- During a field visit with our partner iLEMEL in Dakar region, we have interviewed Bacary Sarr, Solar Technician and Paco Blarez-Bethery, Project Manager, on their experience using PaygOps Mobile App. Discover their feedback below... -
Can you tell us about your experience using PaygOps Mobile App?
“I started to use PaygOps Mobile App running field operations for iLEMEL. Before, when visiting clients or entering new leads, you had to take a pencil, a piece of paper and fill in the client's data. But now, with PaygOps Mobile App, I have more autonomy when I conduct field visits. I can work faster and more efficiently even while in remote areas where there’s little connectivity.”
How does it work when you don’t have an internet connection?
“Once I have entered the lead or customer’s data in the App, I can just save the reports in my phone and it will automatically synchronize once I reach a location with an internet connection.”
Can you tell us an anecdote about a client you had to install using PaygOps Mobile App?
“When I installed my very first customer, back when we didn’t use the App, I remember that I had to call the call center in Dakar and coordinate with them to take a picture of the customer's identity document, send it by WhatsApp, and indicate all additional information about the client such as his date of birth, name and first name, village name,... and all that took time! Now, with PaygOps Mobile App, you can easily take a picture of your customer, his identity document and signed contract whether the use is commercial or personal and everything will be stored on the platform in just a few clicks. It really makes it easier for line managers and people at the call center to review the information about the lead and we gain a lot of time! It is an easy and very reliable application.”
Can you explain to us an estimate of how long it took you to register a customer when you were still working on paper and sending the information by WhatsApp, compared to now that you are using the Mobile App? Do you have any idea of how much time you save using the mobile App?
“I am not sure how much time I do save per day using PaygOps Mobile App versus the old method. What is important to me is that before, when writing the lead or client data on a piece of paper, or sending by WhatsApp what is needed for a lead to be approved in the headquarters or call center, was often a long process. You press “send” but the information will not be sent right away since you work in remote areas where there is no network. So you take the customer's data but you can't send it because there's no network. So in the end, it might take 2 days in total before you can go back to the customer’s house to plan an installation, or conduct a maintenance visit, which is not interesting. Whereas with the Mobile App, as soon as you enter the data you can synchronize directly. So it's very reliable and very convenient for us field agents.”
From a Sales perspective, could you explain the challenges you faced before starting to use the Mobile App? How do you see the efficiency gain already at your level?
“The challenges we faced in the beginning were mostly concerns regarding efficiency, time management and availability in relation to my work because at the time, I was the one entering all the leads / client data, based on the information the agents were sending through WhatsApp. It's not very long to register a client but you have to check the information, sometimes the network doesn't go through so you have to wait and so on...whereas having the agent come in directly, the procedure is much more efficient and much more fluid even if there is always verification work beforehand. As this is the beginning, each time I give a call back to the client (and/or field agent) before installing, if there is an additional question from the customer that we need to answer, or in case we need more precision on data collected, etc... And this allows us to better redefine the lead forms and the questions that we will ask the prospects. Working with PaygOps Mobile App is a real time saver, and at the same time it allows us to give more responsibility to the agent, who no longer does a job of collection only or transmission, but who now becomes an important part of this process of constant improvement.”
Regarding after-sales services, can you describe the key procedures you had to implement to report issues before using the Mobile App? What in your opinion are the losses in efficiency that you could observe and how did it improve thanks to the Mobile App?
“For after-sales services, the Mobile App is very useful to us. Firstly, to follow-up with technical issues. Before using the App, it was difficult to keep up on the clients' problems, and we had to remember all issues. For example, a small cable problem that needed to be changed is something that could easily be forgotten, because the agent would have mentioned it over the phone, but this is something we could easily forget to report. Another example would be with a charging device or a solar panel issue, which needs to be monitored. With the feedback from the agents on the field, I would automatically register it in the PaygOps platform to keep track of it. A procedure that therefore takes more time than if the field agents were to report the problems themselves. With the after-sales features now available in PaygOps Mobile App, the agents can do such tasks themselves, giving more time to conduct more high level tasks for the company. In general, the agents have now gained autonomy and they feel more responsibility toward their customer. The agent can simply connect to the App and view his daily planning with the list of tasks assigned to him. So now for the agents, it’s not only about making more sales, but it is also to ensure great customer support, which is key for the company’s success.”
About iLEMEL Energy Solutions:
ILEMEL Energy Solutions is a full service engineering, consulting and energy firm, with market leading strengths in planning, building and operating industrial, electrical and other technical infrastructures as well as establishing efficient energy infrastructure. With offices regions wide, we counsels, guide and built infrastructures for our clients in sub-Saharan Africa. Our multidisciplinary teams allow us to anticipate trends and offer a 360 degree perspective on complex energy efficiency issues, helping clients to the greater advantages of opportunities and better mitigate risks. Dedicated to innovation in the area of energy and industrial infrastructures, we‘re committed to leadership, integrity; partnership and human progress. For more information on iLEMEL, please contact [email protected].
About Solaris Offgrid:
Solaris Offgrid supports solar energy distributors to build strong customer traction and greater relations with investors through flexible and inclusive Paygo solutions, designed for last-mile operations. Adopting a bottom up approach in the design of its solutions and creating synergies with a strong network of partners to solve last-mile challenges, the company has already deployed Paygo solutions in nearly 20 countries through PaygOps, Solaris Offgrid in-house software solution built “In the Field, for the Field” and its product design services. Leading reference in the off-grid solar market, PaygOps, is engineered to deliver modular and interoperable solutions to address off-grid energy access challenges and distribution complexity. For more information on PaygOps, please contact [email protected].