Customer Self-Service

DIY web help from DStv. Free Internet solution makes life easier for Pay Television customers, writes Edwin Naidu Help for DStv subscribers in South Africa is now a click away. MultiChoice is enabling its subscribers to manage its DStv services through its website (www.dstv.com).

DIY web help from DStv

Free Internet solution makes life easier for Pay Television customers, writes Edwin Naidu

Help for DStv subscribers in South Africa is now a click away.

MultiChoice is enabling its subscribers to manage its DStv services through its website (www.dstv.com).

After logging on to www.dstv.com, click on DStv Care and access the service that you require.

Whether it is to check on an account balance, make a payment, fix a decoder-related fault or find out how to enjoy DStv on holiday, the solutions are easily available online. It helps that DStv Care is prominent on the homepage.

Usually I am someone who would rather call a specialist for assistance when faced with a technical problem, such as an on-screen error or when the screen is frozen. But they do say that technology is the key to an easier life.

As it is with new things, I must confess, I was hesitant about using the DStv Care on the website. However, when an error code popped up on my television screen, I embraced technology and played the DIY IT geek via the web - and solved the problem!

Can I help it if I am hot? Well, it was the simplicity of the product at my fingertips. I was able to tinker around the many self-help functions to see whether it really has all the answers. In many respects it works rather well and proved to be a one-stop-shop experience. What makes it work is that there was no need to dial for help.
Let me tell you, I’ve had my own experiences concerning call centres, some have been really good and some not so good. For me, self service is a convenient way of accessing some services.

Playing the DIY IT geek and navigating around the web for solutions does take some getting used to and I did miss the human touch. But it works.

No doubt if there is a problem that can’t be sorted out as a DIY IT geek, I will be contacting the call centre for the human touch.

The really cumbersome bit is registration, which is necessary as a once-off measure to ensure secure access, especially if you want to pay your account online via credit card. Once that is done, there’s really nothing to it.

From my experience, the free and fast web-based DStv self-help service has most of the answers to common subscriber problems.

It includes information on how to pay your account, what is available on the channels, the costs of DStv bouquet offerings, troubleshooting common decoder-related challenges and updating personal details. It also helps create and save individual customer profiles, making future access easier. Once the signing-in process is completed, customers can access their profiles, which provides a simple way of updating details, or e-mail address, and there is also the option of requesting a TV guide. Through the internet, customers are also asked for a cell number; as DStv aims to send most of the communications alerts via the mobile medium.

Even more helpful is the fact that through this new service, customers can pay their subscription fees. It sure beats the previous routine of going into a bank, for example if a service has been suspended, make a payment and fax through proof of payment, now this service is just a click away and within minutes ones service would be reconnected.

It requires a mind-set change and seems to capitalise on the upsurge in internet usage in home and via mobile handsets. But if the decoder has a hardware-related problem, customers have the option of taking the unit to a DStv branch or any of our agents to establish what is wrong with the device.

I also tried the new service using a 3G card at home, then via the uncapped MWEB ADSL line and in a corporate environment where the servers seem as fast as the Gautrain.

Happily, I must say it provides solutions quicker than it takes holding onto a telephone for someone to help. Then too, one is still gripped by fear of not knowing what one is really doing. This is a job for experts! It’s easier to get a technician to come over and fix the problem. But to borrow from the plethora of self-help manuals written for “dummies”, the website is user-friendly and if I may say so, the way to go.

DStv Cares is really for dummies like me. It beats going the call centre route and solves problems quicker – especially getting rid of decoder errors or rebooting the decoder.

The message is clear: DStv wants customers to know that help is a click away- concerning, payments, new options, trouble shooting, with future plans to expand the service in time. Still I miss the voice on the other end of the line. However, surfing the website does offer quick help much more easily than I imagined.

As the internet explosion continues, it seems inevitable that DStv Care will become an attractive DIY option for customers to resolve their queries.

“Generally, we receive lots of calls regarding balances on customer account or dealing with error codes that arise via the decoder. We have established DStv Care to help save customers the trip to any of our DStv offices or the cost of a phone call to our Call Centre in an effort to provide an easier, complete solution to common problems.” Thabo Moabi, MultiChoice General Manager of Operations and responsible for customer service.