Safaricom has won my innovation of half-year award with “Reverse Call” feature. With reverse call feature, a caller can transfer the cost of a call to the receiver by adding ‘#’ before the number they are calling. For instance, to transfer the cost of the call to 0722000000, a customer will dial #0722000000. I think that is amazing.
Simply, you may not even need to load credits for some people knowing that they can reach you anytime they want provided you have credits. To avoid abuse, they even have a feature that ensures you know you are paying for the call as the receiver: “A customer receiving a reverse call request will see the caller’s details appear on the screen as normal, but once they pick the call, they will receive a voice prompt asking them to key in “1” to accept the reverse call. The cost of the call will be equivalent to the receiver’s normal call cost.”
“At Safaricom, we maintain our commitment to always provide our customers with relevant products in line with their needs. This innovation is in line with this commitment and has been tailored to mirror the relationships between our customers with a goal of empowering them to always remain connected with their loved ones,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom….
The service is only available for on-net calls and will not be applicable for off-net, roaming and international calls.
The Reverse Call feature complements Safaricom’s existing “Please Call Me” service which enables a customer to send five free messages to other customers requesting for a call back. (press release)
Safaricom continues to innovate – I expect many African telcos to copy this. The manual version is Flash call (calling with no expectation to allow the receiver to pick it); the Flash call is now institutionalized with the reverse call feature.