Mpho Samuel, G4S’ National Customer Service Manager, oozes nothing but passion for her work. She takes us inside her world
Discuss your role and how you reached this pinnacle
SAMUEL: I joined G4S Botswana in 2018 and introduced the concept of customer centricity. My role is the first of its kind in Africa and I am excited for G4S Botswana to pioneer change in Africa. This role is very dynamic and challenging and each day comes with multiple challenges. For many years the industry has focused on providing security without necessarily appreciating the service aspect of it. Customer needs have changed over the years and the customer of today expects much more from a security provider and this is where my expertise comes in.
I am a product of the University of Botswana with a qualification in Business Administration (Marketing). I stumbled on the world of customer service support in 2007. As a marketing graduate I had thought that I would have a career in Advertising but the doors that opened for me were in customer service. I was blessed enough to get my first job at Mascom Wireless three months before my graduation. I started off as a customer service officer working closely with the call centre. This is where I fell in love with the world of customer centricity. I continued my stay with Mascom as Customer Service Trainer.
I am a person who is not afraid to try new things, especially career-wise. In 2012, I got an opportunity to try out a different industry. I took up a role with Botswana Housing Corporation doing customer service at the call centre. Many people have a perception that Parastatals are not customer centric so I was excited to venture into that world and make a meaningful contribution. In 2014, I got an opportunity to work at DHL Express as a Head of Customer Service. This was quite a leap career-wise and it introduced me to Management. Working for a multi-national such as DHL was a big step. The standards set for customer service there are quite high and the role is very challenging. Despite this, I had a very successful time at DHL Express with my team getting position three in DHL Sub Saharan Africa in 2015. My Team emerged top in service in 2016. I had the courage to submit an entry for the International Stevie Awards where my Team received a Bronze award in 2015 and in 2016. I also received a bronze award for Contact Centre Manager of the Year in 2017.
What key projects are you currently working on?
SAMUEL: As a business G4S Botswana has a very clear strategy that encompasses Customer Centricity. As part of that strategy, we are working towards being accessible to our customers 24 hours a day in terms of service provision across all our business lines. We are working on technological solutions that will see our customers not needing to leave the comfort of their homes to access all our services.
What are the lessons for G4S in the COVID-19 era?
SAMUEL: COVID-19 has brought forward a new normal which is not a bad thing. G4S Botswana with a staffing complement of close to 3000 people has been able to stay ahead in the fight against the COVID-19. Prior to having confirmed cases in Botswana we had adopted work place protocols. These elaborate plans were not only for our Valued Staff but also for our customers who needed assurance that they had a security partner who was well prepared. The most important thing for G4S in this fight is early preparation and consistency in following protocols. COVID -19 has cemented the importance of having robust business continuity plans. It is also a time to explore technological advancements and offer online services. These are the focus areas for G4S Botswana and our customers will soon get to experience this. Technological innovation is in our strategy 2020-2025. We are working on projects that will see G4S leading the industry. We are working on solutions for all business lines that will improve our efficiency and in turn our service to our customers.
What advice do you have for those ladies striving to break through the barrier?
SAMUEL: There is a shift in our country and we are beginning to see strong women leading some of the biggest companies in Botswana. There is really nothing that is stopping women from achieving their dreams. They just have to be willing to work hard and be confident enough to raise their hand in the boardroom.
What inclusive policies does G4S have in place, particularly to advance women?
SAMUEL: G4S is an equal opportunity employer. This is part of our strategy and is evidenced by the rising numbers of women at all levels in the employ of the company.
Your future goals
SAMUEL: I plan on leading a large company like G4S one day and I am excited to be on this journey. I believe I have the necessary drive and passion to achieve this dream someday soon. There is no limit to what I can achieve.
Favourite holiday destination
Mauritius has always been my favourite and I cannot wait to visit the place again. Another place high on my wish list is the Okavango Delta. I would love to have a view of it from a helicopter. I am sure God will bless me enough to visit the place very soon.
Who’s your mentor?
I look to a few people for various reasons for example, for my walk with the Lord, for my career as well as family. They are all very passionate people, very strong willed and also very successful in their different areas. There is no single blueprint for my life that I am following but I do hope that as they continue to support me in my life that they see bits and pieces of themselves in me.