Richard Ahiagble, Head of Corporate Communications-Airtel Ghana

Airtel has held a sensitization workshop for representatives from leading media houses to educate them on Airtel’s data bundles and notification systems in place to alert customers when their data bundles are getting exhausted.

Facilitating the workshop, the team from Airtel’s Corporate Communications and Product and Innovation function took participants through the company’s data bundle automatically generated notifications that are pushed to customers once their data usage reach  50%.

Speaking to participants at the session, Louis Manu, the company’s Head of Product Development and Innovation said “In response to customer feedback and to ensure our customers have the best experience on our network, we have instituted the automated notification system that alerts them when they reach a pre-defined threshold of usage. For instance an Airtel customer will receive their first notification when they have used 50% of their data bundles, then at 75% another notification is pushed to the customer. If the customer takes no action to renew the bundle, a third notification will be sent at 90%, at 95% and then finally at 100% when the bundle is completely used.”

He continued “We have had this notification system in place for some time now. What we have done over the last couple of weeks is to further reinforce them as an early warning system to give our customers the opportunity to renew their bundles. At Airtel our preference is to preserve the customer’s freedom to subscribe to the data bundles that meet their requirements and budget. Our observation over the past few months since the automated alert was implemented is that some subscribers either ignore or delete these alerts.”

He emphasized that when a customer chooses not to renew a data bundle, telecom operators systems are designed to automatically transition that customer to PAYG for the customer’s convenience. He explained that the customer could be in the middle of an online exam or a business transaction and the transition enables them to continue such transactions.  “Imagine the extreme inconvenience customers might find themselves in if the data bundle lapsed in the middle of an exam or a critical transaction and that subscriber was not reverted to PAYG in order to continue what they were working on.”  He encouraged customers not to ignore such messages or delete them without reading.

“The number one cause of customer complaints regarding disappearing airtime can be traced to those who did not take action or deleted notifications without reading them, thereby allowing the system to revert to PAYG.  To ensure this incidence is curtailed, we have introduced what we call flash messaging – which is basically an advanced form of notification that pops up when a data bundle is at 95% usage. The notification does not disappear from the screen until you take action to purchase a bundle or dismiss it.  This is one of the innovative ways we are resolving this challenge and is in direct response to feedback from our customers”.

Airtel’s Head of Corporate Communications, Richard Ahiagble said “We take every customer feedback seriously and strive to investigate and expedite action on such complaints. Our Customer Experience team are relentless in their effort to resolve all customer issues at all touch points – via our call centers, shops or social media platforms”. The team also shed light on some of the   causes of high data usage or what some have referred to as “disappearing credit”. According to Mr. Ahiagble, a major cause of “disappearing credit” is the fact that, some customers leave their data on unaware that background processes and Apps on their smartphones are automatically being updated. Sometimes “WIFI” is also not secured allowing third parties to use the WIFI resource without the knowledge of the subscriber”.

“We recognise that customers need more education about these and many other issues that come up and we will continue to use all available channels including social media to create awareness to ensure that they have the best experience on our network”. He concluded.

Airtel Ghana is the industry leader in the provision of superior voice, data and enterprise solutions to all customer segments.

The company has also instituted rewards schemes through the Airtel Rewardz programme to celebrate and reward customers for simply using their phone lines.

Airtel Ghana has won several awards for its commitment to customer service including being recognised as  the most socially devoted brand on social media by Socialbakers, a global social media analytics firm for attaining a 89% Total Response Rate on Facebook for customer queries. A brand is considered by Socialbakers as socially devoted if it scores at least 65% of audience queries on its social media platforms.

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