Mobile phone customer service blues in Ghana – which is the best?

mobile-warGhana’s mobile phone industry is reputed to be among the fastest growing in West Africa. The country’s regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has so far licensed six mobile phone service providers, Tigo, MTN, Vodafone, Kasapa, Zain and Glo, which is yet to begin operations.

The number of mobile phone users in Ghana is above 11 million, which is more than 50% of the country’s population of 22 million.

But the issue of what can be described as satisfactory customer service is unresolved.

To find out how customers of these mobile phone providers feel about the various providers’ customer service, spoke randomly to some customers.

We asked them a simple question like are you happy with the customer service of your service provider? And the responses were mixed.

Customers of Zain, the latest to enter the terrain are the most satisfied. All the Zain customers we spoke to said, it doesn’t take more than a minute to get through to the company’s helpline and the customer service executives respond promptly to queries.

The customers of Vodafone were also happy. All the customers of Vodafone we spoke to said even though, sometimes when they put through a call to the helpline, it goes through to the answering machine for a while it eventually gets answered by a person and they get attended to and their problems are addressed.

The Kasapa customers we spoke to said they hardly use the helpline, because they have had no need for it. They did not however say, if it is because they are happy with the service in general.

Tigo customers complained that anytime they called the helpline, it is always picked by an answering machine. They simply said, it is hard to get through to the customer service.

For MTN customers, it is the waiting period that is the headache. They complained that it takes too long to get through to customer service, and when they get through they do not always get favourable responses from the service providers.

However, a source at MTN told that, the challenge of MTN when it comes to responding to customers’ needs is because of the large number of customers it has. MTN is the largest mobile phone provider in Ghana with a subscriber base of 6.8 million as at March 2009, according to the records of the NCA.

The source argues that Zain has a better customer service now because of its relatively small customer base of over one million. Zain began operations in Ghana in December 2008.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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