The recent effort by MultiChoice Nigeria to train Nigerians and empower them with modern technology tools through its DStv installer training initiative, will not only enhance its after-sales support but will also boost job creation among, writes Emma Okonji
One major challenge facing Nigeria as a country is the growing rate of unemployment among young school leavers. As government tries to address the situation, which has become a scourge to the Nigerian economy, industry stakeholders have suggested a shift from the regular school curriculum inherited from the colonial masters after independence in 1960, to a more practical oriented curriculum that focuses more on entrepreneurial skills, such that students will graduate with skills that they could further develop to become their source of livelihood, rather than the long and unending wait for government white collar jobs.
Determined to contribute its quota in addressing the unemployment situation in the country, coupled with the need to satisfy its premium customers and other category of DStv customers, MultiChoice, last week, empowered over 500 Nigerians across the country with modern technology tools, after giving them intensive skills acquisition training.
MultiChoice Nigeria unveiled some of the DStv device installers, who will join the existing base of installers and will be responsible for new installations, as well as the provision of maintenance services to existing DStv subscribers.
Tricycles that have been stocked with high quality installation equipment, that will ease their travel logistics, during the cause of carrying out their support service programmes, were also provided for some of them.
Some beneficiaries of the tricycles, such as Stanley Nwachukwu, Ameen Adesola, Micky Joe, Tope Adeogun, Ibrahim Akinsemohin and Chima Igwe, were grateful to MultiChoice Nigeria for the training and empowerment.
Motive and Selection Criteria
Speaking on the motive for embarking on the training and the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries of the tricycles, the General Manager Marketing, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Martin Mabutho, said MultiChoice became motivated to train installers because there was need to meet customers’ demand, in line with technology growth.
“As technology advances, it becomes important to raise support team that will address some technicalities in our device installation. More so, those that were trained some years ago, may not be able to address the technical issues of our modern devices, so we need to train new installers on our new technology,” he said.
MultiChoice, he added, selected the installers based on commitment, dedication and diligence.
“This initiative is aimed at providing the best service to our customers. We train and certify installers, and also ensure that they are equipped with high quality installation tools that will guarantee reduced hitches and minimise repeat installer visits to our customer’s homes,” Mabutho said.
He also urged new and existing subscribers to make more use of the self-help options and convenient payment options such as Paga, Quick Teller and ATMs to resolve DStv issues and payment challenges quickly.
Mabutho said the introduction of the tricycle-scheme remained MultiChoice’s way of stretching its economic empowerment drive by engaging Nigerian youth through a private sector entrepreneurial scheme.
“We are helping to create a new pool of expertise through these MultiChoice trained satellite television installers and engineers which will consequently grow the nation’s economy” he said.
Mabutho explained that the tricycles will be used by a selected team dubbed “Elite Installers. The first recipients of the pilot phase of the nationwide scheme are six installers but before the end of the year, more beneficiaries will be selected from major cities across the country. In addition, 125 installers in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt have undergone a refresher training course this month,”he said.
One of the 500 trained DStv installer beneficiaries, Richard Egorerua, a graduate of Electronics Engineering from Igbinedion University, Benin, Edo State, who expressed his joy to THISDAY, said they were trained on practical skills on how to install DStv home devices.
“We learnt new information on the existing devices. We were also thought how to use a particular software application to monitor the relationship between the customer and the installed system. We learnt how to track the system, take different readings from the system, in order to determine the state of the installed system at any point in time. The essence is to maintain the required standard set out by DStv on all their devices, and it was an intensive training, which I benefited from because it added to my already acquire knowledge as Electrical Engineering graduate,” Egorerua said.
“The training has been ongoing, with the introduction of new devices and the training has been very impactful. I am posted to cover Lekki area of Lagos, along side with other installers and I am happy that I have a Job and a dependable skill,’ Egorerua added.
Addressing Customers’ complaints
According to the General Manager, Marketing, “With the recent complaints from customers and Consumer Protection Council (CPC), we felt there was need to address those complaints, through the training of our device installer on the new technology surrounding our current devices. We have introduced new technologies like Explorer into our devices and it takes a trained installer on the new technology, to be able to handle the technical issues surrounding it.”
“Based on these, we decided to train technicians, equip them with proper tools and send them out to different regions to attend to the technical needs of our customers, which ranges from device installation to fixing of minor issues around the device and its settings. We therefore recommend that our customers use accredited DStv installers,” he said.
According to Mabutho, it is a proud moment for that MultiChoice is empowering DStv installers with modern technology tools, after given intensive training on modern technology.
“Customers will be seeing our installers on their streets and they are free to call them to fix any challenge they may have with their installed DSTV devices. We have some designated numbers written on the tricycles and people could reach the installers on the number at any time of the day. This is like after-sales support initiative and the next thing we will be doing is to carry out a campaign of customer education, that will increase customer awareness on DStv devices and installation and maintenance,”Mabutho said.
He explained that they discovered that most of the technical challenges that their customers face are minor and could be addressed by their trained installers, which will solve the challenge of customers carrying their device to MultiChoice office each time there is a technical hitch or each time the subscriber wants to recharge.
The installer training initiative will impact so much on the subscribers and the Nigerian economy in several ways.
“ Apart from helping customers to fix challenges on their devices, it will help to reduce unemployment in the country, since it is already employing Nigerian youths,” according to Mabutho.
He explained that the rate at which unemployment is growing in the country is alarming and “we are using this medium to address the situation. Again, DSTV products are fast penetrating into every nook and cranny of the country and we need technicians to address the possible challenges that are associated with rapid technology growth.”
“Some installers that have been trained in the past, do not understand the new technology we are introducing and some are using obsolete equipment and materials, hence after they must have fixed the challenge faced by a particular DStv device, the challenge still remains, because they either do not understand the new technology or that they are using substandard equipment and tools.
It is for this reason that we contracted an American company to supply us genuine and modern tools, with which we trained and have equipped our installers.
“We have been in this market for several years and over the time, technology has evolved and we are changing with technology evolution, hence the need for the training and empowerment, which we think, will every impactful to Nigerians and the Nigerian economy,” he added.
Assistant Director, Monitoring, National Broadcasting Commission, Lagos zone, Mrs. Ijeoma Theo-Obodo, said she was impressed with what MultiChoice is doing about training and empowering installers. She said most times subscribers call the wrong people to fix technical challenges on their devices and that such people end up creating more challenge for them by either damaging the device or condemning the device outrightly.
According to Theo- Obodo, with the trained installers who will be visible on most streets, subscribers will be sure to get the right people to fix up any technical challenge they may face with their devices.
“The good aspect of it, is that the trainers, will from time to time, undergo additional training in new areas as technology evolves, and that will help boost the integrity of the brand and also maintain customer satisfaction,” Theo-Obodo said.
“As a broadcast regulator, I believe this initiative will help DStv garner more subscribers to their network, being a premium brand, and it will also help to them address customers’ complaints, “she said.
Theo-Obodo commended MultiChoice Nigeria for organising the training programme, saying “Broadcast technology is ever evolving and for MultiChoice to keep up with broadcast quality and standard, there is the need for training programmes of this nature.”