1 Customer


We seek to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering customers the best network, best value and best service.

To measure the quality of the customer experience, we use the net promoter score (NPS) based on one question: "Would you recommend Vodacom to your family, friends and colleagues?"

We use Brand Consideration to understand and assess our brand perception amongst brand users and brand non-users: "Would you consider us based on your perception?"

We use market share to track our position in the market.

Our strategic targets

Clear market share leadership in all markets through segmented offerings and best distribution.

Grow NPS and brand leadership through sustained network leadership, differentiated customer experience and best value. Consistently achieve a five-point lead.

Consistently achieve a five-point lead.

Our performance in 2016

#1 Brand leadership
position in South Africa
#1 NPS
in two out of four International operations
in NPS in South Africa 15 point lead on our closest competitor

Best network

Our significant investment in our mobile and fixed network infrastructure and IT capabilities remains an important source of competitive differentiation. This year, we invested R12.9 billion in infrastructure across the Group (a capital intensity of 16.1%), expanding our network coverage and performance, and improving the overall customer experience. At the same time, through our Technology Efficiency programme we have delivered on the operating expenditure cost savings objectives relating to energy, leases and rentals, transmission rental costs, and maintenance, thereby reducing the impact on our cost base from the higher number of base stations in the network.

 In South Africa:

  • We increased our 3G sites by 20.4% to 10 600 sites and more than doubled our LTE/4G sites to 6 050 sites.
  • We are now reaching more customers in remote and previously underserviced areas with high-speed data coverage. We extended our 3G population coverage to 98.9% and LTE/4G population coverage to 58.2%.
  • We continue to make traction in implementing newer, faster and more efficient technologies. We rolled out our LTE-Advanced service, with peak speeds exceeding 200Mbps in some tests; unfortunately we are unable to roll out our LTE-Advanced over wider areas due to lack of spectrum.
  • We made good progress in transforming our customer relationship management and billing systems to provide an improved in-store and call centre experience for customers.
  • Our network is more resilient. We have been building mobile telephone exchanges into trucks capable of being deployed anywhere in the country to deliver on our policy of recovering 80% of all voice and data traffic within 48 hours during the total loss of a major mobile telephone exchange (MTX) facility; an independent assessment of compliance with our network resilience policy, concluded that we are prepared on every required control.
  • We are offering new and improved services. By continuing our rollout of fibre to the home and business, and launching OneNet Business, we’ve set the stage to provide SMEs with an integrated communications service.
  • The ongoing expansion of our cloud services offering provides solutions for both large enterprise and SME customers. During this financial year, we introduced a hosted virtual private cloud solution, delivering an option to customers requiring a dedicated cloud environment and we developed strategic partnerships with IBM to increase our service offerings.

 In our International operations:

  • We now have 6 499 2G sites and 3 916 3G sites; several operations have tested LTE/4G. The launch has been delayed due to licences not being allocated as yet, however, Lesotho has a live LTE/4G network and subsequent to year end Tanzania launched LTE/4G.
  • We continued our RAN renewal programmes: the DRC radio network has been replaced with LTE/4G-ready equipment; Tanzania is 97% complete, while Mozambique and Lesotho were completed last year.
  • We expanded further on our ultra low cost base stations in the DRC and Lesotho.
  • In the DRC we migrated seamlessly from the legacy M-Pesa platforms to the new Vodafone G2 Mobile Financial Services platform; we plan to migrate Tanzania and Mozambique soon.
  • Not all operations are fully compliant with our MTX resilience policy; we plan to achieve full compliance by March 2017, the official compliance date.

Network NPS

  Country Network quality
(NPS score)
Network coverage
(NPS score)
  South Africa 1st 1st
  Tanzania 2nd 2nd
  DRC 1st 1st
  Mozambique 1st 1st
  Lesotho 1st 1st

Best value

Best value

In South Africa, we made good progress this year in our pricing transformation strategy, offering customers more personalised packages that provide them with greater value. At year end, 85.1% of our contract customers were on new integrated price plans with better value offerings. This has been achieved through programmes such as ‘Next best activity’, which assists customers in choosing packages best suited to their needs and mix of services used at the time of upgrade. These contracts include much more value in terms of minutes, messages and megabytes, providing customers with a worry-free experience. We are seeing the benefits of this pricing transformation, with record low contract churn of 8.5% and improved average revenue per user (ARPU). 71.3% of our contract revenue is now in bundle.

On prepaid, we have evolved our bundle strategy into a much more personalised experience for customers. We have used our strength in customer value management effectively to target customers with personalised offers not publicly advertised. We are seeing very good results from the ‘Just 4 You’ platform, which profiles customers’ behaviour and presents them with personalised offers. We now have a full suite of offerings ranging from time-based micro-bundles for hand-to-mouth consumption (such as: R2 for 10 minutes that expire within 10 minutes of loading; R4 for one hour that expires within an hour of loading; and R7 for an hour for the day) to integrated bundles and personalised offers. We sold 763 million prepaid voice bundles for the year, with the total number of voice bundles sold up 36.5% compared to last year. This has resulted in a 16.9% reduction in our average effective price-per-minute for calls.

Our data bundles now include a number of affordable daily, weekly and monthly options, from small ‘bite size’ bundles of 10MB to larger bundles such as 5GB. We saw an 85.9% increase in the number of data bundles sold, selling 343 million data bundles for the year, resulting in a 13.6% reduction in the average effective price per megabyte of data.

We have also continued our efforts in lowering the prices of smart data devices, aided by the purchasing power we enjoy through the Vodafone Procurement Company, but are expecting this to be constrained by higher import costs due to poor exchange rates.

Our performance

  • Blended price per minute reduced 16.9% to 54 cents in South Africa.
  • Prepaid price per minute reduced 17.8% to 37 cents in South Africa.
  • Effective price per MB reduced by 13.6% in South Africa and 28.6% in International.
  • Data traffic grew 46.8% in South Africa and 73.1% in International.
  • In South Africa: 85.1% of contract customers are on integrated tariffs and contract churn reduced from 9.2% to 8.5%.

Best service

Our ambition is to position Vodacom as Africa’s best telecommunications company at delivering unmatched customer experience at every point that a customer engages with our brand. To achieve this, in May 2015, we launched an ambitious three-year programme under the Vodafone global CARE initiative that focuses on four areas aimed at maximising the customer experience:

  • Connectivity – We will be guaranteeing network satisfaction in terms of speed, reliability and coverage, and are taking a more proactive approach in checking coverage and call quality.
  • Always in control – We aim to ensure that customers have full control of their spend and do not have any surprises from bill shock. Using the MyVodacom App, customers can easily view balances, buy bundles and manage their account with Vodacom, free of charge. We have extended our international roaming product, Travel Saver, from 27 to 180 countries.
  • Rewarding loyalty – We are rewarding long-term customers for being part of the Vodacom family, and are refreshing our existing postpaid and prepaid loyalty programmes.
  • Easy access – We are maximising the efficiency and availability of customer support, digitizing our customer experience, introducing voice biometrics in the call centres, increasing functionality and improving processes. We launched our first Business in Retail service in store with a dedicated enterprise desk and by year end ten stores had implemented the integrated Business in Retail model. Roaming customers can call our call centre 24/7 at no charge.

Accompanying these ambitious CARE initiatives, we are introducing in South Africa a new customer management and billing system that is needed as we transition from a predominately mobile company to a unified communications provider. We have recently commenced the migration to our Customer 3D (C3D) programme, and expect to complete the move over of all contract customers in the first half of the new financial year.

 Driving improvement in our South African retail operations

  • We have transformed 80% of our Vodacom-branded stores from purely transactional to experiential stores, delivering an enhanced customer experience; resulting improvements include: a 30% reduced average waiting time, 78% of all customer interactions being fully resolved in-store on first visit, and 2.2% year-on-year improvement in touch-point NPS.
  • We are repositioning our historically enterprise-orientated products and processes for retail, promoting a more simplified and streamlined experience; by year end, ten stores had implemented the integrated Business in Retail model, with all 226 stores due to be completed by 31 March 2018.
  • We have empowered frontline service resolution through the use of the RED Box, leveraging off its latest technologies and capabilities relating to data transfer, loading apps and diagnostics. Through the App Loader, customers can have their chosen apps downloaded and registered easily and efficiently on their smart device before leaving the store. The diagnostics tool provides quick checks and the resolution of device faults such as functionality, settings and formatting.
  • This year, our Vodacom Repairs operation, responsible for the prompt and efficient aftersales service of Vodacom devices, received high-level repair accreditation by Apple, Sony and ZTE. We provide customers with real-time repair status update via our SMS platform, and have leveraged our online platform offering, Online Track and Trace, so customers can view the status of their repair.

 Driving improvement in our International operations

  • We are consistently leading on customer care NPS in Mozambique, Lesotho and Tanzania, and have improvement plans in place in the DRC.
  • Our CARE programme has been piloted in all markets, and is currently in the reporting and monitoring phase.
  • All operations have rolled out new store formats, and are in the process of rolling out RED boxes in their stores.
  • In Mozambique, we achieved a first call resolution rate of 83% and maintained a strong lead in NPS 6 ppts ahead of our nearest competitor.
  • All our International operations use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and USSD self-service, and share best practices amongst the operations.
  • MyVodacom App is available in Tanzania and the DRC; it will be launched in Mozambique and the DRC next year.
  • Tanzania, the DRC and Mozambique have been affected by the customer registration requirements. We have implemented a registration app with the aim of improving the customer experience and overcoming the negative impact that customer registration requirements have had in the markets.