Best of the Podcast 2018: How A Telecommunications Organization Earned the Right to Customer Growth

Today’s “Best of 2018” episode features Patricia Pedhom Nono, who was previously the general manager of customer service & customer experience at MTN Cameroon, one of the biggest telecommunications companies in Africa. This was a really great conversation. Patricia shared a detailed account regarding how she demonstrated the value of a customer-first strategy to a skeptical C-Suite.

Patricia was hired as MTN Cameroon’s CCO to help them think and operate through a customer-first lens. MTN Cameroon had to adjust to the shift in customer behavior with the increasing use of the Internet. Despite being a leader in its industry’s market share and revenue, MTN was actually losing revenue due to the prevalence of streaming and video chat.

Employee Experience Trickles Down to Customers

After about 6 months in her position, Patricia gathered and analyzed a lot of feedback from customers and the company’s frontline staff, the call center representatives. She spoke directly to customers and the employees. Patricia mentioned that it was really important for her to be physically present with those whom she was collecting feedback from.

Working with the frontline, Patricia needed to see how the relationship between MTN Cameroon and its employees was affecting the customers.

Patricia soon realized that there were rules and operations in place which sometimes inhibited employees from being able to serve the customer efficiently. These call center reps weren’t enabled or empowered to satisfy customers; the less than stellar employee experience trickled down.

Help the C-Suite Help Employees

In addition to finding out the pain points of customers and employees, Patricia needed to know what were the pain points of the C-Suite. She wanted them to understand exactly how the company’s operations affected customer experience and the specific ways in which that jeopardized the bottom line. Through a combination of storytelling and analytics, Patricia shared her feedback with the C-Suite, and they worked together to create a set of governing principles to improve the lives of customers and employees.

The principles are as follows:

  1. Ask, will it make the life of the customer easier?
  2. Make it right the first time
  3. Know it before the customer tells you
  4. CARE (Connect/Acknowledge/Resolve/Empower) at each interaction

Additionally, Patricia reminded us that we have to constantly communicate to the C-Suite that this work takes time. Customer behavior habits don’t change quickly, and nor will the company’s habits change overnight. This transformation is one that will take months and years to implement.

You can find Patricia’s full interview here.


Patricia is a results-driven C-Suite business executive with a demonstrated record of exceeding profitability goals, turning around under-performing units and driving increased market share and customer loyalty.

With over 15 years’ experience in developing customer-driven growth for companies in Africa and the US, she specializes in leading transformation programs with a core focus on customer experience, commercial performance, business optimization, digital transformation and IT management.  

The presenting sponsor of The Chief Customer Officer Human Duct Tape Show is Customerville. Customerville transforms customer experience surveys into rich, interactive experiences using its unique Design-driven Feedback™ platform.

This partnership ensures that I can continue these shows that you’ve shared such positive feedback on.  Thanks so much to Customervillle! Enjoy the show!


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