Updated on December 26, 2023

The telecommunications market in Zimbabwe is undergoing a sea change, especially in a post-pandemic world. Gone are the days when people were calling each other on the phone. Zimbabweans seem to be adopting technology at an unprecedented rate, and there has been a surge in the rate of adoption of mobile internet and data traffic.

The total number of active Internet and data subscriptions increased to a whopping 9,920,847 in the first quarter of 2023. There has been a surge in the usage of smartphones to complete various activities, including social media engagement and E-commerce transactions.

With Internet penetration increasing quarter on quarter, there can be no better time to invest in the telecommunications sector in Zimbabwe. And TelOne, already one of the biggest service providers in Zimbabwe, were just upping their game when they hit a unique roadblock.

TelOne – Connecting people with businesses

TelOne is a name that needs no introduction in Zimbabwe. Owned by the government of Zimbabwe and run by the Ministry of Information Technology, TelOne is the largest Telecom entity in Zimbabwe and has the second largest fixed-line network in Southern Africa.

The main focus of TelOne is providing landline technology for voice calls, and the company is also venturing into broadband services. TelOne provides broadband services via LTE, fiber networks and copper cables, along with satellite services.

Being a giant in its own right, TelOne wanted to place the latest technology in the hands of its consumers. This meant selling the broadband services and other data packs for customers, like a 10GB or a 20GB pack. But it was here that the company hit a minor hiccup, which brings us to the next part of the story – finding Kommunicate.

The Problem – Long Lines and Depleting data plans

When TelOne started selling these data packs, there were long lines of customers who wanted to buy them. There was no online store back then, and the clients had to walk into TelOne stores to buy these services. This problem needed to be addressed, and fast.

TelOne decided to invest in a robust website, but here there was a different kind of problem awaiting them. Some of the customers were not as tech savvy as TelOne expected, and also, not a lot of them were browsing the web on their laptops. Also, on mobiles, browsing cost data, and this was off-putting to a lot of customers.

TelOne found an interesting solution to this problem – WhatsApp. Almost every smartphone user in Zimbabwe had WhatsApp installed on their phones, and having an online store on WhatsApp was a silver bullet that TelOne credits with solving its woes.

WhatsApp Chatbots built using Kommunicate – exactly what TelOne was looking for

TelOne needed someone who was efficient, affordable and also already provided a WhatsApp integration out of the box. They did not have to look far for a WhatsApp provider, for Kommunicate ticked all the right boxes.

With Kommunicate’s WhatsApp integration, TelOne was able to offer its customers a host of features, including the ability to check their account balance, recharge their PIN, check their broadband usage, etc. And, if the customers cannot find what they were looking for, they always have the option to talk to a human agent.

TelOne was really impressed with the chatbot to human handoff feature that Kommunicate offered. Kommunicate also provided a seamless integration with TelOne’s chatbot built on DialogFlow. The 3 platforms combined – DialogFlow, WhatsApp and Kommunicate, is a deadly combination. This WhatsApp chatbot can be intelligent enough that customers can just ask their question in a simple sentence and the bot will give you an answer. 

25% of the Contact Centre Agents shifted thanks to Kommunicate’s chatbot

TelOne has a team of 20 customer support representatives, and, after the introduction of the Kommunicate chatbot, 5 of them from the self-help queries team today address more complex issues. The FAQs and common questions such as recharge queries are today handled by the bot.

The numbers also paint a pretty picture:

What TelOne has to say:

As TelOne grows from strength to strenght, you can rest assured that Kommunicate’s chatbots will be there, right by the side of TelOne executives, helping solve their queries – sometimes many at a time.

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Devashish Mamgain

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