COMMENT | LYNDA NABAYIINDA | “Lynda, my phone has been stolen, please help me block my number, they are contacting my people asking them for money!” Emily, my S6 OG heaved into my ear. She had reached her Gamba N’ogu or so she thought.
Such are calls I get frequently from frantic customers, business partners, friends, and family whose phones continue to be stolen. While we can’t stop the thefts, for now, we can improve the experience for our customers in distress to serve themselves.
As Airtel joins the world in celebrating Customer service week (3rd-7th Oct.), an international celebration that calls attention to the importance of customer service and the people who provide it.
“If you send money to the wrong number, you can send for a reversal. Dial *185#, go to my account, my transactions, and select the transactions that you want to reverse. It will automatically freeze the transaction amount you want to reverse.”#AskAirtel #CSWeek2022 pic.twitter.com/rRkVEGJOv7
— Airtel Uganda (@Airtel_Ug) October 6, 2022
The customer service week theme this year is “celebrate service,” A theme that we can all appreciate seeing the unusual work ways we had to deal with in the last two years.
When Covid-19 hit, the disrupted world had to quickly adapt. Consumers turned to local farms for their fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy produce, the food industry, relied on takeaway and delivery services while the communication industry like Airtel resorted to even more self-service innovations.
Self-Service is a solution that enables customers to solve queries on their own without relying on others. This they do using agile tools, often developed by Technology enablers.
Research has shown that getting an answer quickly is one of the most important factors behind successful customer service. It is therefore important that customers embrace self-service because it enables this by putting customers in control and giving them fast access to information and answers.
It is our duty, and remains our commitment, to educate our customers whenever new tools are developed.
The convenience and reassurance of accessing information and finding answers without having to wait are some of the many benefits of self-service. The time wasted traveling and queuing up is saved by a few clicks at the comfort of your desk, office, home, or garden.
Airtel Uganda has since 2018 offered affordable e-commerce, voice, and data services on a 4G network that covers the whole of Uganda without differentiation. This makes it possible to deliver internet services and the opportunities associated with access to the internet to remote customers.
To achieve this, we focus on improving the self-service channels for our customers whether they are in Kanungu, Abim, or Pakwach.
Today, Airtel has more than four self-service channels namely, USSD Code e.g., *100#, *175#, Interactive Voice Recorder (IVR), SMS, Website, and My Airtel App where customers can;
- Activate products and services i.e., Data, Voice, and SMS bundles.
- Retrieve their PUK and proceed to unlock their blocked SIM.
- Request for a pin reset using the security questions that they previously set.
- Initiate a reversal and secure their money if money has been sent in error.
- Quickly block/Unblock numbers when lost or stolen.
We will continue to engage our customers to embrace new-age solutions in this digital era that ensures their issues are resolved quickly and conveniently. In doing this, we shall continue to raise awareness on online digital security for our customers, their money, and their information. The conversation continues. Happy customer service week.
Lynda Nabayiinda is the Customer Service Director at Airtel Uganda