we help you become a Social Business
Customer Care Reloaded! KDN Case Study.

Customer Care Reloaded! KDN Case Study.

In this age of Social Media where consumer generated content reigns supreme, companies have no choice but to include social media as part of their customer care itinerary. And when your company comes under attack in social media channels, the following KDN Case Study showcases the do’s and don’ts of social media engagement.

It all started with an angry KDN Corporate client who logged into Wazua Forum and posted the following damning condemnation of KDN, labeling the thread “KDN worst Kenyan ISP.”

Alma

Sorry for the caps but I don’t think you can get any lower than KDN corporate accounts.

First of all, they gave us an IP address in Tanzania.

For those who don’t understand, this is illegal and can and has been used by terrorists to hide their exact location.

It took 1 Week to change something that normally takes 10 minutes. I don’t even want to tell you how some IT guy can lie straight faced that the company IP was in Kenya.

Second. We paid for this corporate account last year before Christmas.

One month later, we have had no day when we had internet connection.

I am serious. No internet connection that lasts more than 10 minutes before it is dropped.

Third I will talk about customer service…

Lesson 1, Listening: Ensure that you use listening tools such as Social Mention and Google Alerts. This will ensure that you will be the first to know when your name is mentioned online. Had KDN been doing this, they would have contacted Alma outside the forum or even through the forum and expedited her case therefore averting what this forum turned out to be.

A couple of more threads criticizing KDN and then this:

Bird_Man

My former company was on KDN fibre and I have never seen speeds like those, ever!
It’s however true that they take a long time depending one whether you are considered a big client. Their customer care also does not answer calls and instead gives you ticket numbers.

All said and done….guess what…I have used Corporate Access Kenya, KDN and Safaricom Wimax….and I would still go back to KDN!

Lesson 2, Responding: Sometimes it is best to keep quiet and let your happy consumers defend your reputation.

And just when you thought this was just about KDN, this follows:

Blackthought

@Muganda, where can I even start…..?.. It took me numerous calls to Access Kenya to get them to send a team over!!!! What I really hated was how they always “forward” your call to the suitable dept…”installations”…”projects”, etc (and btw, this is a landline you are calling from your mobile—F@#k!!!).

It has been over a month since I paid for the service and now that they decided that they “cannot proceed with the installation”, (after that looong wait). Now I am following up on my refund—-another tedious and ridiculously looong and unclear process!!!! No one emailed me with information of how I will receive my refund, or at least to keep me in the “loop” of what I need to do or who I need to contact, etc….NOTHING!!!!!

I have sent emails to their customer care dept, but nothing yet! I need that cash to try my luck with another ISP (ahem…perhaps Zuku—and that’s kinda like ‘jumping out of the frying pan into the fire’ —I hear the Zuku guys have terrible customer care!!!!).

I can now verify that the ISPs in Kenya have been weighed and measured and have been found WANTING!!!!

Safcom charge like 45,000/month for their 512kbps WIMAX connection btw!!!!HAHA! That’s another joke; WTF is up with our ISPs?

Who knows of a “Better Option” …pun intended!!!

Lesson 3, Competition: As a competitor of KDN, you also need to listen on what others are saying about your competitor. Normally, they will compare and contrast and thus the likelihood of your company being mentioned is high.

15 posts later Alma rejoins the thread with this:

Alma

Just in case anyone is wondering, I have yet to have my issue fixed since I posted this.

I now have 6 ticket numbers from KDN. I have talked to 10 people and still do not have a reliable connection.

Today I got an invoice……

I am thinking of giving them a ticket number for their invoice. Just unbelievable. Let me say this again. If you value your time and sanity, KEEP AWAY FROM KDN.

I have decided to be using those Safcom and orange modems. They are expensive but at least I get my internet service.

Lesson 4, Respond Promptly: When it comes to social media and especially its viral nature, make sure you respond promptly to issues as they arise because things tend to get out of hand quickly.

Then things get interesting when at posts 19, 20, and 21, these posts by Zed, Pinket, and DJKasee show up in succession:

Zed

@all of those out there who don’t know what they are talking about!!!

KDN was one of the key players to bring fiber into Kenya, that same fiber that everybody was bickering about, and it has managed to expand their network to places you would never think of!

Yes customer support needs work, but rather than bog them down, why not suggest where to improve?? Every company starts of with problems…

I say congratulations to KDN for being the DATA carrier they started off wanting to be!!

Imagine Safaricom, Access Kenya, all the big players are on KDNs network!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

where would we be without you KDN?

Pinket

Wat…am shocked! You guys u don’t know what ur talking about! We have 18 branches connected via KDN in TZ, UG, Rwanda and DRC and apparently we RANK KDN as the BEST….I cant even imagine the trouble we’ve had with AK…jeZZ IT WAS CRAZY….PLS do some research about KDN before any critics….Again to get the best services you must be willing to invest…CHEAP IS EXPENSIVE…Thanks to KDN for their services they have really enabled growth!

DJKasee

Not so much into what this KDN does, BUT at least I know they carry all players in the country…Safaricom, Zain, KQ, ALL BANKS!!….BLAH BLAH BLAH…

And No. 2, I use internet for free, courtesy of a product called butterfly (I believe it is theirs too)….aren’t they the first ones to provide free internet?

Anyway, I might be wrong!

Lesson 5, Engage Genuinely: Do not, as Blackthought aptly describes, “send foot-soldiers to the front line to recite the KDN mantra.” If you are an employee of the company in question, introduce yourself as such and engage in that capacity. Do not pose as a “Happy Consumer” to try and dilute genuine consumer concerns. People are intelligent and they will smoke you out and use it as ammunition to take you down.

Blackthought smells a rat and calls them out…

Blackthought

KDN brought fiber to Kenya!–GREAT!!!

KDN has POOR Customer Service—NOT soo GREAT!!!!

@Zed, pinket, —Possible KDN *sympathizers— (ahem, *employees–it is that obvious) , the key issue here is not about KDN’s infrastructure.. It’s about their service delivery!!! I mean big deal KDN hooked up the whole “fibre thingies”, etc, but they FAIL when they cannot provide good customer service (service delivery!!!)…THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT!

Hmmm, or should we understand that KDN spent all their cash$$$ on the fiber network, etc and so could not invest in a decent customer care department? HAH! Please man!

And BTW, criticism can be equated to “suggestions” (only thing is, it’s the bad areas that get most of the “airtime”).

KUDOS to Alma for making the point! Hope we see more feedback from these “#1posters” soon! hehe!

Peace!

PS: people do know what they are talking about…we are the customers…and last I checked that counted for something!!!!!

Lesson 6, Take Note; rather than take offence, take note of the criticism against you and work on these perceived weaknesses. In the case of KDN, it is lousy customer care that tells you to take a number.

MaichBlach was less diplomatic at the three:

MaichBlach

@ Pinket, Zed and DJKasee. What do you take this forum for? Wazua members are some of the most intelligent Kenyans you will find anywhere. You sign up today and start singing praises about KDN!!! Three new “members”, each of them posts their first reply and it is in praise of KDN??? And to make matters worse, the three replies follow one another. Bure kabisa nyinyi (wewe). Even a five year old can tell you are KDN employees. Actually I put wewe in quotes because Pinket, Zed and DJKasee could be one person!!! As kibaki would say “… ya kuku!! Bure kabisa!!”

But they get support from Birdman who writes:

Pinket & Zed, I share your sentiments.

I work in ICT Dept, in a banking institution. KDN Customer Care is lousy and slow at times….but we cannot argue about Reliability, Price & Bandwidth provided. We have them as our primary carrier and Safaricom as our secondary redundancy line throughout Kenya.

Our previous ISP used to charge us 4 times what KDN charges us for around 5times the bandwidth the previous guys used to provide us with. Imagine that! So all those talking bout KDN, I bet you have no experience with them, use the service and then come post here…..don’t just talk!

Even Safaricom & Zain data network runs on KDN! Do you think these mobile providers are stupid?

Lesson 7, you need to be seen: There is only so much that your happy customers can do to try and salvage your reputation. At some point, you will need to bite the bullet by showing yourself and taking on this responsibility yourself.

At Post 26, Alma is back again with this:

@birdman and the KDN hireling

I am going to make this very easy for you to understand. I care less if KDN is the biggest, the widest or the sexiest ISP in Kenya.

I wouldn’t give a damn if their internet provided a whole bowl of ice cream every time I clicked “enter” on my keyboard.

All I want is internet access that was paid for and customer service that works. My experience with them motivates me to make sure that no human being I know considers them as an internet solution. I have a lot of friends on wazua and this is one of the ways of informing them.

In case you didn’t get it the first time.

KDN has simply the worst customer care people working in any company in the republic of Kenya.

I will go back to my post

As we speak, I have my first 10 minute window today so I will post very fast before I get disconnected again.

I have written to about 10 so called officials in their company and no answer. Yesterday I got 2 more ticket numbers. I will call them again today and I will be given another ticket number.

Lesson for all

It is time for people to start sharing their experiences with these people. I have realized that most customer service guys just never studied “how to treat a client 2.0”.

Caveat

I will post on this forum exactly when I get satisfaction including the customer service person as well as the tech guy. In the meantime, I will keep on updating this post until it ranks higher than their own site.

Lesson 8, Reputation Management: Social Media is becoming a crucial took in reputation management online. If not properly managed, a bad reputation can go viral and take over SERPs as the next post below shows.

Things get worse for KDN when this shows up at post number 35:

It is already number 1 on Google under the keyword ‘KDN Kenya ISP’ LMAO! No wonder Wazua admin is running scared and has changed the title.

Blackthought is not impressed at post 36:

Hmmmmm, interesting views here… (Minus, @Zeds, and @Pinkets partisan comments)

KDN should just simply FIX THE DARN PROBLEM!!! Rather than send their foot-soldiers to the front line to recite the KDN mantra!!!!Ii mean it makes them look sooo un-professional. Don’t give out excuses, take responsibility!!! Its that simple!

I think the question KDN should ask themselves is why they had to let this situation fester and reach such levels, when a client signs up for a service, it’s only natural that they want to get what they pay for…

But, their (the KDN employees)response to this thread is a very good sign…Perhaps we should have this thread substitute KDN’s customer care telephone number and email address, at least that way they will always be on their feet!

How about that?

Peace!!!

Lesson 9, Rethinking Customer Care: Businesses need to rethink their customer care in this social media age. Forums such as Wazua represent what the future of customer care will look like. If KDN had a forum like this where consumers can express themselves, they would have had a little bit of control and would have managed this better. Businesses need to make their interaction with customers as easy as possible and as is the case with many successful forums, what will emerge are consumers advising fellow consumers in these forums therefore reducing the pressure on management.

At post 39, Blackthought has this to say concerning the change of the thread title by Wazua Moderators from KDN worst ISP in Kenya to KDN just another Kenyan ISP :

Yep! BTW why do that–changing the title? ati “KDN just another ISP” (that’s one of the problems we Kenyans have—sweeping things under the rug, and trying to tone them down) perhaps the ‘big shots’ at KDN made a “power-call” to the people at Wazua?

I say, let people speak their mind, the ratings are going up, and we have the KDN folk up-and about!!!

Good Stuff!!! Can’t wait for other ISPs to be this “alert”…WoooHooo!!!!

Lesson 10, Do not Adulterate Content: The only reason that a forum administrator should delete comments or in any other way interfere with a comment is when they are lewd and unbecoming. Forums should otherwise be left to take their course and Wazua made a big mistake when they changed the Forum heading from “KDN WORST KENYAN ISP” to “KDN JUST ANOTHER KENYAN ISP”. The whole point behind having a forum is lost when such “editing” is done to be “politically correct”.

An interesting perspective from Djagame at post 40:

@ Alma get the escalation procedures next time you are in touch with their customer care [very powerful tool]

If your issue is not sorted within a certain time frame you send the mail to CEO, COO, CTO and cc the technical+customer care and with the pressure from above the issue will be sorted.

The people who are given priority when there are issues with KDN network are banks, telcos, large corporates [with branches in Rwanda ] medium and small companies followed by home users in that specific order.

So you can see why some people in this post can say they get good service as they fall within the top three.

PS: Before anybody suggests use their products, I would like to point out I have used all of their products.

Lesson 11, Clarification: A lot of allegations are made in forums and it is the role of the company in question to come out and clarify their position on the matter. In this case, as a small business owner, I would seek reassurance that KDN does not actually give me less priority because I fall in the SME category.

Things get out of hand as people get personal and just when you wonder when this will all end, someone who could have settled this before it blew up finally brings some sanity to the forum. Mr. Lukandu who from the onset identifies himself as a KDN employee sets matters into perspective with the following:

Lukandu

Just seen this post.

First I must apologize for the experience you had. I hope it was an isolated case because I know we strive to offer the best service. I believe thats how we reached where we are

Thanks to all who came to KDN s defense. I am a KDN person and thus I ill try to answer a few questions and follow up on behalf of all who have any issues.

Lets start with the post and make a few technical issues clear.

First of all, they gave us an IP address in Tanzania…..

— IP s are assigned by AFRINIC to a legally registered entity. In this case the IPs were assigned to Swift TZ (Altech stream TZ), which ideally is KDN in TZ.. We are allowed to use this IP legally on any of our network nodes as long as we originate with our ASN. For example if i have a client in TZ and my internet GW is in kenya their is nothing illegal or technically wrong assigning them an IP in kenya. —

For those who don’t understand, this is illegal and can and has been used by terrorists to hide their exact location.

—Even if the client was in London I am allowed to do this. So the legality bit with all due respect does not arise here. All that is needed is a reverse DNS entry to the client name..e.g wazua200.co.ke– Otherwise how would providers sell their capacity overseas/crossborder without the IPs “crossing borders” ? As for terrorist using reverse DNS entries to hide identity… well they would not last an hour. From any WHOIS you ill be able to find who owns this IP space. A looking glass will tell you exactly which AS originated this and in 5 mins someone will be at your door step. Trust me, there was nothing wrong (legally and technically) or ill intentioned when this IP was given to you or any other person

It took 1 Week to change something that normally takes 10 minutes.
— Apologies for this. If you still have this problem and you are willing to work with us again, please give me your ticket number and I ill be on it. ipsol@kdn.co.ke is the e-mail —

I don’t even want to tell you how some IT guy can lie straight faced that the company IP was in Kenya.

— Whoever it was , he did not lie. I just wish you had pasted a simple ping and trace to your gateway and the latency and trace would tell you the next hop and the distances involved. If you are on fiber you would take 2 ms to reach your GW. Anything beyond 7 ms you are out of MSA. TZ would definitely give you much more. He probably advised that we do a reverse dns entry. If you had a domain, we would reverse it to your name. It was an oversight that we did not reverse to KDN Kenya. This however would not affect your service in any way apart from perhaps having some sites pointing to tz e.g google.co.tz —

Second. We paid for this corporate account last year before Christmas.
One month later, we have had no day when we had internet connection.

— I can only apologize for this and promise to offer you a better experience–

I am serious. No internet connection that lasts more than 10 minutes before it is dropped.

— This definitely is strange. Need to be really looked into. Again please if I can get the ticket number. Otherwise anybody on SEACOM should be browsing in intervals of 10 mins. —

Third I will talk about customer service…

— I have this escalated to our customer support manager. And again I cant apologize enough

Lesson 12, Taking Responsibility: Understand that people will respect you more if you come out and respond genuinely, apologizing when you are indeed at fault, taking responsibility where you are liable, and clarifying misconceptions and misunderstandings which are usually the causes of such debates.

After this, things cool down immensely and even some apologies get thrown into the works. The Wazua team says the following at post number 79:

Dear Members,

We’re happy with the outcome of this thread as we believe it was of benefit to the community and all those who contributed; plus taught us all a thing or two.

Thank you for being a part of Wazua.

Lesson 13, Prevention is better than cure: It took 79 comments before this thing was laid to rest. In that time, Reputation was destroyed as Google ranked this forum very high for KDN search terms. This would have been averted if KDN had been listening actively online and if they had reacted appropriately and in time before the forum took the turn it did. If Lukandu had done what he did earlier on in the post, it would not have deteriorated to the levels it did.

To all Kenyan Businesses out there, let this be a lesson to you. This is customer care reloaded – a new media approach to Customer Relationship Management. You not only need to have an ear in these social media channels but you also need to have clear rules of engagement when it comes to social media. That is where a social media policy comes in handy.

What say you?

  • Bluekenya

    The KDN fellows have sunk to such low levels that any condemnation would be good publicity.Honestly these guys don't even begin to rate among the poorest in customer care. I have the feeling the workers get whipped for every new client they bring on board.

  • Pingback: Safaricom’s New Media (Twitter) Customer Care()