Mbinkar Fomunyuy is Customer Service Consultant & Master Trainer. CCSP, AMABE, MBA. He is the CEO at Institute of Customer Service Cameroon and Cameroon’s Country Representative for American Certification Institute (ACI), USA.

Advancements in technology continue to take central stage and the rate at which technology is changing, means one thing for telcos; they’ll have to change how we operate as well.

Mbinkar explains why he thinks anyone working for Cameroon’s top telcos is most likely to lose his/her job with the implementation of the Mobile Number Portability.

Mobile number portability is a telecom service that permits you to retain your telephone number (s) when you change mobile networks. This means that you can move from say, MTN to ORANGE or say from ORANGE to NEXTTEL without changing your telephone number.

In July 2015, Cameroon’s telecoms regulator, “Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART)”, awarded a contract to Huawei for the supply, installation and operation of a centralized database to manage the introduction of mobile number portability. I see this date as the day the customer’s voice was enthroned in the Telecommunications sector in Cameroon.

The Cameroon telecommunications industry despite its efforts towards ameliorating customer experience, still has so much to do. The voice of the customer is not being heard. Long queues, increasing complaints on exorbitant charges, confusing tariff plans among others are very common.

The input and actions of telecommunications actors in ameliorating the experience at the level of the service centers is quite impressive. The problem however is, many telecommunication actors are still focusing on the use of indices such as NPS (Net Promoter Score) to evaluate the level of customer experience at the branches.

The problem with this metric is that it must be moderated to the Cameroonian context. It is common for a customer to rate you 6/10 or 7/10 and make the comment that the service was excellent. This shows that NPS must be moderated to the African culture and used alongside other metrics and feedback systems. Now, Churn rate will come to play with the introduction of Mobile Number Portability.

However Telecommunications actors must be able to answer the question as to the management of Mobile Money and Orange Money Virtual Accounts with the Mobile portability.

The good news is, if Mobile Portability goes operational then the Customer will for once, become KING in the Telecommunications sector in Cameroon. The customer will take their rightful place “the boss” and they will be able to sanction poor service with immediate switching over to the other brands.

This will place everyone on the same playing ground and the key factor in making a choice will be customer experience. Come to think of it. Any company that is not customer centric will pay the price and staff that will be source of this customer loss will carry the cross.

With Mobile Portability, the customer will sanction you for poor service on the spot and your boss will sanction you again by replacing you with people who can take care of their clients. The Customer experience battle has been drawn in the telecommunications sector in Cameroon and the time to act is now.

In my last article on; how to achieve customer success in any company, through 3 simple steps, I did mention the fact that it is not enough to train your staff on customer service. It is vital that customer experience becomes a culture, a way of life. Front line staffs need to have a mastery of international customer service standards and this will become a key skill in the recruitment of Telecom staff in Cameroon.

If you work for the Telecom industry in Cameroon, it’s time to take your customer experience lessons if you are still interested in keeping your job. Work with the trends in your industry and take your corporation to the next level.

If you are an Executive in the telecom industry, beware you are about to hand over power to the real boss, “the customer” who will sanction you by taking their business elsewhere if they receive poor service. Customer experience is not more a choice it is a duty and you are the custodian.

You must be able to change the attitude of your team and until each staff knows the employer is the customer, customer loyalty will remain a myth. Do not forget, positive word of mouth will become the greatest marketing tool and the sales ambiance will become the greatest PR tool.

Customer Experience skills must be found in the DNA of every sales person and Telecom staff in Cameroon if the company must achieve customer success. Now, it is time to take it to the next level in the telecommunications industry in Cameroon.

Now we must master the entire customer journey and accompany the customer through this journey. Remember that soon, the customer will have the power to take his/her money elsewhere!! Soon the kind of service you offer will determine if you will keep your job or not!!

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