Windhoek, 10 April – The business world has significantly changed since the internet went mainstream during the early 1990s. I can recall how challenging it was to access information about businesses before this period. At the same time, the past two decades have brought about significant changes within the digital landscape that have led to companies having to either adapt or fall behind.
Since joining Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), quite a number of things have changed in how we go about doing our business and how we stay in touch with our clients. It was five years ago that we re-positioned ourselves and moved away from our previous methods of communicating and presenting our activities and establishments. To start with, we re-developed our website with the sole purpose of making it user-friendly in addition to ensuring secure access on any device. With the increase in enquiries from the improvement of our website, we further incorporated an online booking and payment portal to ensure that our clients would not have to leave the site to finalise their booking. This led to our clients having a seamless user experience on the platform. On average, we receive over 20 000 monthly visitors on our website with the top five countries being Namibia, Germany, South Africa, Netherlands, and France.
With the emergence of the smartphone, there has been a significant shift from how clients interact with brands. A survey that appeared on IT News Africa stated that Namibia’s active mobile broadband subscribers increased from 1.5 million to 1.6 million people from June 2016 to June 2017. Equally, Namibia was ranked 7th on the African continent as having the fastest mobile internet. It also stated that over 470 000 individuals access the internet via their mobile phones. As a company, such data re-enforced why the introduction of our IOS and Android smartphone application four years ago was a step in the right direction. Over the years we have continuously updated it to ensure it remains relevant. We went a step further by always sending notifications of pertinent content to our users who spend an average of 3 minutes on the application.
During the same period, we saw the need to update our clients with what was going on at NWR and the specials we had. Initially, we heavily utilised print newsletters as a channel of communicating our news. With little or no clear way of evaluating the reach or impact of these newsletters, we started using Mailchimp which now provides us with the data we require to know whether what we are communicating is relevant and useful to our clients. Likewise, our clients can interact with us regarding queries or product related information.
Internally, our teams have gone a step further and found applications which ensure that we remain on top of our projects. Trello has greatly assisted us in keeping up to date with critical activities that we need to focus on to ensure we are on top of our tasks.
I therefore firmly believe that technology can be one of the key drivers to bridging the gap between clients and businesses as we go forward. – Zelna Hengari: Managing Director, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR)