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Managing growth without compromising on customer experience

08 August 2022
Read Time: 4 minutes

Webafrica is one of South Africa’s biggest privately owned Internet Service Providers (ISPs). They provide broadband Fibre, VOIP, LTE, and ADSL internet services, connecting more than 50 000 homes and businesses across South Africa. In 2012 they were rated South Africa’s second favorite ISP, having first won the title of Best ADSL Service Provider way back in 2006. Since then they have been consistently rated one of SA’s favorite ISPs. With a team of roughly 150 “Webafricans” who believe in going the extra mile for our customers, they provide excellent year round support and strive for 99% up-time on all our services, which is why they are close to achieving their goal of becoming South Africa's best-loved and most trusted ISP.

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Company Size

51-500 employees

Location

Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa

Products Used

Channel: WhatsApp

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One of South Africa’s oldest and most trusted ISPs, Webafrica, turned to Clickatell to help it scale, improve CX, and better manage customer needs around the clock.

Background – A hotly contested market

There are close to 42 million internet users in South Africa with 46% of the population regularly using social media. South Africans now have their pick of internet service providers (ISPs) with more than 200 registered with industry body, ISPA. When it comes to delivering customer service to a savvy digital population, outstanding customer service is one of the most important differentiators in an increasingly crowded market. 

Webafrica is a popular internet service provider in South Africa offering fibre, fixed LTE, and naked ADSL. One of the country’s best known and oldest ISPs, Webafrica has over 200,000 customers and aims to provide South Africans with fast, affordable, reliable, and better internet connections. The company is a household name to many and regularly puts in a strong showing in the top 10 service provider lists. 

The company describes its target customer as the average South African, from remote farming towns to bustling cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg – all of whom are looking to stay connected with family and friends using popular platforms like WhatsApp and other social media outlets. 

Challenges - Scaling up without dropping the ball 

The strict Covid-19 lockdowns saw most South African users relying more heavily on their internet connection to work from home and complete their studies. But many also turned to the internet as their main source of entertainment and a reliable, affordable internet connection became as important as water and electricity. Unsurprisingly, the quality of service of the country’s local ISPs became a key talking point and, while Webafrica saw a big jump in its customer base, the rapid growth came with its own challenges. 

Scaling up a business without compromising on service delivery is the number one priority for all business leaders, but in a market as competitive as the one Webafrica found itself, dropping the ball on customer satisfaction could have resulted in brand suicide.

The company realised that with over 200 000 customers, one-on-one relationships and individual phone support was simply no longer feasible. What’s more, Covid restrictions had made staffing a traditional call centre all but impossible. Webafrica needed a communications solution that allowed for serious multi-tasking. One that would remove the hassle of juggling individual customers, while enhancing the quality of service being provided. Phone calls and email tickets were no longer an appropriate solution to adequately support its rapidly growing customer base. Automation was the only way to boost its CX and stave off the threat of customer attrition. 

The Solution – Merging the best of both

After extensive consultations with the technical teams, it became clear that the best possible solution lay in an integration between the existing in-house chat offering and the Clickatell WhatsApp Business API solution. 

Key benefits of the solution include: 

  • The ability to communicate with customers over multiple channels with a single integration

  • End-to-end encryption guaranteeing message security and privacy

  • Real time transaction capability over South Africa’s favourite messaging platform

  • 99.9% uptime with 24-hour support 

The teams integrated the Clickatell solution, adding powerful new capabilities while retaining features which were clearly working, including Webafrica’s much-loved chatbot, Willie. 

The new solution saw immediate benefits, including the ability for Webafrica agents to engage with more customers simultaneously, easing the pressures on the team. 

The Webafrica team was able to quickly scale to meet customer demand without interrupting operations. What’s more, the ISP was now able to offer their customers the ability to engage with them using platforms they already knew and trusted. The integration made the chat experience seamless, creating a more engaging communication option and Webafrica saw an immediate uplift in customer satisfaction. 

What the client has to say - Customers win in an optimised environment

Mark Frater, Webafrica’s IT Infrastructure Manager, and the person responsible for all things infrastructure related as well as heading up the customer-facing tier-2 support team, is best suited to sum up the result of the implementation:

Clickatell

Webafrica has benefited tremendously from Clickatell in the time we have used the WhatsApp product. When the COVID-19 Lockdown started, we were not sure what to expect. Clickatell has made the road to bringing our customers a fast, affordable, reliable, and better connection so much easier. Since partnering with Clickatell we have grown in leaps and bounds. The new functionality has been key to allowing us to remain ahead of the curve when dealing with our recent scaling challenges. It has also allowed us to maintain our trusted service quality levels in a cost-effective way.

Mark Frater, Webafrica, IT Infrastructure Manager

Frater sums up by explaining that the new support platform’s ability to seamlessly function around the clock has gone a long way to making their customers feel heard and valued, no matter what time of the day. What’s more, by merging the best of what they had with the power of the Clickatell solution has meant that their bot, Willie, has become a real drawcard for customers and has boosted the trust in the brand.  

About Clickatell

Clickatell is the global Chat Commerce leader powering businesses to connect, interact, and transact with consumers anytime, anywhere in chat. The low / no-code, feature-rich Chat Commerce Platform sits at the intersection of communications (CPaaS, CCaaS) and commerce (digital payments). Clickatell serves over 10,000 customers, many of which are Fortune 500 companies and leading global brands activating their own digital commerce transformations. 

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