Written by MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA
A short while, I put out some tweets about power being off in Entebbe, Kampala and Mukono. I live in Canada. So, exactly why were Ugandans contacting me about their power being off?
Ugandan utilties are run by people who have no clue in customer service. OR technology. It is now coming to 11pm in Uganda. It is coming to 5pm in Moncton, Canada.
The reason why most Ugandans don’t contact their utility providers about problems is because the utilities are used to working with MEDIOCRITY and they lack solid systems to help them give the best of the best.
For example, let me give you an example. A story. You will get used to my stories in time. With time.
Please remember that I am not comparing Uganda to Canada. Far from it. I compare systems which function against systems which could be improved.
Here, if the power goes off, every person calls the toll free number of the utility and there will be a message which has just been recorded “NB Power is experiencing a power outage in your region. We have our teams out there working and we expect to restore power within the next 30mins. Please be patient and check back later”. NB Power = New Brunswick Power Generation (NB Umeme).
We get many snow storms and some cable lines die. We call Rogers Telecom’s main number and you will hear the first message as “There is an internet outage in your region. Our team is nearby and working on the solution. Please be patient. We will have the internet fully restored within 45mins”.
So, the first thing is technology. You need your Telephony / Call Centre / Contact Centre / Reps/ CSRs (Customer Service Representatives) all working together for your clients. So, let us make that toll free number work for your utility. Let us train those CSRs to be customer / client centred. Let us use technology to help us retain customers and attract new ones.
If you piss off one customer, you will lose a minimum of 6 customers. To this effect, while you think that you are very big and untouchable, remember that Uganda is opening up utilities to private companies. Your competition will bury you.
MLN has a degree in Business and Technology.
I should probably mention that I outsource jobs, migrate jobs, automate jobs. But I shall add on later. Maybe the next month or later. That likely means that if you do a shitty job, I will help someone to take your job away. I promise.
People cannot work efficiently if the infrastructure is not working. People cannot work if the people you depend on are not working. People cannot work in this Information Age if the systems we rely on for information and connectivity are broken. I hope those of you in leadership positions in Uganda, reading this post, will understand what we need to do. What we must do. I am not an enemy. I offer my help for free. For God and My Country.