Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) recently conducted a customer satisfaction study of users of communications services under its regulation.
The study was carried out amongst 1, 000 respondents. A total of 2, 641 responses were gained, signifying that many of the respondents actually use more than one type of communication service. A lack of a sampling frame was a notable challenge. The study thus used the national population census statistics, rather than a communications user population as a sampling frame.
According to the study, fixed lines services are currently being provided by Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL). A total of 154 respondents indicated that they have a fixed-line installed at home or their place of work. 84 percent of these were individual users. 90 percent of these have had their fixed-lines for more than a one year, while 10percent have had their lines for less than one year period. The implication of this is that less people are obtaining the use of mobile phone lines. More than half of fixed line respondents said that their billing type was post paid.
A summary of levels of satisfaction about various services by respondents using mobile phones shows that 67percent of respondents said they were satisfied with call centre services while 20percent said they were not satisfied, 13percent were not sure; 70percent said they were satisfied with the provider’s (BTCL)’s current service payment processes, while only 6percent said they were dissatisfied. 52percent of fixed-line users were satisfied with pricing information, while 15percent said they were dissatisfied; 78percent said were satisfied with network quality (voice quality/crossed line/no static) and 79percent were satisfied with network reliability (availability and efficiency). 78percent said they were satisfied with general customer care, which encompass courtesy, friendliness, helpful, and knowledge; 71percent of the respondents indicated that they were aware of the complaints handling procedure(s); 87percent were aware that it is an offence to wilfully interfere with the erection, alteration, maintenance or inspection of any communication equipment; and 94percent of respondents indicated that they were aware that ‘it is an offence to damage, destroy or steal any communication equipment.
The mobile sector indicated that three providers, Mascom Wireless, Orange Botswana and beMobile. A total of 933 respondents, signifying 93percent of the study population use mobile phone telephony. Other findings about the mobile phone sector are as follows:
Mascom has the widest market share, followed by Orange and beMobile respectively. However, beMobile is the main service provider in some parts of the country such as Good Hope, Gantsi, D’Kar and Tsabong. Even though 61percent of mobile users had one handset, 57percent had more than one SIM card mainly because they want to have additional line for business or personal use and to obtain benefits from different promotions and freebies. At 84percent most mobile phone users would not change their mobile network service providers because their current mobile service providers offer best prices and they do not want to lose their current numbers. Those willing to change their service provider said they would do so mainly to go for effective (coverage network) and to go for cheaper prices.
Mobile networks are mainly used for making voice calls and sending text messages rather than for Internet browsing, mail and downloading games, ringtones and music. Most of the mobile users are fairly satisfied by the quality of voice calls, prices charged by service providers for making local voice calls and sending text messages. Aspects of quality that customers are satisfied with included; the quality of customer service, choice or variety of services, availability of helpful information about services and confidentiality of customer information. Most consumers of mobile telephony are aware of general issues pertaining to the pricing of mobile services, complaints handling procedures and acts that are considered to be offences in the mobile industry.