South African Companies Need Suitable Connectivity Solutions to Deliver a Consistent Customer Experience

By Barry Venter, Chief Executive Officer at Nashua

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings of South Africa’s connectivity landscape, emphasising the fact that not all areas across the country have access to reliable, fast and stable bandwidth.

As companies were forced to rapidly enable their workforces to work from home, it became abundantly clear that not all connectivity is equal. Businesses had to deploy suitable connectivity solutions to ensure high-speed connections for remote employees to deliver the best customer experience (CX).

A huge pain point for many people is that South Africa suffers from a lack of reliable communication infrastructure, especially in terms of copper cables, which are subject to theft and performance limitations.

Hence, from a connectivity perspective, the strategic plan for many organisations has been to move away from copper bandwidth towards wireless or fibre solutions, which are not only more reliable but can also be deployed rapidly.

With the rise of the Work from Home (WFH) trend, connectivity became the defining factor for ensuring productivity and delivering adequate service levels to customers, impacting the overall CX. For companies that have gone digital, corporate-like connectivity from remote locations is key to delivering consistent CX.

Dependent on location

The quality of connectivity is very much dependent on factors such as where a particular employee lives, the network coverage in that area, as well as the prioritisation of fast broadband infrastructure rollout in some areas and not others.

As such, depending on where they live, employees will offer a varying CX that is dependent on connectivity, whether be for voice or data delivered services and support. Therefore, organisations have had to deploy suitable connectivity solutions that ensure high-speed connections for remote employees to deliver the best CX.

To address the challenges of delivering a consistent CX without the right connectivity solutions in place, organisations need to start with a scope and understanding of the workforce and customers’ needs.

It’s quick and easy to just provide employees with a mobile data card, but this might not be sufficient if they have to access large applications or offer high-quality interactions with customers over collaboration tools. If these needs are scoped incorrectly from the start, the company is at risk of delivering a poor CX.

Interim solutions

There are various solutions that organisations can implement to remedy the breakdown in CX delivery, with fibre and wireless connectivity being first prize. However, fibre deployment could take between three and six weeks, so an interim wireless solution is an ideal option if an organisation cannot wait that long.

A temporary wireless solution can be installed within seven days and once fibre has been deployed, it is a seamless switch over from the interim solution to the fibre. Usually, the wireless connectivity costs the same as a fibre service, so there are no additional costs to a customer up and running on a shot-term solution.

The importance of having a high-speed/robust connection for a business cannot be overstated. It gives organisations the option to allocate dedicated speeds to a specific service or platform. This can be broken down from company level and IT can then dedicate specific bandwidth to certain applications.

Reliable and high-speed connectivity underpins all other services within an organisation and not having an appropriate network will not only adversely impact on CX but also affect security issues. Now more than ever is it crucial for vendors to get the right solutions to their customers and that means having a clear understanding of the needs of your customer.