“I know a guy who does installations”; “My neighbour did his, I’ll ask him” or even worse, “I’ll do it myself”. These are some of the enthusiastic responses MultiChoice agents are often given when asking new customers if they can connect them with professional, accredited MultiChoice installers to set up their new satellite TV dish and decoder. Sadly, the results are less enthusiastic, with many of these customers having to pay more money to get the job done right the second time.
“This is a huge challenge,” explains MultiChoice General Manager, Roger Gertze. “Many customers are cash-strapped, which prompts them to resort to all kinds of methods to get their satellite TV dish and decoders installed. They hope this will save them money. But more often than not, we get a call within a few weeks from these customers complaining that the broadcast quality of their programmes isn’t very good, or that error messages constantly appear on their screen. They feel frustrated and often end up having to pay much more money to fix the problem.”
Accredited MultiChoice installers are professionally trained by MultiChoice technicians to ensure every installation meets the company’s exacting standards. MultiChoice also has a system in place whereby every installation is logged, allowing technicians to quickly and easily check on the signal strength and quality of all new installations.
“If the signal strength and quality do not meet our high standards, we immediately ascertain where the problem lies, and send the installer back to resolve this. This not only ensures our customers enjoy excellent service delivery with limited ‘down time’, but gives the installer an opportunity to improve his own skills – an important aspect of empowering entrepreneurs in our local communities,” Gertze adds.
MultiChoice partners with over 100 small and medium businesses across Namibia in facilitating the installation of its dishes. These businesses contribute heavily towards sustaining local communities, providing much-needed employment opportunities, skills development and incomes for families where often, they previously had none.
“When we roll out our service to a new area and begin installations, it is not uncommon for people in the community to come and thank us for the employment opportunities we are providing. In new areas we either canvas for entrepreneurs interested in beginning an installation business to partner with us or, as is most often the case, members of the local community recognise the MultiChoice brand, and approach us asking how they can become accredited installers. Both scenarios are equally encouraging, as they allow us to partner with proactive, passionate individuals who want to be part of the MultiChoice family,” Gertze notes.
And it really is a family; installers talk of how their lives have irrevocably changed since beginning their relationship with MultiChoice, and how they have gone on to positively grow their businesses. Gertze says many installers have great vision, and turn to MultiChoice for support in executing their plans as they expand their companies, employ more people and open additional offices. It is not hard to see how the installation side of MultiChoice’s southern African business alone contributes so significantly to this region’s GDP.
MultiChoice is looking to further empower its installers by educating them on issues beyond just the technicalities of installations. Installers are now being equipped with enhanced knowledge around new products, like Box Office and DStv Now, as well as new technology, like the latest PVRs. They are learning more about the different error codes MultiChoice uses and how to instruct customers to clear these themselves, as well as all the different payment options available to customers in their immediate community.
“Through these efforts, we aim to advance our installers’ skills, allowing for more meaningful personal development and enabling them to play a greater role in the business. Our installers have solid technical backgrounds and sound product knowledge. We want to see them interacting more with our customers and sharing this knowledge with them. This is very important to us, as we value our installers and want to invest in them in ways that make a tangible difference in their lives,” Gertze says.
Despite all this work behind the scenes, many customers will still unfortunately resort to what they believe are ‘cheap’ tactics to get their satellite dishes installed. MultiChoice is aware of the financial pressures faced by its customers, and as such is looking into a bundled product option, where the cost of a new satellite dish and decoder also includes installation.
“This will go a long way to helping our customers by making it more affordable for them to connect to our service. It will ensure that their equipment is correctly installed and not at risk of being damaged through poor installation as well as guarantee their sound and picture quality and overall viewing experience; and, of course, to make sure these small and medium installation businesses and are sustained, through continuous support,” concludes Gertze. “Ultimately, those are all the benefits of using accredited MultiChoice installers – benefits that I’m proud to say enrich lives on many different levels.”