Big deal? Certainly. Given the inherent range of benefits, the new customer-focused initiatives unveiled by MultiChoice Nigeria, the country’s premier video entertainment company, are such that entitle the company to licit claim to be sensitive to its customer base and is committed to improve customer service.
The two related attributes have already been attested to by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) which, at a press conference in June, announced its satisfaction at its interaction with MultiChoice and expressed confidence that certain issues raised by the company’s subscribers would be addressed.
“The mandate of the council is to ensure that customers’ rights and interests are protected. The CPC has been working with MultiChoice Nigeria in achieving this and we are confident that the issues have been addressed,” Mrs. Dupe Atoki, CPC Director-General, said at the press conference in Lagos.
The press conference prefaced the implementation of the new initiatives, which include the introduction of toll-free lines for subscribers to reach MultiChoice call centres, extension of the working hours of the call centres, which now function between 8am and 9pm daily, including weekends and public holidays; access to a Free-To-Air (FTA) channel at the expiration of subscription and the much-sought service suspension option.
MultiChoice thus became the first video entertainment company to implement such service improvement initiatives.
I prefer to look at the new initiatives from back to front. So, I go with the suspension of service first. Upon request, subscribers can now suspend their accounts while they are away from home to ensure that the accounts are not running while they are not available to watch. This requires a 48-hour notice to MultiChoice and is available for a fixed period of between seven to 14 days twice yearly.
Next is the FTA. Subscribers, also can now access the Nigerian Television Authority International channel, which MultiChoice has made available as the FTA channel, at the expiration of their subscription. This is in line with the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission code, which requires pay-television operators to carry an FTA in their areas of coverage in public interest. The extended call centre operating hours, which include weekends and public holidays, give subscribers considerably longer time and wider space to reach MultiChoice with complaints about DStv or GOtv service and obtain solutions to such.
The toll-free lines free subscribers from incurring phone bills while trying to resolve issues related to the service. They also offer easier access, given that the phone lines include one on the four major mobile telephone networks in the country. For Etisalat users, the number to call is 09090630333, while Airtel users can reach the call centre on 07080630333. MTN users have 08149860333 to reach MultiChoice, while Glo users have 08113630333.
Speaking on the new initiatives, Mr. John Ugbe, Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “Over the past year, we have worked closely with the CPC to identify our customers’ areas of need and made a commitment towards implementing solutions that will resonate with our customers and lead to improved customer service. We put our customers first always and we hold them in very high esteem. We are committed to delivering world class service to our customers and we are proud to state that we are the first video entertainment provider in Nigeria to implement these service improvement initiatives.”
Earlier in the year, MultiChoice improved its content offering on DStv Compact, its mid-tier DStv bouquet, ensuring greater value for subscribers. In addition, it offered DStv subscribers an open week, during which subscribers have access to DStv Premium content irrespective of their subscription status.
Coker, a Marketing specialist, writes from Badagry