Customer Convenience: The Denominator of Safaricom’s My App.

By Soko Directory Team / July 9, 2018



Loan Apps

Convenience: The cornerstone of customer loyalty

The telecom industry has been in the news for a lot of reasons and I can bet you, few have to do with the consumer but the industry players themselves and this is a worrying trend because the consumer should be the focus of such news constantly.

In the age of social media and available options at the click of a button, crafting of customer experiences, the perception of convenience is as important as the actual benefits of saved time and effort. This is something that brands seem to be grappling with.

How does one define convenience considering that what one person perceives as convenient may not be all that convenient for another, or that what was convenient in the morning may be inconvenient in the afternoon? How do you define convenience in the face of thousands of options that seem to shock your system of choice?

Factors that define Convenience;

To be able to understand and be able to elucidate what convenience is, one must understand the factors that define the term and how it applies to different individuals. One man’s meat is another man’s position and hence the need to find a common ground to help brands create the perfect convenience eco-system. These attributes include;

  1. Effective time utilization,
  2. Portability, and avoidance of unpleasantness in a service,
  3. Time,
  4. Place,
  5. Acquisition,
  6. Use, and
  7. Execution

Technology and innovative design have made many products and services more predictable and efficient and this has been made possible by the fact that with social media, it’s easy to map out and study consumer behavior and patterns and see how best to leverage on that and plug into their needs and wants.

Convenience is the quintessence of customer experience, which is a critical factor in determining how customers make decisions about what to buy, what services to use, where to go, and with whom to engage. Technology has made this easy and yet very difficult at the same time.

Conventional wisdom says that convenience is a factor of time and effort. On the surface, that’s true, but if you dig a little deeper to fully understand service convenience, you need to consider another factor: perception.

How many apps does one have on their phone? For me, I have an average of 65 apps on my phone and they are all designed for a purpose, either for work or social media or gaming and this is where perception comes in.

A 2002 study found that something is known as convenience orientation—a customer’s general preference for convenient goods and services—has a major impact on buying decisions. The study also found that the perception of a service’s convenience affects the overall evaluation of the service.

A separate study in 2007 also found that convenience was the most relevant factor in the use of mobile devices for Internet shopping and payment of bills.

The most popular camera used for Flickr photo uploads isn’t actually a traditional camera, it’s a phone. On a random day this year, 65,000 media items were uploaded to Flickr by over 5,000 iPhone 4 users alone 9.

This is clearly not because the iPhone takes superior quality pictures. The smartphone’s ubiquity, connection with online services, and relatively simple camera functionality make it a low-hassle choice for the experience of photo sharing. For Flickr, that equates to more content and more users, which in turn brings extra revenue. The convenience of uploading via the iPhone 4 is boosting Flickr’s bottom line.

We have known for a while that self-service applications create higher levels of perceived and actual convenience for the user. Just look at how many apps Kenyans are downloading to make it easier for them. From banking to music to cooking to security. Tech is disrupting how we live our lives and for most part, it’s for the better.

The mobile phone has amalgamated over 64 different, independent gadgets into one. This merging of diverse gadgets has created the need for ecosystems that can be able to synergize them, be able to leverage their positive aspects and make it convenience and usable to the consumer.

A telecom like Safaricom becomes the catalyst that makes the ecosystems come alive. The adaptability of convenience is what defines a consumer’s loyalty to a brand and the usage of its products and or services. Asking your customers to be part of the solution and not viewing them as part of the problem is one way to create brand loyalty and honest consumer feedback on services and products.

#MySafaricomApp is one product that has tapped into the quintessence of convenience and adaptability of a consumer, making the life of the user more easy, cost effective and predictable. Adult life is a scam.

It’s about bills and bills and more bills. Sometimes it’s easier to fall behind them because of how life is set up and especially in Kenya. With the app, it’s easier to monitor a lot of aspects in one’s life and as a brand that is keen on learning consumer behavior, the app is constantly evolving to meet the needs and demand of the consumer.

For me, given how my life is set up and how my bank account operates, #MySafaricomApp is very critical and key in managing my money. They say money moves to where it’s appreciated and where its value grows. As an entrepreneur, time is of the essence and this means being able to monitor my finances in ways that enable me to reflect and make the needed changes so that I can track my spending. Having an app that brings together the entire eco system of my bills aspect is not only awesome but very convenience, something that makes me loyal to the brand because they are able to state what I need.

One of the key aspects of the app that I love is how I am able to use the M-PESA feature to ensure that my businesses are running smoothly and constantly being aware of the cost of doing my business, meaning that by end of day, I can be able to tell if am on the right track or not. But I believe, for the informal sector, this app is God sent because, with M-PESA, you have M-Shwari which means you can borrow, save and transact without worry and the app has made it easier and more secure, especially with increasing identity theft, making it more secure for me and other users to transact.

Of concern to me and one thing that I would love to push to the public is how the M-PESA has gotten easier yet very secure to use when it comes to sending money. M-PESA Mobile money transactions are taking over the mobile money ecosystem and this means, fraudsters are also on the increase to take advantage of the vulnerable and ignorant. #MySafaricomApp has factored all these and made it easier and more secure to transact. Five key aspects of the app on the M-PESA icon make it my preferred option when it comes to my money and these are;

  1. Sending money to correct number. – #Hakikisha this is critical because, as we know Kenyans, if you send money to the wrong number, getting it back is normally a hassle that might involve the police and hence the development on the app is more than welcome.
  2. Data Meter; By installing the app, you have a data meter that tracks your data usage. One thing that has been irking us is how our data is consumed and the brand responded by having this feature to ensure that we can tract our data and be able to use it well without blaming the brand of éating’ it, something that we have been doing a lot but with this app, one can clearly tell how the bundles are being used and how best to optimize them.
  3. M-PESA cost calculator. Imagine paying bills and thinking you have some cash remaining only to realize that the cash you thought you had has gone to the transactional costs. With this aspect, you are able to ensure that every coin, penny and note matter and you can plan your budget better. Hearsay is a dangerous game when it comes to money, so this calculator confirms everything.
  4. Bill Manager; We all bills to pay and the way life has become tough, knowing when to pay the bills, how they fall due and how best to manage them when you short on cash is critical. This feature on the app makes this very easy to manage. It helps you know how to prioritize, how to manage the payments without missing or making any mistakes.
  5. Loans and Savings (M-Shwari & KCB M-PESA); who doesn’t love a loan, that comes without insults, or constant reminders or many phone calls and texts? Mobile money has made borrowing more trendy, easy and convenient. One thing it has done is, you can borrow without the world knowing your reasons for borrowing, keeping your life issues private. Other than borrowing, the most critical aspect of this is the fact that one can be able to have a locked account on their phone and be able to save. Its normally a challenge to be able to save, but imagine being able to save, borrow, pay bills and even invest? This app is very amazing.

To be able to understand more on how you can make your life more easier and convenient, please check these videos out 

Convenience in the user experience must take into account the costs of the experience. This for me is the downside of the app. Something that the brand must look into. Without bundles, you cannot be able to access it, making it a bit pricy for those of us who are low on cash and either depend on office wifi or limited bundles on the weekend. If the app can be available freely, then I believe it would change how we view it completely across the different market segments.



About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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