Multi-Choice Africa is a among the earliest pay TV companies to be introduced in Africa and the world as a whole. The company covers over 2 million customers in south Africa alone and about a million extra customers across nearly 50 countries in Africa and the neighboring Indian ocean islands.
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The group has secured long term rights for movies, sports and other children programs enabling it become a major player in the entertainment industry. As any other business entity and due to the different tastes of its customers and the diverse products the company offers, it is often faced with challenges and opportunities as it tries to provide good quality services across the continent.
With its customers well spread across the continent, it would always be a challenge not only to Multi Choice but even to other regional companies in designing the correct market mix which would satisfy the diverse range of customers. Thus, there has been a need to find an integrated customer satisfaction approach which would ensure the Multi Choice customers remain faithful to it or even increase the number of customers.
The strengths of a company are those activities that a firm does so well that it remains way above its rivals in the industry. The company strengths include:
An operating and efficient customer care call center: many companies do not place customer satisfaction on their major priorities but for Multi Choice Africa, the call center through which customers enquire for help in case of break down is a major strength to the company.
The reason being that it enables the company serve its customers promptly and on time thereby enhancing customer satisfaction by solving the enquiries or promise of immediate action to solve the problem.
The introduction of the automated customer care services have also enabled the company to cut down on the costs involved since it lowers the customer care expenses as well as leveraging the existing voice automation investments (Bendixen & Gordon- Brown, 2003).
Information availability: the company has also made much more information available to its current or interested customers on the packages they offer and what each package carries enabling its customers make the right decisions when buying the packages and this reduces chances of misinformation about any of the company products.
Double channel services: the ability of the company to offer its customers a chance of watching two channels simultaneously or at the same time is another service which keeps the company customers close to its services. This freedom helps in maintaining the customer confidence on the company. That is the reason why many say that with Multi Choice Africa you really have multiple choices to make.
Diverse products: the company offers diverse products from sports to family packages and this has helped the company in its market expansion bid and of late this has seen the company market share grow compared to that of the rivals. More market increase is expected if the company continues to offer its world class services.
Absenteeism: with the absenteeism rate of about 6% to 8% the company cannot realize its full productivity as the many hours which are lost during the instances of absenteeism are not recovered and with majority of the workers being permanent workers the company loses a lot of its money.
Technical issues: with technological advancements some of the company decoders are prone to complex reception problems and whenever this happens there is intense rise in incoming calls and thus the company needs to find a way of replacing the old generation decoders with new at a free cost to replace the old decoders with new decoders at a cheaper price to reduce transmission break downs as it happens during the rainy seasons.
Live environment: with some customers complaining that the time the company takes before it can respond to their calls is long, the company should adopt to new technologies which make relayed information faster or increase the man power in their customer care center.
Market expansion: the company should increase its coverage to uncovered places in the continent and neighboring territories for example India. Reducing the decoder and subscription costs can also aid the company in increasing its market share since most of the people who don’t use the Multi Choice services are not due to refusal rather it is because they cannot afford
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Another opportunity also lies in the company introducing more local programs which suits the customers. To increase their market share of the viewers, multi choice Africa should introduce more programs with an African taste for example the afro cinemas and this could enable an increased and a secure market share for the company.
Pirates – as has been experienced in one of the company customers, in Kenya. Cunning customers have devised a scheme that has been providing illegal connections of the DSTV to anything or anyone who needs the services; from flats to a whole neighborhood. The operator usually acquires the legal connection and buys more decoders with the view of allowing the customer view multiple channels.
He operates the same way hotels or restaurants distribute channels to different rooms. It is very hard to detect the scheme as the visible dish is only one and the connection network could have been installed during the construction period. For a fee between 200 to a 1000 Kenyan shillings a month Kenyans can enjoy the DTSV services like any other customer anywhere without the knowledge of the branch or the mother company.
The DSTV Uncoded – this is a Chinese made satellite decoder that is connected to two dishes. The users are able to crack the company codes and can access the channels at will. As one writer puts it:
“Essentially this scheme has managed to disarm DSTV’s primary strength which was the encoded signals. With their permission, you were given a decoder that deciphers their signal and identifies you as a genuine client. With their signal decoded and with no way of knowing who has decoded it and where because the unique card and decoder are thrown away, this scheme spells trouble in capital letters” (Anonymous, 2010: 1).
The company needs to look on the above issues as more and more illegal connections may be taking place to the expense of Multi Choice Africa.
There has been increasing competition from other industry players for example the local TV stations and this has caused fragmentation of markets for certain rights especially the sports channels and this has resulted in increased costs of airing the content. Furthermore, increased regulations across a number of countries have also resulted in higher operating costs for the company.
As the world becomes a global village so has most companies grown to become regional if not global figures. From the above study we can conclude that though Multi Choice is still a dominant market player in the continent some stiff competition is expected in future as technology advancements are made and become cheaper thus the company must be prepared and find ways in which they will cope with the competition.
The company also needs to investigate its customers well and the distribution of their contents in order to avoid scrupulous losses from illegal connections as it is happening in Kenya.
Anonymous. (2010). DSTV in Trouble from Pirates. Web.
Bendixen, M., & Gordon-Brown, C. (2003). Multi choice Africa: Managing the queue. Wits Business School. Case study.