Customer service: Are you getting the best customer service? This is a phrase almost everyone in Zimbabwe has heard of at some point yet it’s sad to notice the lack of good customer service or customer appreciation in a lot of businesses in our communities. Like most Zimbabweans, my 4 year old knows what customer service means but I doubt he knows how to effectively implement it, so in my opinion (influenced by my brief survey with a few businesses in the Harare CBD) the issue is not understanding the definition of Customer Service but rather implementing good customer service practices.
Despite my above statement assuming most of us know the definition of customer service, let’s explore it…
Customer service, sometimes also referred to as customer care, is the act of giving assistance, advice and guidance by a company to the people (customers & clients) that use the business’ products and services.
There are many obvious reasons why a company must give its customers and client’s good customer service; let’s explore:
- Good customer service results in a happier and more satisfied client resulting in better trust and loyalty guaranteeing future business and referrals
- To some customers, if not most, the experience they observe in your organization will be a deciding factor whether or not they return to you for future business or refer you to their friends. So it’s obvious that a happy customer becomes a client and a free sales person to advocate for your brand
- In some cases clients are actually willing to pay a premium for good customer service
- The cost of acquiring new customers is a lot higher than the cost of maintaining existing customers. So it’s a good idea to treat those who come into your establishment with the utmost respect and appreciation
- Bad customer service can result in upset customers and higher confrontations in your establishment plus higher stress levels within the workforce – ultimately leading to higher turnover and needless to say, a huge dent on your brand… Bad for business!
- Referrals by existing clients is the best form of advertising money can’t buy… good customer service can achieve this
In this short article it should be obvious that every business should strive to offer the best customer service in Zimbabwe especially considering the economic hardships our country is currently experiencing… YET… Yet customer service in general is so bad in a lot of the businesses in Zimbabwe.
DISCLAIMER: There are some businesses in ZIMBABWE that are offering exceptional client service and continue to improve and raise the bar. This article is not to say that we don’t have companies doing it right!
So if we all know what customer service is and the pros and cons of having it or not having in our organizations, why is it that social media is swamped with people not happy with their shopping experiences in a lot of the businesses?
Is it because some people don’t understand that good customer service is an integral part of the product or service? Whatever the reason is, ZimShoppingMalls is launching a section we hope will create a professional and open environment where customers can voice their concerns based on their shopping experiences with Zimbabwean businesses. We are all consumers or clients of some organization whether it’s government or private industry. And it’s a consumer’s right to choose whether or not to support an organization or institution based on customer service levels.
Write to us and share your stories and experiences for publication on this new section we are calling ‘Customer Letters’. The purpose is to publish clients/shopper’s experiences so that we can engage and discuss as a community and find effective and efficient ways to improve customer service in our organizations and ultimately change the perception the world has about Zimbabwe.
This venture is a great win-win opportunity for both the business community and consumers. Some of the benefits of this engagement include:
- The discussions may offer ways for businesses and clients to improve their roles for better progress
- Offering a way to measure customer satisfaction
- Provide tangible data that can be used to make better decisions by both the business community and consumers
- The community discussions will allow customers to engage with each other and with the business community in ways not currently available. It will give the business community a platform to answer questions, engage in discussions and keep an eye on consumer trends.
- Allow the business community to use technology to it’s advantage through listening to the community discussions
- Make customers a part of the team by virtue of the engagement
- Customers will feel heard and appreciated through the community feedback and engagement on ‘Customer Letters‘ section of ZimShoppingMalls
As you can see this is a WIN-WIN initiative from ZimShoppingMalls – Occassionally we may share some letters that may not be complaints or concerns from consumers but perhaps praises although this section will focus on complaints and concerns from consumers.
We look forward to reading your letters and discussing them within our ZimShoppingMalls community of readers. Our team is excited to play a role in progressing customer service levels in Zimbabwe. Check back soon for the first customer letter…
Ottawa University Graduate in (Honors) Accounting. After attaining a few accounting designations and proving to myself that I can pass exams at the highest levels, I now chase after my biggest dream – HAPPINESS! My passion is progressing my community through online technologies and giving an opportunity to AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe…