In May 2015, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore held a live Twitter chat with Mail & Guardian Africa under the hashtag #AfricaTechFutures. The session tackled different aspects of the Tech industry ranging from the current trends to Safaricom and factors likely to affect the general direction of technology in Africa. One of the key highlights of the sessions was the CEO saying his biggest tech wishlist was a solution that maps customer queries. “Something that’d let me track customer sentiment in real time a heat map of issues at call centers”, he said.
During the announcement of HY 2016 financials last week, Safaricom outlined implementation of big data capabilities to improve customer experience as part of its priorities going forward. Such a solution will allow the telco derive value from customer sentiment from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and even calls. Safaricom further plans to reduce the number of calls to the call center by continually offering customers guided steps towards resolving most of their queries by customers.
Safaricom has previously won awards for the use of social media platforms in provision of customer care services but a large chunk of queries and complaints are channeled through calls. Still the firm struggles to satisfy the demand for customer care services even with a dedicated call center. The ability to harness and convert this data is into meaningful information capable of informing decision making is a technology any organization would desire to own. The CEO called big data back then, the most underplayed tech trend in Africa. Companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other multinationals have leveraged collection of user data to develop better solutions for them. Google as an advertiser is able to gather intelligence to serve more relevant ads.