MTN Nigeria says customer experience is key

The key to succeeding in Nigeria’s competitive ICT sector is a strong focus on customer experience, Omatsola Barrow, Executive for Sales and Distribution, MTN Nigeria told delegates at the Africa Com 2012 conference in Cape Town.

Barrow said MTN Nigeria’s innovative distribution model has been integral to the company's success in the country.

“It has given us a huge competitive advantage by raising the barrier to entry by the competition,” said Barrow.

MTN Nigeria’s distribution channels offer a comprehensive experience to the customer. The channels provide availability and visibility of the MTN brand, products and services. They also communicate MTN’s value propositions in the market.

“Our channels offer personalised customer service and end-to-end support for our subscribers to enjoy the pleasure of telecom services,” Barrow said.

MTN Nigeria’s distribution model is built around partnerships. It is made up of a three-tier model, consisting of Trade Partners, Sub-Trade Partners, and BizLift members (retailers). Each tier is responsible for providing some level of infrastructure to support the distribution of MTN product and services.

A unique feature of the distribution model is the use of sub-trade partner, referred to as the Yello Trader.

“They provide us with the latest information on products and services to retailers, thereby helping them to manage their businesses better.”

However, he said, in Nigeria, MTN is using distribution channels to provide a distinct customer experience, and constantly provide consumers with updated information on product and services. He added that the retail channel will play a key role going forward in exposing brand propositions, which is key, as buying decisions take place at the point of sale.

“Our Direct Sales Agents are spread across the entire market space, engaging over 160 000 retailers daily, and communicating and selling the MTN brand. They support visibility drives and also promote MTN’s look and feel in the market.”

To protect and grow its market share, Barrow said MTN Nigeria constantly refines its distribution model.

“We are always on the lookout for new distribution channel opportunities.”

MTN launched in Nigeria in January 2001. Today, it is the country’s largest telecommunications services provider with more than 43m subscribers.

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