HOW TO BE AN MPEZA AGENT FOR BEGINERS
A Training Manual
Foreword by Sahani Kom
This is the beginner’s manual. Please read all the instructions carefully and observe the rules and regulations contained herein. This ‘code of conduct’ will help customers identify you as an MPEZA agent (particularly of the peculiar Kenyan variety) anywhere in the world.
Find a space. Any space. For example,
- For universal application- between the door and the door frame
- At Mama Mboga’s ( the green grocer)– between the tomatoes and dhania
- At the Kinyozi ( barber shop) – between the moustache and the goatee
- For advanced users with highly developed ‘techie’ skills – between the ‘Alt’ and the ‘Alt Gr’ keys.
Any space. Literally. Hang up your agent number and transaction charges chart and open shop. Oh and your ‘MPEZA’ sign. Extra points if ‘MPEZA’ is stylized in neon with little LED lights flashing around it.
- Working Hours
If your space happens to be in the CBD, open at the crack of dawn to take advantage of the early morning rush hour crowd on their way to work. Once shop is open, try out this neat trick:
- Wait for customer to walk in and approach the counter.
- Inquire what manner of transaction they would like to do.
- Upon hearing their response, repeat the following magic words; ‘Sina float’.
- Watch the customer disappear.
Pretty cool, huh? It works every time. The same trick will also work at 11:53 pm, especially for agents whose neon sign says ‘OPEN TILL LATE’. This is a finely honed technique that has been handed down from generation to generation of MPEZA agents. Don’t let us down.
First and foremost, when dealing with a customer, every MPEZA agent must muster the official look, also known as ‘the blank stare’. As an agent, you are to sustain an expression of mild to extreme boredom throughout your interaction with your customers. Secondly, do not, under any circumstances, acknowledge greetings or pleasantries offered by your customer. However, if you happen to be in a particularly philanthropic mood that day, the official code of conduct will allow an exception to this rule by allowing you to proffer the official response as demonstrated below:
Customer: Habari yako? ( How are you?)
MPEZA agent: Sema ( loosely translated to ….*insert naija accent* “Talk now, you are wasting my time.”)
After this, proceed with transaction. Ensure your speech is short, clipped and abrupt, in a manner likely to suggest that you have better things to do than pressing buttons on your MPEZA handset. For example:
Customer: Habari yako? ( How are you?)
MPEZA agent: Sema
Customer: Nataka kudeposit ( I would like to deposit)
MPEZA agent: Ngapi? (How much?)
Customer: Soo tano ( Kshs 500)
MPEZA agent: Blank stare
Customer: Wondering what the blank stare means.
MPEZA agent: Opens hand, palm up, Blank stare again.
Customer: Has a brainwave. Fumbles in pocket. Produces Kshs 500 note. Places it on agent’s counter.
MPEZA Agent: Withdraws palm and sighs.
MPEZA agent: Namba? ( Number?)
MPEZA agent: Presses buttons on handset. Boredom deepens. Displays phone screen to customer with eyebrow raised.
MPEZA agent: Confirm
Intimidated Customer: Nods head.
MPEZA agent: Presses buttons on handset again. Sighs deeply. Tugs at transaction record book and scribbles in it.
MPEZA agent: ID?
Customer: Meekly recites ID number
MPEZA agent: *Slides records book across counter* Sign here
Customer: Signs book. Receives new message alert on phone.
Customer: Asante (thank you)
MPEZA agent: Diverts blank stare to next person in the queue. ‘Sema!”
Please note that the instructions above only apply if you are in a good mood. If you are having a bad day, please refer to technique described in No. 2 above.
4. Additional Notes
If you happen to work in a particularly busy MPEZA agency, please feel free to ignore the customer who is first in line and serve the person who can’t be bothered to queue because they are only depositing and you know them well anyway. If your customer has not been able to locate your agency number or transaction charges chart, please direct their attention to it by pointing with your mouth. Also, If your agency has multiple counters, please feel free to interrupt the transaction to share funny anecdotes with the agents in the counters next to you ( preferably in vernacular) and keep your customer waiting as you laugh loudly and forget how much they said they wanted to withdraw/ deposit. Whatever you do, do not give the customer in front of you the impression that they are important because they are supporting your business. After all, there are 19,999,999 other Kenyans out there just aching to stand in your queue. 🙂
©The Least likely wordsmith 2016. All rights reserved.