Despite the relatively low smartphone penetration rate in Tanzania, consumers are increasingly moving towards purchasing products and services using digital platforms that meet their needs. As a result, businesses need to rethink their customer journeys and become more customer-centric in order to deliver against the modern customer’s expectations.
To put this into perspective, the country’s internet penetration rate reached 49% of 28.5 million internet users in 2020, and out of 51.3 million, mobile voice subscriptions registered in 2020, only about half of these devices were used to access the internet. This, according to the regulator March 2021 report, indicates the comparatively high number of feature phones used throughout the country.
However, there are collaborative initiatives underway within both the private and public sectors’ institutions to position Tanzania for a digital future and enable the country to participate in the global digital economy. For instance, from one of the telcos in addition to investing and rolling out network infrastructure for bridging the digital connectivity gap and supplying affordable smartphones to the population, there is a commitment drive from Vodacom Tanzania to connect 5 million new smartphone users in the next 5 years.
Traditionally, the most effective communication channel used by businesses to engage with customers has been SMS – with the gradual adoption of digital messaging channels.
This gradual move towards omnichannel is at a very preliminary stage in the country, but we’re seeing businesses already adopting alternative digital channels such as WhatsApp for Business and Chat applications as per their digital transformation roadmaps, with some testing chatbot platforms and Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS) solutions over the past year.
The banking sector specifically has shown an increasing appetite for omnichannel solutions with some organisations pushing to become more tech-savvy to meet the demands of an evolving market by positioning themselves to become digitally progressive businesses. At this stage, all of Tanzania’s top tier banks have begun implementing convenient digital CX through digitising some of their current products and services.
These organisations realised and considered the importance of improving and evolving their digital customer journeys, shifting away from traditional approaches towards meeting current customer engagement expectations. At the same time, adopting Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions also forces businesses to innovatively rethink their entire customer journey touchpoints – from when the customer first engages with the brand right through to final service resolution.
When reshaping and enhancing the customer experience (CX), organisations must keep in mind that a significant portion of their growing customer base are millennials. Hence, it is pivotal to keep up with this significant demographic’s behavioural trend that wants services and products that are convenient, simple, fast, and personalised.
On the organisations’ side, investment in next-generation technology solutions can be incorporated into their existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems – practically on a plug and play basis – to enhance the CX with omnichannel platforms. Essentially, it is about businesses being present on the right digital communication channels that their customers prefer to use and efficiently increasing the performance of its service support team.
Infobip’s Conversations solution is a one-of-a-kind omnichannel contact centre offering that provides a simple, convenient and unified workspace for interactions between service support agents and customers across a diversified list of communication channels. It includes WhatsApp for Business, Google Business Messages, Facebook Messenger, SMS, voice, video, email, mobile apps, and other additional customer-preferred digital communication applications. In addition, contact centre solutions can be enhanced with the deployment of chatbots to handle the more mundane customer interactions and requests.
Choosing the right tech partner
Businesses in Tanzania that are looking to implement digital transformation and advance their CX should look to a technology partner that has vast experience and has already invested in omnichannel solutions, as opposed to taking the more timely and costly approach of developing its own in-house solutions. The right partner will provide Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions that are flexible and scalable to meet business units’ changing needs and can reduce an organisation’s OpEx and CapEx.
While the recent global pandemic has propelled businesses to start rethinking their traditional customer journeys, it is also important that they map out and evaluate their own business units’ goals and objectives so as to flexibly address new market disruptions prior to implementing the right and coherent digital transformation strategy. This will not only give them a better idea and direction of the solutions they want but will also help with choosing the right technology partner and synergy strength found when partnering with Infobip.
By Carolyn Lyimo, Country Manager, Infobip Tanzania