INDUSTRY

Broadcast Media

HEADQUARTERS

Randberg, South Africa

PRODUCTS USED

Freshdesk Support Desk, Freshdesk Messaging, Freshservice

CHALLENGES
  • Consolidating multiple touchpoints within a single helpdesk
  • Lack of a 360-degree view into a customer's history
 
KEY RESULTS
  • AI-driven agent assist tools to reduce handling time
  • Integrations with internal tools and CRMs to gain complete visibility of a customer's journey

CSAT scores

95%

First-contact resolution

94%

Reduction in average handling time

10%

About MultiChoice Group

MultiChoice Group (MultiChoice) is an entertainment powerhouse and is Africa’s leading media company. The company is passionate about telling stories that are rooted in the unique cultures of the countries it broadcasts in. Through a combination of services including Direct to Home satellite television, Digital Terrestrial Television  and online video entertainment, it uses the power of storytelling to enrich lives. 

MultiChoice views itself first and foremost as a customer experience organization. Today, the company serves around 9 million customers in South Africa and over 21 million customers across the continent. Freshworks was in conversation with Roland Naidoo, Head of Operations and Brendon Emmanuel, Sr. Manager - Program Management, to understand how the company delivers a seamless omnichannel customer experience every time. 
 

Getting to the heart of great customer experience

At MultiChoice, everyone, right from the Group Chairman to the call center executive has customer experience on their minds. Over the last five years, the company has been on a continuous improvement journey to improve its customer support capabilities. “We had to differentiate between customer service and customer experience,” explains Brendon. “These two terms are used interchangeably but are fundamentally different. With customer service, the customer expects you to know how to do your job. Customer experience means that we go one step beyond what the customer expects. We ensure that the customer journey is simplified, that they don’t have to repeat themselves and that their issues are proactively addressed.”

The team at MultiChoice posed a very straightforward question to itself: “What can we do better for our customers?” Ultimately, the answer to this boiled down to providing its customers with the same experience across all customer service channels - in other words, delivering an omnichannel experience. As Roland recalls, “My team and I realized that when a customer contacts an agent, whether it’s a human or digital interaction, they’re looking for consistency, a quick turnaround time and the right answer every time. Omnichannel was the best way to achieve this.”

 

Building a seamless Omnichannel support journey

MultiChoice has been a true visionary in leading the charge for omnichannel support. It was, in fact, one of the earliest adopters of omnichannel in the continent. When evaluating solutions that could bring its vision to life, the team had clear expectations. It needed a platform that could: 

  • Consolidate each of the multi-channel touch points into a fully-integrated channel agnostic helpdesk 
  • Track the entire customer journey so that the agent could gain a 360-degree view of the customer
  • Easily integrate with all other platforms and tools already in use so employees didn’t have to jump between tools to answer a query
  • Offer a simple, intuitive UI at a cost-effective price

Freshworks’ impressive suite of solutions made it a clear winner. The company now uses Freshdesk Support Desk, Freshdesk Messaging and Freshservice to link every stage of its customer support journey. Roland, who was awarded the Global Change Architect of the Year award for pioneering innovation in CX, believes that this omnichannel view has been critical in preemptively engaging with customers and resolving issues before they even crop up. 

“The Omnichannel journey is not a simple or easy one to conceive and execute. The great thing about this collaboration is the flexibility of Freshworks to adapt to the MultiChoice journey and co-create the customer roadmap. The team not only sells customer experience but lives it. We have been able to achieve an incredible amount in very short spaces of time, pulling everything together into one customer service view with Freshworks and being able to integrate with just about any other service capability.”

Roland Naidoo

Operations Executive: Head of Ops

Multichoice

Consolidating every stage of support within a single UI

The team’s goal from day 1 has been to create a single UI that provides the customer’s details and history, allows agents to perform transactions and ultimately solve the issue within a single dashboard. To that effect, it has brought its existing telephony solution and queue management system (Qmatic) within Freshdesk. T.U.M.I., the team’s in-house AI-powered chatbot, is integrated with Freshdesk so that agents can view a customer’s entire history of conversations within the tool. In the back-end, Freshdesk is integrated with the CRM to enrich the database. Internally, Freshdesk and Freshservice have been linked to enable agents to escalate tickets to various departments if needed.

What does this integrated setup look like in action? If, for example, a customer who has been disconnected is contacting the support team, the AI pseudo-prediction model deciphers that the customer probably wants to know how much to pay, when to pay, or when they’re going to be reconnected. The prediction model is integrated with Freshdesk and offers these insights to the agent, along with the customer’s billing history and due date. Within Freshdesk, the agent can see if the customer has interacted with them at any other touchpoint. If the customer has sent an email and raised a ticket through a walk-in at the store, the agent can merge both to avoid duplication. In cases where it’s out of the agent’s capabilities to help the customer, the ticket gets escalated to Freshservice and routed to the concerned department. Once that department resolves the ticket, it is reflected within Freshdesk and the communication is sent out to the customer. 

 

Delivering customer delight across channels

The omnichannel ecosystem has delivered real tangible results for MultiChoice in five key areas:

  • First-contact resolution: Since switching to omnichannel, first contact resolution increased from 69% to 94%. The team has invested heavily in creating a Natural Language Understanding system to ensure that agents are well-trained. Agents also have access to an agent assist tool that can provide them with the most suitable solutions for a customer’s query. “This approach isn’t document heavy,” says Roland. “It’s not a knowledge repository per se, it’s simple, interactive and gives you the right answer every time.” 
  • Average handle times: The average handle time has improved by around 10%. One of the features that contributed to this achievement is the ability to group tickets based on the issue. Citing an example, Brendon says, “When it’s raining, most of the tickets that are raised are about signal issues. The service desk team receives it as a single ticket. When they solve it, they solve all 50 or so tickets in a single shot.”
  • CSAT scores: Faster resolution times and accurate responses have led to a steep improvement in CSAT. The average CSAT now stands at over 95%.
  • Support channel distribution: Opening up a wider range of support channels has led to a higher adoption in more cost-effective channels. “Around 7 years ago, call-centres accounted for around 80% of all incoming queries. Today, it’s actually swung the other way and 80% of queries come in through digital channels,” observes Roland. 
  • Proactive issue resolution: Every single ticket that comes in is tagged and categorized based on different phases of the customer journey. “The categorization of ticket properties helps us gain a bird's-eye view of which part of the journey our customers face the most issues in. For example, is it the exploration phase, the payment phase or the support phase? This allows us to identify recurring issues and solve problems before they happen,” says Brendon.

The team attributes these impressive results to two things: the maturity of Freshworks’ solutions and the customer-first philosophy of the organization. “We don’t believe in tech for tech’s sake,” claims Roland. “For us, it was about understanding the common thread between what our customer needs, what our agents need and what our business needs. We were then able to customize and configure Freshworks’ solutions to set up technical instances that could really wow our customers. ” 

 

The future of customer experience

MultiChoice continues to be a trailblazer in delivering superior customer experience. For its next chapter, the company plans to go deeper into AI and bot assistance through predictive customer engagement. As Brendon predicts, “This will help us tap into real data sources to quickly and efficiently expand our support operations, while keeping an eye on future growth opportunities.”
 

“The omnichannel experience for us has been a revelation. We don’t see it as multiple channels, we see it as a single channel located in different places. This helps us provide consistently high-quality support at every customer touch point!”

Roland Naidoo

Operations Executive: Head of Ops

Multichoice