Faced with high store traffic and manual processes, GTT Guyana’s customer experience was suffering. After realizing that bill payments accounted for most of their footfall, GTT recognized they needed a simple way to accept bill payments and reduce store overload. Maplewave’s Kiosk solution was deployed in 2021 to speed up transactions, cut queues and improve the overall customer experience.
GTT Guyana is a fixed Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) based in Guyana, South America. They are the largest provider of telecommunication services in the country. Their subscriber base exceeds 300,000 people, which represents approximately 43% of Guyana’s population. Their parent company is Atlantic Tele-Network (ATNI).
Through their ten retail stores (mixture of corporate and franchise operated), GTT offers mobile, internet, and landline services, as well as a host of business solutions that are tailored towards the local market.
Guyana is a predominantly cash-based economy. GTT subscribers often pay bills in cash, which results in long bill payment queues. In some stores, these lineups would stretch around the block; one store served over 19,000 customers in a single month for bill pay transactions alone!
Transactions were slow and manual. Customers were reluctant to use third-party payment options, such as banks and online methods. Stores were frequently overloaded during peak bill payment days – so much so that staff were often unable to sell products and services to new customers, which harmed the overall retail experience.
GTT’s customers are largely “tech avoiders”. While kiosks were a perfect solution to divert bill payment traffic from busy stores, the rollout had to be carefully planned to ensure customers would readily adopt the technology. A phased deployment, customer coaching, and staff training would be imperative.
After a period of discovery and multiple store and market visits, Maplewave’s consultants identified that self-service kiosks would dramatically improve the bill payment experience at GTT Guyana.
Maplewave and GTT worked collaboratively to overcome barriers to simplifying this journey, including system integrations, marketing processes, and co-ordinated efforts from the carrier’s various business teams. Plans were made to also use the kiosks for top-up transactions to maximize their initial investment.
Maplewave’s Kiosk solution was trailed in one store in Guyana in 2021. This pilot ensured critical functionality operated as expected, including the kiosks’ ability to accept cash, deliver a simple/fast customer experience, and product a receipt.
We designed the kiosk’s user interface to be very welcoming, with a simple “one touch” progression into the next screen. This will enable target transaction times of under 1 minute for bill payments, and 30 seconds for top-ups when the kiosks are rolled out to all markets.
Cash acceptance was carefully thought through. The latest peripherals were installed on the kiosk to ensure an optimum customer experience.
In addition, the entire business created an action plan for the bill pay journey, including increasing awareness of third-party payments, ensuring instant bill recognition, as well as identifying further phases of the project (e.g., mobile money wallet integrations and SIM dispensing).
As with any tech rollout, some customers readily accepted the kiosks, and others were initially resistant. By focusing on a coordinated marketing plan and careful coaching of in-store colleagues, we were able to ensure a great uptake of this new service.
Initial customer experience feedback was incredible:
• Over 90% of customers would recommend the kiosk, resulting in an extremely positive NPS score.
• Over 96% of customers rated the question “The kiosk is easy to use” as either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’.
The kiosks also helped significantly reduce store crowding:
• Traditional ‘counter-based’ bill pay transactions fell to under 40% during the pilot period. This freed up store staff to focus on new sales transactions and reduced the need for overtime during bill pay periods.
The ultimate goal is to reduce counter bill pay transactions to less than 5% and ensure all GTT customers have an opportunity to pay their bill at a self-service kiosk.
The pilot was extremely successful and confirmed that the kiosks are ready to rollout to other locations. Phase 2 is now underway. Maplewave will be adding more services to the kiosks, such as SIM vending and mobile wallet integrations. Soon, customers will be able to pay their bills and top-up using the balance on their Mobile Money Guyana (MMG) wallet.
Transforming the bill payment customer journey has been a big win for GTT. Deploying customer-focused digital solutions, like Maplewave’s Kiosks, has streamlined their retail operations, improved profitability and efficiency, and enhanced GTT Guyana’s customer experience.
By combining kiosk data with other elements of Maplewave’s platform, GTT can make quick decisions and react more quickly to competitive market forces.
In addition, they now have a powerful digital/physical tool that can enhance their distribution footprint. When SIM vending is rolled out in phase 2, GTT will be able to reduce their overall commissions on top-up and payment collections by deploying kiosks in high traffic third-party locations. This will further improve their brand awareness and positioning.