Vodafone Ghana: Digitalisation At Scale

Shoyinka Shodunke, Director of Technology, Vodafone Ghana and Angela Mensah-Poku, Director of Digital and Commercial Operations at Vodafone Ghana discusses the organisation’s ongoing digital transformation and the challenge of COVID-19.

Vodafone is a leading telecommunications provider in Ghana.

The organisation is a total communications solutions provider - mobile, fixed lines, internet, voice and data - and the telecom firm of choice for many Ghanaians.

Shoyinka Shodunke is Director of Technology for Vodafone Ghana explained “We’re a unique telco and are currently going through a transformation with a flavour and uniqueness of the Ghanaian market”.

Shodunke explains that his firm 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,” says Shodunke.

Secondly, we have to ensure that we’re 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.”

As a result of the impact that COVID-19 has had on organisations the world over, Shodunke reflects that the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for digital transformation.

“COVID has been an interesting situation to overcome across all industries,” explains Shodunke. “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.”

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 says.
“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.”

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,” says Mensah-Poku.
“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.”

Its unique and elaborate features 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 Mensah-Poku.

“It 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. 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. Hopefully when we fast forward to next year, you will see a very different organisation and customer base that aren’t afraid to embrace digital because they had no choice.”

‘’We place the customers at the very heart of all that we do and this is what drives our leadership in innovation. Enabling our customers to interact seamlessly and consistently with us, when and how they want, is a promise and this is what differentiates us.’’