Airtel Rated Most Innovative Telecoms Company in Nigeria

By Kenneth Obasi EZE
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Top journalists and telecoms pundits in Nigeria have rated Airtel as the Most Innovative Telecoms Company in the country. The leading telecommunications services provider was also adjudged the Telecoms Brand of the Year and Customer Friendly Operator at the Nigerian Telecoms Awards, an initiative that celebrates notable accomplishments, outstanding personalities, best practices and fine works within the Nigerian Telecoms Industry.

Award organizers said Airtel won the awards because it has revolutionized the telecoms landscape in the country with innovative and affordable value propositions.

“Right from when the Airtel brand was launched in Nigeria in November, 2010, the company has maintained a singular focus of exciting and delighting telecommunications consumers across the country with relevant solutions to enable them fulfill their dreams and realize their full potentials. Aside rolling out innovative and exciting telecoms offerings such as 2Good, 2Good Times, My Airtel My Offer, 5X,2SIM, Big Family and Wazobia Recharge among several others, the company has also ensured that customers get the very best experience on its network. As a result, it has initiated several programmes to improve its service delivery as well as boost customers' satisfaction on the network,” said the citation.

Editors of four key newspapers constituted the panel of judges. They are Mr. Felix Abugu, editor of The Guardian on Saturday; Mr. Philip Isakpa, Editor of Businessday; Mr Steve Nwosu, Editor of The Sun and Mr. Bolaji Tunji of Sunday Mirror.

They worked on the submissions of the Panel of Primary Assessors consisting of business and telecom journalists as well as professionals in other fields.

Airtel was also named Customer Friendly Operator. The Award's citation said Airtel has taken several steps to delight telecoms consumers, commending the company's My Airtel My Offer (MAMO) platform. MAMO provides customers an opportunity to enjoy special offers that have been personalized according to their phone usage patterns. The service is an interactive voice response solution that guarantees customers exciting and special rewards when they dial a unique code, 141. It enables customers learn about Airtel's various new schemes and offers without receiving any calls or SMSs on their mobile phones. The success of the offering is also evident in the use of the service by millions of telecoms consumers across the country.

“Airtel has also taken its time to build a customer-centric organization. With the launch of I-CARE Philosophy for its staff and key business partners, the company has come to understand customer service not only as a passion but a religion that must be practiced wholeheartedly. With this move, every staff of Airtel Nigeria becomes a touch point in dealing with customers' queries and also exceeding their expectations,” said the citation

Since 2003 when awards started in the telecoms sector, Airtel has consistently walked home with the Best Customer Care Operator of the Year awards. In 2003, it was crowned as the Most Customer Sensitive Network by Handwriting on the Wall of Thisday Newspapers following the result of a poll conducted on telecommunications consumers countrywide. Same year, it received the Best Customer-friendly Network at the maiden edition of the Telecoms awards.

The following years, it won the Best Customer Care Operator (2005 and 2006) by Telecoms Awards, GSM Company of the Year 2005, by City People, and the Best Customer Care Mobile Company (2006) by IT & Telecoms Digest. The unbroken endorsement for the company's long good customer care service tradition continued when it again rose above its peers in the Telecommunications Industry to win the Best Customer Care Award for 2009 in a ceremony organised by Nigerian Information Technology and Telecom Awards (NITTA). This came a year after the industry umpire, the NCC placed its approval seal on Airtel's rich customer care tradition by awarding it the Telecom Network with the Best Customer Care Service prize, during a live television show at the 5th Anniversary edition of the popular Telecoms Consumers Parliament in the nation's capital city, Abuja.

Airtel has also taken steps to infuse a culture of people-centric service delivery philosophy in its core customer care and other staff, invest heavily in call centres and equipment/solutions and consciously expand the seating capacity of its facilities.

According to information from the organizers, Airtel Nigeria emerged the Telecom Brand of the Year Award based from public opinion, industry estimation, research, interaction and experts evaluation on the strength of “prudence of advertising and marketing, new advertising and message, new face, new ambassador, value of ambassador and face representation, domesticated message, intensity of message and creativity”.