INDUSTRY

Telecommunication

HEADQUARTERS

Central Africa

FAVORITE FEATURES
  • WhatsApp integration
  • IntelliAssign
  • Automations
  • Canned Responses
  • Reporting & Analytics
PRODUCTS USED
  • Freshdesk Messaging

About MTN Cameroon

MTN Cameroon is a subsidiary of the global MTN Group. Since its establishment in 2000, MTN Cameroon has evolved into the biggest telecom provider in the region. Through massive investments in 2G, 4G, and 5G networks, it is now able to provide reliable and speedy connections to over 93 percent of Cameroon's population. MTN Cameroon has also played a significant role in the overall economic growth and development of the region. It is the second biggest’s contributor to the country’s revenue through taxes and has supported the growth of thousands of SMEs. 

Globally, MTN has a customer-centric approach and this has been one of the main strategic pillars in its Cameroon operations as well. The success of this strategy is self-evident. In most markets it operates in, MTN is the number one telecom provider. We spoke to Imani Masuke, Head of Digital Innovation at MTN Cameroon, to understand how the company uses Freshworks to fulfill its promise of unparalleled customer experience.

Increasing digital penetration in Cameroon

A key component of MTN Cameroon’s customer service strategy was increasing the adoption of digital channels. “My work involves identifying ways to enhance our day-to-day interactions with customers using digital tools,” says Imani. “This includes finding different channels that they can reach out to us on and improving the software through which agents service customers on these channels.” MTN wanted to steer customers away from walk-ins to retail stores and towards digital channels to improve cost efficiency and maintain a consistent quality of customer service. To achieve this, the company needed a solution that could easily scale with growing ticket volumes and was flexible enough to support new digital channels. 

This proved to be harder than expected. “A common challenge we ran into when evaluating other solutions was that they weren’t equally strong on all fronts. For example, the email ticketing system might have worked well, but adding a new channel would be complicated,” says Imani.

MTN’s search for a robust support solution soon led them to Freshworks and the Neo platform. “What we liked about Freshworks was that it could seamlessly integrate with different channels,” says Imani. The solution’s flexibility proved to be the deal closer as it aligned with MTN’s goal of providing omnichannel support. Twitter and Facebook Messenger were already very popular among MTN’s customers and the company soon planned to expand into WhatsApp support as well. This led to the decision to implement Freshdesk Support Desk as the single control center for all customer interactions with Freshdesk Messaging to handle chat support across digital channels. The Neo platform also provided omnichannel capabilities and insights for MTN to scale with ease.
 

Delivering always-on personalized support through chat

Chat support is critical to MTN’s customer service setup. In fact, as Imani sees it, chat support is the closest way to mimic face-to-face interactions with customers. “When customers reach out to us on WhatsApp, Messenger, or Live Chat, we can offer instant replies. Agents do not have to depend on ticket SLAs to time their response, they can reply as soon as a query comes in.” 

MTN has divided its customer queries through chat into two broad categories. The first category is about general information such as, “How do I activate my SIM?”, “Where is the closest MTN store near me?”, and “What are the store timings?”. These questions have standard responses and have been easily automated. The second category is complaints that require a more personalized response. For these types of queries, a human agent intervenes and resolves the issue. 

Chat support has seen a huge uptick among customers and Imani theorizes that this could be due to customers wanting to have a real-time conversation rather than sending an email ticket and being unsure of the response time. 

“Freshdesk Messaging’s integration with WhatsApp and other messaging channels has helped MTN reach our goal of increasing digital penetration. Around 2 years ago, we only had 20 percent digital penetration, but today, 40 percent of our customers reach out to us through digital channels. We are confident that this number will continue to grow in the near future.”

Imani Masuke

Head of Digital Innovation

MTN Cameroon

Offering differentiated service through an omnichannel view

MTN Cameroon has a wide and varied customer base and each segment has its own preferred channel of communication. Young customers, for example, prefer WhatsApp and Messenger, while business customers prefer writing through email. Additionally, among the business customers are its top 150 high-value customers who need to be serviced differently. Imani explains how they do this: “We have three ticket levels - L1, L2, and L3. All tickets automatically enter L1 and those that need to be escalated move to L2. But for our high-priority customers, the ticket directly falls under L2 so they can talk to a more experienced team member.”

Correctly identifying the top 150 high-value customers is critical to the success of this system. MTN uses an API to connect Freshdesk Support Desk with its database of customer information. The API can instantly identify the segment the customer falls into based on their phone number. “It’s not a built-in feature of Freshdesk Support Desk, but the solution was flexible enough to allow us to merge our existing system”, says Imani. “A high-value customer can sometimes reach out to us on their personal number, which might be tagged as low-priority. It’s important that we link their personal and professional details so we don’t serve them like a low-value customer,” he adds. 

Imani also plans to explore omnichannel even further very soon. 

Empowering agents to delight customers

The powerful combination of Freshdesk Support Desk and Freshdesk Messaging, backed by the Neo platform has enabled agents at MTN Cameroon to offer customer service that’s reliable, fast, and personalized. Imani identifies five features that help his team do this:

  • WhatsApp integration: The growing adoption of WhatsApp across the country has made it an important support channel for MTN. Freshdesk Messaging’s seamless integration with WhatsApp (supported by Neo platform's Messaging channels) helps the team provide outstanding support on this channel. “Freshworks guided us throughout the entire process of setting up WhatsApp and allowed us to go beyond what we had in mind. Currently, the two numbers associated with WhatsApp Business are the most stable with the best quality of service.
  • IntelliAssign: MTN uses IntelliAssign to manage the flow of tickets to agents. In order to offer 24-hour service to customers, there are different groups of agents that work in shifts. With IntelliAssign, the team does not have to manually shuffle tickets and assign them to different groups, tickets are automatically routed to agents who are active.
  • Automations: MTN offers different email addresses for specific concerns such as fintech, business support, and customer support. Depending on which email ID a customer writes to, the ticket is automatically routed to the concerned department.
  • Canned Responses: Commonly asked questions, what MTN calls ‘top queries’ are efficiently fielded through Canned Responses. For example, questions such as, ‘How do I configure my internet’, have a standard response that agents don’t have to type out each time.
  • Reporting & Analytics: Imani and the management team use Analytics extensively to monitor the inbound ticket trends, first-response times, and overall resolution times. “With access to advanced reporting, we can tag supervisors from different teams to get their inputs on a ticket. Even in the middle of the night, I can get immediate visibility into how many agents are active on the platform,” says Imani.

MTN’s support capabilities have become more systematic and predictable with Freshworks. Comparing his experience before and after Freshworks, Imani says, “3-4 years ago, our agents had to handle complaints through email and classic tools like Outlook. High-priority mails would often get lost in a crowded inbox. Now using Custom Views and a separate dashboard, we can provide a better quality of service to our customers.” 

Measuring the impact of Freshworks

MTN measures the success of its customer service against a set of parameters called EPIC:

E -  Easy (Simple for users to contact support)
P - Personal (Service has to be personalized according to what they’re looking for)
I - In Control (The customer has to be in control of their journey, which means that they can view their ticket status, escalate it, reopen a closed ticket if it’s not resolved, etc.)
C - Connected (No matter what channel a customer raises a query on, the channel should work and all interactions should be recorded)

How has Freshworks fared against this set of criteria? “Freshworks has definitely enhanced our customer service capabilities,” notes Imani. “It has given us better control over our internal operations and has definitely made the lives of our agents much easier.” 

Looking ahead

Digital penetration continues to be an important goal for MTN Cameroon and the company hopes to have a majority of customers reaching out to them digitally very soon. To achieve this, Imani and his team plan to explore further automation, implement chatbots and open up new self-service portals. In the spirit of ‘EPIC’, they want to give customers even greater control so that they can access information without having to talk to an agent. “We are exploring true API integrations to be more proactive around our customer support. For example, if we know there’s a network issue in an area, we want to send a pre-recorded call or message to customers informing them about it. This will help deflect tickets from customers about the issue,” explains Imani. 

As MTN continues to explore new support channels and expand its capabilities, Freshworks will serve as a strong backbone. By offering unparalleled customer service, MTN’s legacy as Cameroon’s number one telecom provider remains strong. 
 

“A word that often comes up in Telco is ‘agile’. Freshworks’ suite of solutions has helped us remain agile and service customers on new channels and experiment with existing ones. It helps us adapt to changing customer needs while maintaining a consistent level of support.”

Imani Masuke

Head of Digital Innovation

MTN Cameroon