Globally, the communication landscape is a fast-evolving environment driven by technology and product innovation. Back in 1998, telecommunication was simply about voice – the ability to place a phone call and be heard by the person on the other side. MTN’s promise was that it was going to always make that happen, everywhere you go.
Through sustained investment in technology infrastructure and products and services innovation; that promise has been largely kept.
But almost 18 years in retrospect, customers now want more than just being able to make a phone call. The mobile phone has changed from what it was then to a pivotal part of people’s lives. Its application varies from keeping in touch with family and friends to being able to run businesses, and facilitating financial transactions.
The needs of each mobile phone user differ; the priorities of a trader running his shop in downtown Kampala aren’t similar to those of a mother raising her children in Mbale, for example.
MTN’s role in such an ecosystem is to constantly interrogate its systems to find ways in which we can constantly improve our offering and best address the various needs of all customers. Obviously, with over 10 million customers, it means at any one point, we potentially have 10 million different opinions. How do you collate and address diversity of needs?
A key pillar of MTN’s customer experience strategy has been to listen to the voice of the customer. Every effort is made to listen to and respond to any feedback received from customers, and over time we endeavor to adjust our products and practices accordingly, based on the feedback that we receive.
At a time last year when the economic conditions were least favorable, with the US dollar value rising steeply against the Shilling, MTN demonstrated its faith and commitment to this market by introducing the aggressive 3 shillings per second offer, effectively becoming the first operator to introduce this lowest calling rate for calls made across all networks.
This year, MTN has gone further to announce several new offers that complement our value-leadership position in the market, including the voice and data Tooti bundles, which offer incredible value to customers that need to top up to their existing bundles affordably; the Kazi bundles for businesses with up to 48 employees, as well as the recently announced Zone bundles, that allow customers to enjoy guaranteed discounted call rates, irrespective of the time of day or their location. The unique attribute to all these is that they were pioneered by MTN, in an effort to continuously adapt its offering to meet customer needs.
MTN is providing its customers significantly more value through discounts and new and innovative special offers on data and voice solutions, as well as on its selection of Smartphones and Data devices.
MTN recently introduced the MTN PakaPaka, specifically ground-breaking in the sense that we doubled the number of minutes offered in our voice bundle from 15 to 30, the highest number of minutes you can find on the market at the same price is a voice bundle offering 20 minutes.
MTN’s sustained investment in network infrastructure ensures our customers experience the best quality of calls, as indicated consistently in the Quality of Service (QoS) reports by Uganda Communication Commission (UCC).
Complimentary to the 3G and 4G networks that are now the widest across the country, MTN has availed various ranges of devices at affordable prices. Last week we announced discounts of up to 36 percent on selected 3G smartphones effectively making dual-sim Android phones available for as low as UGX. 89,000 shillings.
MTN is making a deliberate effort to connect more new customers to the internet, by removing the main barrier to entry being the cost of the device, thereby enabling the opportunities presented by the digital world.
Solutions for businesses
Through the Enterprise Business Unit, MTN this month also launched the first ever business bundles in this market. Based on feedback from our customers, MTN has been able to offer business owners solutions that are customized to their business needs and more choice, while allowing them to be in control of the cost of communication to the businesses.
With two recent launch offers, MTN has roundly addressed this; first through the introduction of the MTN Kazi Bundles, a converged SME solution that allows for multiple users to share one account for calls, SMS and data in a group. Secondly, MTN has also introduced an enterprise bundles solution that offers Voice, SMS, and Data bundles, as well as international and combo-bundles which corporate clients can have assigned to their employees in varying bundle sizes based on the role of each employee in the company.
The MTN business bundles are designed for businesses to manage a fixed communication budget, while still providing communication benefits for their employees, business partners or associates.
Overall, MTN is committed to contributing in any possible way to support the success of all its customers; both for the individual and the business owner.Albeit the usual business challenges, we are delighted to have managed to spend the last 18 years contributing to making the lives of our customers easier, brighter and more connected with our various communications solutions. We look forward to another fulfilling 18 years.
Ms Mapula is the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Uganda