Director of Technology at Vodafone Ghana, Shoyinka Shodunke, has disclosed that the company under-going a digital transformational regime to provide Ghanaians with quality services.
According to him, Vodafone has established three core, strategic pillars as baseline of operations as Vodafone Ghana seeks to transform from a traditional telco to a digital organisation.
“One of those pillars is culture and how we behave on a daily basis. Secondly, we have to ensure that we are building platforms that are transformative. Lastly, we’re driving differentiation from unique capabilities that are developed in-house and engagement of ecosystem partners via software engineering using platforms,” says Shodunke.
Shoyinka Shodunke disclosed this during a discussion on the organisation’s ongoing digital transformation and the challenge of COVID-19.
He said the ongoing transformation at Vodafone is with a flavour and uniqueness of the Ghanaian market, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the company’s digital transformation.
“COVID has been an interesting situation to overcome across all industries – the pandemic has accelerated everyone’s planning to fully embrace digitalisation across all verticals from planning to operation, and it came at a time when we needed some sound check or simulation in terms of the practices we already had in place. Our ability to transform our call centres and a move from traditional bricks and mortar customer service was testament to our digital journey and what we’re trying to do,” he explained.
Shodunke believes that one of the key lessons learnt from the coronavirus was around ensuring cyber security was prevalent at all times.
“The key area for us was around security,” he affirms. “When you transform to the digital space, your services move from the traditional protection received from bricks and mortar, to everyone having access whatever platform they need to get the job done. It’s vital to ensure there is good security in place to avoid data leakage and intrusion to malicious use of your system.”
Shodunke acknowledges the importance of adopting an innovative approach with involvement of ecosystem partnerships and believes it’s a key driver to success.
“In the market that we operate in, our ability to innovate and self-disrupt is going to stand out and determine your overall position in the market,” explains Shodunke. “Innovation is a critical success factor to us. Building platforms requires a deviation from how telcos have approached building products and services to using a nexus of forces to drive new business models and better engagement of our ecosystem to drive a two-direction model participation. Our three key pillars all come back to our culture of innovation.”
On her part, Angela Mensah-Poku, Director of Digital Transformation and Commercial Operations at Vodafone Ghana, believes her organisation’s digital transformation agenda is to deliver the most engaging customer experience.
“We do this by blending the best of digital and human interaction in a personal, instant and easy way,” she said.
“Vodafone had already started our journey of digital customer experience ahead of the pandemic. We were driving a shift in consumer behaviour before the outbreak. In line with our commitment to building a digital society that improves people’s lives, we employ new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to transform our customers’ experience and the efficiency of our operation. We have a host of digital-led platforms, which include a machine learning chatbot and self-service app,” she further explained.
Vodafone Ghana introduced its virtual agent, TOBi, to automate contacts instantaneously and in a personalised way and Mensah-Poku believes its introduction has been influential.
“We made TOBi the constant across all channels during COVID-19 and this has been invaluable,” she said. “The My Vodafone app is one of the many ways to excite and interact with our customers. This was delivered by young, talented Ghanaians who brought their expertise and creativity to deliver this ‘wow’ experience.”
The unique and elaborate features of TOBi offer a complete all-in-one solutions platform for our customers. This unique app allows customers access to Vodafone services and is designed with the objective of empowering the customer to do more and manage their accounts on the go. The app also integrates TOBi in its interface and so you don’t necessarily have to go to a retail store for assistance.
“TOBi is now taking on around 30% of all customer contacts to our experience centre and is able to deal with transactions and information,” adds Angela Mensah-Poku.
She said TOBi runs on machine learning and Big Data and was something the team were able to implement in-house that has managed to bring significant efficiency and take our customers on that self-service journey.
According to her, “When you talk about the impact of COVID, our customers and ourselves had to adapt and become more digital in a matter of weeks. Fortunately for us, we were already on that journey and being on that journey meant we could introduce the My Vodafone app to drive conversations and mitigate the pressure during those critical periods.”
She is hopeful by next year, Ghanaians will see a very different Vodafone with a customer base that aren’t afraid to embrace digital because they had no choice.