Our digital channels

The mission of the Digital Channels tribe is to accelerate the growth of digital channels in order to drive an unmatched omni-channel experience by the end of FY2023.

The tribe is responsible for the digital assets constituting our digital channels of:

  • My Safaricom App
  • The web platform, part of the portfolio since the end of FY2021
  • The Zuri bot platform
  • Quasi digital channels, comprising:
    IVR platform
    USSD channel

In addition, the tribe works to facilitate digitisation both for contact centre and retail frontline teams, as well as digitisation in the outlets, which, as we progress through the financial year, will be extended into the distribution network.

In doing so, during the year under review, we have had to strike a balance between an aggressive drive towards the pure digital channels of app, web and Zuri bot, while at the same time maintaining ease of transition, by driving a high level of service on our quasi-digital channels of interactive voice response (IVR), self-service on IVR and USSD.

During the year under review our strategic objectives were centred on customer experience, journeys and migration to our digital channels. We thus focused on device acquisition through intensive below-the-line campaigns on digital platforms, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as on publicity in the trade, tagging customer value management (CVM) messaging with every transaction.

In doing so we have been prioritising customer concerns, gaining insights through feedback-identified trends, and learnings from the resolutions sought by customers.

This marked a change in emphasis during the year, resulting from our recognition that the imperative was to aggressively drive the digital transformation of our customers. Whereas previously journeys were not as intuitive as we have now made them, our new approach in FY2022 was founded on a shift in investment, particularly in customer education.

The aim was to simplify the desired journeys, and more directly target customers, even to the extent of creating intercepts to persuade them that their natural mode of utilising our services should be through our digital platforms.

To this end we engaged with partners, such as WhatsApp for our smartphone users, and integrated with the App, Web and Zuri bot channels for feature phone users, so that the digital journey can be experienced even in the context of SMS. The ultimate aim was a shift of mindset.

With a significant proportion of customers still utilising 2G, we have had to strike a balance between the aggressive drive to the pure digital channels of app, web and Zuri bot while also maintaining an ease of transition, and at the same time driving a high level of service on the quasi-digital channels of IVR, self-service on the IVR and USSD.

Digital Channels has been among the first tribes within the Group to be working fully within the Agile working structure, with seven squads, set to grow to eight within the FY2023. Each squad is focused on specific areas relating to our mission – To accelerate the growth of digital channels in order to drive an unmatched omni-channel experience by the end of FY2023.

We set a number of specified performance-related tasks, grouped within our defined focus areas to measure our performance during the year. These included metrics for:

  • Accelerating the growth of digital touchpoints
    Three of six targets exceeded
  • Driving digital channels usage
    Neither of the two targets attained
  • Driving cost-efficiencies through digitisation
    One of three targets attained

Our customers constitute our most important stakeholder group. Insights into their requirements are critical if we are able to enable them to migrate to digital channels, and provide solutions to their concerns. To acquire these insights, we rely on research, and have developed an in-house tool to track their feedback. For more on stakeholders, click here.

Our human resources – talent – comprise another important stakeholder group, particularly in view of the fact that there is substantial competition for resources in the marketplace, and turnover is high. It is therefore necessary for us to partner with outside organisations to assure the requisite supply of appropriately skilled people. For more on HR, click here.

Within the business, the product development teams form an essential aspect of our ability to execute our mission. Collaboration with them is essential in order to provide customers with the devices that enable them to comfortably, affordably and easily migrate to our digital platforms and channels.

In April 2022 we announced our partnership with Zeraki Learning to enable secondary school learners to access affordable education services from well-trained teachers and informative video lessons.

The platform provides topic-by-topic assessments and powerful metrics to help students diagnose their weaknesses and track their progress.

In addition, Zeraki analytics offers the latest system for compiling and analysing students’ data by providing an interface for results analysis, marks entry, and bulk messaging to parents. For teachers, Zeraki analytics results provides a new and easy way to analyse and visualise exam results.

To facilitate all this, we added a touchpoint within the MySafaricom App, which will enable parents and guardians to subscribe to the service for as low as KShs 20 per day, deductible from customers’ airtime/post-paid bill or via M-PESA.

In all our engagements with stakeholders, we are diligent in ensuring that we are continuously aligned to our mission, and that our interactions with them are within the scope of its execution.

The risks we faced during the year under review are ranked in the following order:

For more on risk, click here.

In the short-term, our mission objectives for FY2023 have been defined as follows:

In the medium- to long-term, our intention is to achieve a single view of the customer, so that irrespective of the channel, the expected interactions with staff and the amount of information remains the same.

With the knowledge that 60% to 70% of our customers are digital natives, we will continue to make our anchor the deliberate shift to digital-first, as we transform into a technology company, ML, AI, and the increasing centrality of data. An important aim is also to be able to sell platforms to other players in the digital space.