Customer Experience Professionals Ghana
CX Spotlight: Benjamin Akuffo

CX Spotlight: Benjamin Akuffo

Part 2 of this edition’s CX Spotlight focuses on another CX Hero; Benjamin Akuffo, (MD, MultiThread ICT Solutions Limited):

Meet Benjamin, a true CX enabler, with a wealth of experience in IT management spanning over 23 years. He is deeply passionate about driving Business Process Optimization, Digital Transformation, Business Intelligence, Cyber Security, and Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, and his approach is always results-driven, backed by qualities such as honesty, sincerity, proactivity, time consciousness, and a strong sense of faith.

Benjamin’s impressive list of certificates includes PMI-certified Project Management Professional(PMP), Certified Information Systems Auditor(CISA) by ISACA, and ITILv4 Certified in IT Service Management by Axelos. He is also certified by Cisco as a Network Professional (CCNP) and by Microsoft as a Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert and Infrastructure Solution Expert.

With his expertise, Benjamin has successfully led complex IT projects across a wide range of industries, from Banking and Insurance to Transportation and Manufacturing. As Co-Founder and Managing Director of MultiThread ICT Solutions Limited, he has also made it his mission to deliver world class IT solutions that solve real-life challenges, through both Infrastructure and Software Solutions.

Benjamin is constantly striving to advance the CX industry, with a goal of making the world a better place for everyone. He is dedicated to continuously honing his skills and expertise to deliver top-notch CX solutions that enhance the lives of people everywhere, and he is committed to being a key player in the ongoing evolution of the CX industry.

Conversation with Benjamin…

CXP Gh – Can you describe your current role?

BenjaminMy Information Technology (IT) career started in 2001 at the early adoption of Personal Computers in Ghana. I worked with Einob Solutions Ltd in the early part of my career during which I was seconded on a GIZ-funded IT project with the then International Revenue Services(IRS) as a consultant. At the end of the two year project, I was called back to support the Modernization Program Office of the newly founded Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) to integrate the IT systems of the merged revenue collection agencies(Internal Revenue Services, Value Added Tax and Custom Services). Later I joined Sambus Company Limited which was at the time one of the industry giants as the lead Microsoft and Cisco Solutions Manager. My role involved architecting solutions for clients based on their requirements and existing systems. I lead successful projects across education, energy, manufacturing, government, services, and mining. In my entire line of experience, I always felt things could be better with the client in focus. It is for this need that I established MultiThread ICT Solutions with my partners Joseph Annor and Edmund Kojo Tetteh in 2014 to “Do IT Right!”. Through hard work, dedication, and the Grace of God we have grown MultiThread from nothing from nothing to a formidable IT company with the status of being a Microsoft Strategic Gold Partner in Ghana having offices in Germany, Brazil, the USA, and Canada.

CXPGh – What is your personal personal mantra or statement?

BenjaminDo IT Right!

CXP Gh – Can you share your leadership style and its impact on success?

Benjamin Basically, I believe in empowering and inspiring my team members to achieve their full potential by providing them with the necessary support and resources to succeed. I could say the effect has been that team members are able to take ownership of their work, be innovative and think outside the box. This has resulted in good team spirit, increased productivity, job satisfaction and organizational success.

CXP Gh – What are your thoughts on the state of customer experience CX in Ghana?

Benjamin – Customer experience though has been a buzzword for a while is still at the early stages in Ghana. This was exposed during The Year of Return where there was massive feedback as to how terrible their experience was. Just to paraphrase, one patron mentioned that the service is so bad, yet you cannot complain because the attendants are extra nice and polite. For me, it beckons on us to rethink customer experience because it is not having smiley attendants say sorry and make up excuses while buying time. Organizations should learn to build the right infrastructure to deliver quality customer experience for their customers throughout the customer journey. This fundamental to having a real change within the CX space.

CXP Gh – How do you determine the success of your cx strategies?

BenjaminBasically, feedback from clients is the keyway of assessing our CX strategies. We include a quality assurance manager (usually an executive) on every project aside a project manager to ensure that client expectations are well managed. Our business also rely heavily on references so when there are third party verification from prospective clients, we are very interested to hear at least what our clients say about us. Finally, we do monthly, quarterly, or annual quality review depending on the kind of engagement, primarily to receive client feedback and thoughts on how services could be improved.

CXP Gh – How do you keep up with the latest CX trends and technology?

BenjaminAs an IT company, we stay on the edge of technology, so we are set up to be able to be agile to adopt new technologies. That said, our core service offering is not necessarily complicated within the CX space as we focus more on service delivery and in most cases, we touch on few persons or teams within an organization to deliver our services. We also attend seminars focused on CX to abreast ourselves with current trends so we can adopt the relevant ideologies in our customer engagement.

CXP Gh – What is your approach to solving problems in your role and prioritizing tasks and projects?

BenjaminThe main approach to solving problems within my space is being proactive. Our space is a bit tricky as mostly clients come with requests which they are not well vested in the subject matter. As part of the engagement , I try to establish whether clients really understand what their request is, whether they have considered alternatives and finally whether it is easily scalable rather than a lock in. Whatever their answers may be, the objective is to be sure the client is well informed about the decision. With that established whatever problem comes during project implementation is amicably resolved from a standpoint that we exercised professionalism and due care during our engagement. Timelines are defined for every project and the team is rallied to execute based on those agreed parameters. We try to stay on top while we carry the client through the engagement until successful delivery. As part of our practice, all projects have timelines for closure, and we ensure closure dates are monitored.

CXP Gh – How have you contributed to advancing CX in your current position? 

Benjamin – As technology providers and with our keen interest in CX we have automated several business processes which assist the internal team to work quicker and more efficiently there by improving service delivery. Also, we have specific customer facing Applications like MVLAPP (MultiThread Visitor Log App) and MQMS (MultiThread Queue Management System) which helps streamline customer engagement or processing especially across service points. For live monitoring and evaluation, we also use Microsoft Power BI for reporting and analytics thereby affording the managerial team spot on insight for timely intervention all gearing towards better customer engagement and service delivery.

CXP Gh – Can you highlight any notable achievements in the CX space? 

Benjamin – In 2015, we assisted the then GHL Bank to adopt office 365 and built a Unified Communication System leveraging on Enterprise Voice Private Branch Exchange (PBX) feature of the Skype for Business Solution. This saved the bank over USD 200,000 while also having better organization wide collaboration among team members even at branch offices (Ref on Customer Story GHL Project Published by Microsoft on their website). The same system served as the Contact Center and PBX of the Bank. We have also successfully implemented Applications to manage customers in the telco industry, banking industry and government agencies. Our new MQMS is also near full adoption after successful prove of value at some notable banks. We are currently championing new technologies that brings flexibility in managing customer contact centers where agents can work securely from home with a local multi-channel line with Microsoft Teams integration. 

CXP Gh – How do you collaborate with other departments to achieve CX goals? 

Benjamin – As a service provider, departmental collaboration to serve the customer is a must, we have no business without it. Thus, our various departments are closely linked. For instance, our business development team need to ensure that client’s request is carefully communicated to the Application team so that we can make a good impression on first instance. Generally, we only get paid when the customer is satisfied, so even our accounts department checks with the delivery team for project completion before they follow up payment with the client. 

CXP Gh – What steps should one follow to pursue a career similar to yours? 

Benjamin – Define a clear goal., Know and be willing to pay the cost., Stay focused and dedicated., Anticipate failure and bounce back as quick as you can, Trust God, submit your plans to Him, and He shall make your path straight. 

CXP Gh – Do you have any advice for aspiring CX professionals?

Benjamin – CX is underrated and a bit underdeveloped in Ghana. This provides limitless opportunities for CX professionals as companies are making conscious effort to make investment into solving real CX problems as that directly impacts the bottom-line. The focus should truly be about delivering the best of service to the customer and not to manage the customer after bad experience. 

Our final wordsIt’s vital to acknowledge and applaud the efforts of those who make a difference in CX, like Evelyn Acquah and Benjamin Akuffo. We hope their stories inspire you to strive for excellence. Let’s work together to elevate CX and create outstanding customer experiences. Who will be the next to be in the spotlight? Watch out for the next edition!


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