on the impact of extraneous factors on the quality of telecommunications services, he did not hide his feelings when he counseled operators to proactively take on the challenges and render quality services to the subscribers.
Juwah, who was represented at the occasion by Inatimi Spiff told the gathering that that action not words win the marketing war, particularly when it comes to MNP.
Also speaking, Director, Network Engineering, Etisalat Nigeria, Temi Ogunbambi informed the gathering that the network takes quality of service seriously and works tirelessly to ensure that this is maintained across the country knowing that good network was the only way customers can enjoy value for money.
Delivering keynote on the first day of the event titled “Quality of Service on the Network: Challenges and Opportunities for Telecoms Operators in Nigeria,” he pointed out that as a company, Etisalat was passionate about creating sustainable strategies for transforming the quality of service in the industry.
“With Quality of Service (QOS), we are always trying to measure our customer’s satisfaction and ensure that they get value for their money.
“As a company, we realize the importance of offering the best services to our customers and we have continued to receive commendation from customers and feedback on areas of improvement. We are aware that there are issues around QOS generally which is why we constantly design various facilities and activities to help measure and resolve them.”, he assured, adding that, “one of our key strategies to drive and measure QOS is our regional customer forum which helps us visit our customers in their various communities, to discuss network issues and evaluate our network performance. With this, we try to understand them, the problems they are facing, their needs and the best way to satisfy them, because we believe QOS can be best measured by involving the customers.”
Similarly, Head of Customer Experience, Etisalat Nigeria, Biola Edun also gave an insight into how Etisalat is winning the QoS and customer service race.
In a paper titled ‘Now you are talking and we are listening,’ she made it clear that customer care is everybody’s job at Etisalat.
The customer, Edu said was at the heart of each activity at Etisalat. “everybody throughout the company takes personal interest and plays a role in customer satisfaction. Customer issues are not limited to only customer_facing departments at Etisalat. All hands are on deck to ensure customer satisfaction, from the chief executive officer to our support employees,” Edun said.
Edun explained customer satisfaction and quality of service are very important at Etisalat, adding that strategic investment is made in infrastructure to provide alternative channels in case one fails or is attached by external forces.
“We know for instance that external factors could damage the optic cables that we have invested in, so we proactively make provision for alternative channels so that service is not disrupted in case of impact on our fibre optic cables.