The Rise Of Fintech Companies Has Disrupted Traditional Banking Everywhere Traditional Banks Are Losing Out To Financial Technology Companies.
GETTING IT RIGHT ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION The Customer | June 2017 1
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The Rise Of Fintech Companies Has Disrupted Traditional Banking Everywhere Traditional Banks Are Losing Out To Financial Technology Companies.
GETTING IT RIGHT ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
EDITORIAL PUBLISHER Chartered Institute for Customer Management Global (CICM) ASSISTANT EDITOR: CYNTHIA TAPERA
Chief Executive Officer: Ricky Harris firstname.lastname@example.org CICM CHAIRPERSON Professor Estelle VanTonder CHIEF EDITOR Benson Mukandiwa email@example.com EDITOR: BENSON MUKANDIWA
MARKETING EXECUTIVE Nicole Jofrey SALES TEAM Timothy Mupotsa Claude Mateta Patrice Habinshuti Fredrick Joaki Hector Wulf Liseli Nare Fasili Boniphace DESIGN AND LAYOUT +263 (04) 253960 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We strive to promote customer service excellence in the twin fields of customer experience and call centre management in Africa by bringing readers the best and latest business thinking as well as touch points. It is our firm commitment that everyone, whether advertiser or reader will gain by investing in The Customer magazine.
Copyright© The Customer Magazine CICM Global (pvt) Ltd All information is supplied without liability. Although the publisher has taken all precautions to ensure that the information is correct at the time of publication, the publisher and agents do not accept any liability, direct or indirect, for material contained in this publication. No part of this publication may be reduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of means without prior written permission of the copyright owners. For all your info and enquiries Email/ Write Editor, The Customer Magazine email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Attitude: A KEY INGRIDIENT TO DELIVERING SERVICE EXCELLENCE WITH A DIFFERENCE IN 21ST CENTURY AFRICA
he Customer Magazine by CICM is yet another first, best and unique voice for excellence in customer service for Africa. Client Service is a developing segment that will contribute tremendously to GDPs of African economies later on. This development will be driven to a great extent by innovation and incorporated markets. Statistic patterns demonstrate that Africa has the most youthful populace who are quick moving towards meeting innovation stages. Customer experience will become the premier driver for business growth on
the mainland. The key to create a customer-centric culture — and that’s what The Customer Magazine is all about. This edition’s theme is focused on why “Attitude is a key ingredient for a brand to deliver a world class experience”. The journey starts at the point of staff engagement, in customer service, it is always best to test for personality and attitude, then train for knowledge and skills. Recruitment teams must be more concerned about how much the candidate cares about people than about how much they know. It is easier to teach a person how to use a computer, or make a calculation than it is to train the same person to be patient, friendly, outgoing or empathetic. There are only three ways to differentiate a brand, thus the brand equity, assets and the human capital skills; most brands they forget that Customer Service is the cheapest approach with the biggest and farthest reaching impact. “What is changing in Customer experience?” Yes, there is a considerable measure that is changing about how we convey client experience, so I’m going to put forth a strong expression. In the event that you take a look at what customer experience is, it is the same as it CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
The Customer | June 2017 3
Contents T H E
C U S T O M E R | 2 0 1 7 | J U N E
I S S U E
12 COVER STORY
Standing Still Can Kill Your Business
ANGOLAN BANKS Getting It Right On Customer Satisfaction
SOUTH AFRICA South Africa & Good Customer Service: TOO BIG TO CARE?
Understading the thin line between Empathy
20 YOU WANT ANSWERS? ASK
24 WHO ARE THE New Customers 28
UNDERSTANDING AN APPROACH To leading in the dark
34 TIGO TANZANIA Makes A Difference 36 CONSUMER PROTECTION IN ZIMBABWE
Up in the air
58 8 14 38 THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH
46 QUESTIONS OF DILIGENCE TO CURTAIL
42 THE GENIUS OF LIVING CONSCIOSLY 44 HOW TO FIX BAD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Future Of Organisational Survival. Customer Experience, company culture and Innovation.
Poor Customer Service
48 THE ONE THING WE MUST DO
to Create a Customer Focused Culture
54 LOVE LETTER
to Create a Customer Focused Culture
56 TAKE A “VOW TO WOW” 58
Country wide Clean-up Campaign
50 TREAT THE CUSTOMER The way you would like to be treated.
The Customer | June 2017 5
Welcome Note If you want to be sustainably customer centric, you must tell everyone what is your vision – and then tell them again – and again – and again.
elcome! CICM’s second edition of The Customer Magazine each article has taken each contributor’s personal journey, delving into broad experiences worthy to putting into practice (with varying degrees of success in customer experience) As chairperson I have committed my experiences, thoughts and knowledge to sharing the several common experiences which have risen to the surface with the African business visionaries. The Customer Magazine strives to engage the global entrepreneurs in better understanding the role they play in improving the customer experience, if customer experience is not actually part of the business strategy in the first place. To open a significant part of the unrealized potential, African
6 June 2017 | The Customer
organizations should along these lines focus and coordinate Customer experience conveyance in their plans of action. But of course, we can’t succeed until we learn how to deliver a truly world-class client experience that differentiates us from our competitors. Customer experience is a vital key element for business strategy, or first and foremost the key question is do you know what the strategy is, or that it even exists? If you have an aspiration to lead or be part of a sustainably customer centric organization, then you must master the art of engineering a positive attitude. If you want to be sustainably customer centric, you must tell everyone what is your vision – and then tell them again – and again – and again. Communication is such a vital component in influencing a positive attitude – the more creative and inventive you are in getting the message across, the better! It is essential that your people buy in to your strategy; to support it; to be advocates of it; they need to know what it is and what it means for them – what you want/need them to actually do. If you have the intention of becoming a more customer centric business – you need to tell your people. The importance of Customer Experience to the companies is vital to every leader who is committed to helping the brands to genuinely achieve their customer centric goals. The most important aspect of positive attitude is to continuously instill the message – instill it until the message has become embedded into the psyche of those you are leading – until mind sets have been fundamentally shifted. CICM global continues to work alongside prominent African and international players in the customer service sector to build an online ecosystem to facilitate the development of customer service & call centre industry in Africa. Lastly I am forever grateful for the unfailing support that CICM has received from all key stakeholders; thus includes our advertisers, contributors; corporate investors; the editorial team and my fellow Executive Committee members. It is indeed a great privilege for me to serve the institute and the customer service /call centre industry.
face. I hope you enjoy the second edition of The Customer magazine
w ustomer.co.z www.thec
The Rise Of Fintech Companies Has Disrupted Tradit ional Banking Everywhere Traditional Banks Are Losing Out To Financial Technology Companie s.
R CUSTOME WILL SERVICEVISION DELIVER 0 202 NT PAUL PRESIDE E ON ’S MESSAG KAGAME ER SERVICE CUSTOM
IS TOMER E CUSY G TH IN K S N BANK AN ALA GO ALW S: 30 | DR EVE
GADZIKW ISTER MIN BI GET TIN GEMIT RIGHT LTER MZ 20 | WA 42 | ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION E MR. RHOD JOHNS
was five decades ago. Furthermore, it will be a similar quite a while from now. Customer experience is only a client requiring help, having a question addressed or an issue settled. What’s key, at last the client is glad. That is it. With regards to the customer’s desires, they are the same. As such: Nothing has changed in customer experience! Confirmed, possibly it’s better said an alternate way. With regards to the result of a customer experience involvement, the client’s desires haven’t changed. They simply need to be dealt with a focused attitude. It is expected of every brand to have the client benefit vision explanation or mantra. The mantra must demonstrate how everybody in the organization impacts that vision. It must be inclusive, I mean everybody! Begin with your essential client service travel map; demonstrate how the majority of the normal collaborations – or touchpoints – that the client has while working with you are well galvanized. Conclusively, you may require more than one guide. A client’s business voyage is not quite the same as an administration or bolster travel. The interactions a client has on your organization’s social network site will be not quite the same as via telephone or face to
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
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The Customer | June 2017 7 for everyone
I always recommend that organizations produce a training and development plan for all employees. Training and development are broadly defined as those activities aimed at raising the standards of employee practice and thus lifting the quality of the employee’s and customer’s experiences.
Standing Still Can Kill Your Business… The Importance of Ongoing Training! B by John Tschohl
find this statistic unbelievable….The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics found that companies with fewer than 100 employees gave only 12 minutes of manager training every six months. Organizations with 100-500 employees provided just 6 minutes.
8 June 2017 | The Customer
The following statistic is even more proof that ongoing training is essential for employee development and the growth of a company….A longterm research project commissioned by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning found that from a 4,300 workers sample, 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities. “We have an innate desire to endlessly learn, grow, and develop. We want to become more than what we already are. Once we yield to this inclination for continuous and never-ending improvement, we lead a
life of endless accomplishments and satisfaction.” Chuck Gallozzi – Founder and leader of the Positive Thinkers Group in Toronto The lesson here: invest in retaining and developing your present employees. After all, the cost of retaining present employees is much less than the cost of replacing them. Help employees expand their knowledge by offering more training options. Offer them the opportunity to move up in the company to a better position and a better salary.
WHY INVEST IN CONTINUOUS EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT? Throughout my 37 years of preaching Customer Service, I have found many organizations ignore continuous training session for employees as they feel they are expensive and employees miss out on their work time while attending these sessions. What they fail to understand are the benefits of these continuous training sessions and how they contribute to the organization overall. Benefits of conducting these programs are far greater and longer-lasting. Let’s take a look.
• Continuous Training takes care of weak links It helps to reduce weak links and ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. • Continuous Training increases employee satisfaction It shows employees that they are valued. It helps them move up the learning curve and work harder. They will know that the training they do can take them into other positions with better growth opportunities and/or better pay within the organization.
• Continuous Training boosts employee
performance Continuous training empowers employees. It gives them confidence and keeps them up to date on new developments. This confidence pushes them to perform better and think of new ideas to excel.
• Continuous Training should be done on your time Because
employees are being trained on your time, they see that you value them enough to invest in them
• Continuous Training helps you stay ahead of the
competition Make sure your staff is constantly advancing and you will continue to move forward and be more competitive in the marketplace. Standing still can kill your business.
CONFIDENCE PROPELS PROPER PERSONAL IMAGE
reat the customer the way you would like to be treated. Selfconfidence leads to positive interactions because if a person feels good about himself or herself, it is more likely he or she will be more comfortable communicating with people and working in teams. Customers want to know that the employee they are dealing with is confident and is capable of giving them the necessary support they need to meet their needs. They need the assurance that the advice, recommendations or products they are receiving are coming from someone is who confident and knows what he/she is doing. In customer service, it is always best to test for personality and attitude, then train for knowledge and skills. Be more concerned about how much the candidate cares about people than about how much they know. It is easier to teach a person how to use a computer, or make a calculation than it is to train the same person to be patient, friendly, outgoing or empathetic. Customer Service is the cheapest approach with the biggest and farthest reaching impact in business growth.
The Customer | June 2017 9
I always recommend that organizations produce a training and development plan for all employees. Training and development are broadly defined as those activities aimed at raising the standards of employee practice and thus lifting the quality of the employee’s and customer’s experiences. The aim is to empower all employees to carry out their roles to the highest standards, and deliver high quality services to customers every day and every time. Spending money on something that pays off in profit should not be a sticking point for a business! In my travels around the world I have noticed that increasingly, high performing organizations today are recognizing the need to use best training and development practices to enhance their competitive advantage. Take a look at companies such as Amazon, Costco, Metro Bank UK, and others. They look at training and development as an essential tool of their business and choose to value the potential of their people and grow them. The studies I have looked at have highlighted the connection between a well-designed training program and the bottom line of the business. Your image is influenced by the extent and quality of
staff training and development. That means it HAS to be continuous to achieve your goals. Regular training is well worth the investment because building up the skills within the business will effectively improve your company’s bottom line. “Ongoing training is important not just to employee development, but it also affects the success of your business”. John Tschohl
John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service. He will release shortly the 11th Edition of Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service. The Service Quality Institute (http://www.customerservice.com) has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
We love to listen. Step into any branch, or give us a call and tell us what’s on your mind. Because when we listen, we learn. And when we learn, we achieve more. And when we achieve, so do you.
10 June 2017 | The Customer
Tel: +254 20 284 9888 | Mobile: +254 719 031 888 . +254 732 121 888 | Website: www.dtbafrica.com
The Customer | June 2017 11
IMAGE FROM GETTY IMAGES
12 June 2017 | The Customer
Angolan Banks: Getting It Right On Customer Satisfaction
percent of surveyed customers of Angolan banks said that they have recommended their bank in the past 12 months…..82 percent said they that believe (customer) satisfaction has increased over the same period…….and only 20 percent of the sector’s customers said that they are considering changing banks. That’s according to the KPMG’s Africa Banking Industry Retail Customer Satisfaction Survey released last September. Compare that to an African average of 50 percent that have recommended their bank in the past 12 months……64 percent that believe satisfaction has increased…….and 10 percent of customers that are considering changing banks. It’s a very good performance. The Angolan Financial Services sector is definitely doing something right. It can hardly be argued against that the banking sector is one of the most customer-facing industries you will find anywhere, therefore one of the most critical elements of such a business is to meet
consumer expectations. The alternative is to simply go out of business! Because in this contemporary era, business survival is all about the customer experience, and many banks (all around the world) are feeling the weight of expectations insofar as they are not delivering the level of service that consumers are demanding. One of the areas that financial services customers – not just in Angola but everywhere – are demanding is in respect of new technologies. And everywhere traditional banks are losing out to financial technology (or so-called FinTech) companies. These are usually start-up companies based on using software to provide financial services, for example the likes of Kenya’s M-Pesa, Zimbabwe’s EcoCash, Nigeria’s Paga and Angola’s own E-Kwanza. Not to mention global FinTech firms like PayPal and Payoneer. The rise of FinTech companies has disrupting the way traditional banking has been done and has created a huge challenge for traditional banks that have not been able to adjust quickly to these changes – not just in technology, but also in operations, culture, and other facets of the industry. Brick-&-Mortar in the Digital Era The main problem is that banks have in the past failed to anticipate customer demand and take the requisite adjustments to integrate the ‘digital’ with the ‘physical’. This has given scope to technology startups, retailers and telecommunications companies to essentially colonize the banking industries. But what Angolan banks have done successfully is to integrate new technologies into their traditional banking structures for an enhanced customer experience. “In Angola….the branch continues to be the dominant channel but there are important changes happening in the mix of activities. The number of customers who said they prefer the branch for their ‘transactional’ activities – such as withdrawals, transfers and payments – decreased while the number who prefer it for financial advice increased. “Combined with the fact that Angolan banking customers report an increase in the use of nonbranch channels (such as call centers and mobile banking), our data suggests that Angolan banks are facing many of the same trends as their regional and international counterparts,” notes KPMG. “Given that banking customers in South Africa and Kenya report mobile banking usage rates The Customer | June 2017 13
comparable to Angola’s branch usage rates, it seems Angola is now moving through an evolution in behavioral patterns. Although it may appear that integrating the physical and the digital is a daunting task (especially in terms of cost) for traditional banks, it need not be so. One key strategy that seems to have worked for the Angolan financial services sector has been the use of digital technology only for their front-end customer-
South Africa & Good Customer Service: TOO BIG TO CARE? By CICM WRITER
14 June 2017 | The Customer
facing systems such as websites, while maintaining the erstwhile systems for their mid-tier or back-end systems. Now that’s one way of doing it: enhancing the customer-facing side of the business with new technologies. A bank teller wreathed in smiles is no longer the definition of good customer service in modern-day banking!
OUTH AFRICA is not particularly famous for churning out the best customer services experiences – quite the contrary if I may say. But don’t take my word for it. I mean how many countries in the Sub Saharan region do you know that have a super vibrant ‘bad service’ website? Well, South Africa has one - www. badservicesa.com – and it’s no joke. Some of the stories tell a story. Here are but a few I picked (unadulterated) up from the site:
Company Name: Pick n Pay Rosebank; Date posted: 25 April 2017; Complainant: Innocentzulu ---- Mpho Veveo Mokgothu gave me a bad service she really ruined my mood for the day. I gave her my card so that she can withdraw cash for me but the when she finally did she just throw my money on the counter instead of giving it to me in hand because i gave her my card in her hand and she gave me an attitude.
Company Name: Post Office (Municipality); Date Posted: 24 April 2017; Complainant: Nokubongwa --- -- Good Day. Hope this emails finds you as i am disappointed by the service i received for the past 2 days at Randburg square Branch. I went to Randburg square on the 20th April around 13:00pm to renew my license disc i was advised that there currently offline so i need to came back tomorrow its Ok i do understand then i went to the branch again 21/04/2017 was told the very same story that they are offline so i need to come again on Monday then the lady decided to tell me another story that they can’t assist me because the person that does that stuff is currently on Lunch. Ok So off all of a sudden they not offline anymore but on Lunch so they lady that was helping ME asked her colleague by the name of “MILDRED” to help me fill in the form and the response no she can’t SHE does not want to help she RUDELY SHOUTED AT ME AND TOLD ME THAT SHE WONT HELP ME AND SHE DOES NOT WANNA HELP ME SHOUTING AT ME AND I CANT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I TOLD HER I AM GOING LODGE A COMPALAIN AGAINTS SHE SAID SHE DOES NOT CARE SHE ALSO ALL MY DETAILS SO I CAN’T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I AM ANGRY SOMETHING NEEDS TO DONE ABOUT THAT GIRL CALLED MILDER AND I WAS ASSISTED AFTER 1HOUR STANDING IN THE QUE WITHOUT NO HELP I REQUESTED TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER BUT I WAS TOLD THAT THE MANAGER IS NOT AVAILABLE I NEED FEEDBACK AND APOLOGY FROM HER.
Company Name: Standard Bank K90 Centre Boksburg; Date Posted: 25 April 2017; Complainant: Michele121
----- I went into the above branch in feb as I needed to get a new card. I was assisted by Lynette @ enquiries whom I submitted a letter from the agency I rent from as proof of residence. She seemed to have no problem with the letter, and I did ask if it was good enough to which she said it was. The following Friday I got paid & as I tried to do my EFT's I noticed a FICA status on my acc. I went back to the branch the same afternoon & Lynette said to me I needed my rent statement as well. I then said had she asked me for it the previous week
when I came in I would have attached it.As it was a friday I could not go back to work to print my rent statement which I said right at the beginning I receive via email.She then gave me her email address and asked me to email the docs to her the Monday. I have mailed her several times,called in & left several messages for her to call me back and 2 months later I have had no response whatsoever from this woman and there still is a FICA status on my acc!!She has not 1 single time had the decency to respond to my mails or phone calls to date. I cannot keep taking time off from work as she said she will lift the status once I mail her the docs. It's 2 months later and nothing has been done! I am absolutely infuriated! Not to mention the inconvenience it puts me through because I have a limit to my own damn money! I am utterly disgusted at this awful service! I want this FICA nonsense to be sorted and I will definitely be taking my money to another bank that is more competent. The magnitude of the companies that are mentioned show that it’s an economic milieu that simply just doesn’t care much about good customer service (though I’m not sure it ever did). Apparently the bigger you are, the more impersonal you are. I’m not anti-corporation, or anti-huge economies (if we can call it that), but reality on the ground is that large corporations or entities are inherently problematic insofar as they are driven by the profit motive. And there is nothing wrong with profit seeking per se, but it becomes a problem when it comes at the expense of the most important element of any business – the customer. It could be that the impersonality of ‘big-ness’ that may be at play here. Being an employee myself, and subsisting in a space where almost everyone I know of working age is a worker of some sort, I can relate to employees that give an arm and leg just to earn peanuts…..employees who aren’t motivated because they can never afford to buy the stuff they sell on a daily basis……I can relate to employees whose moral gas tanks have been drained just to aid the bottom line. In this case, you just can’t expect that kind of worker to give any good customer service, let alone an excellent one. South African firms need to appreciate that their employees are their ‘first customers’. It is when these first customers are satisfied that they can effectively service the ‘secondary customers.’ But then again it’s a facile theory to blame the coldness The Customer | June 2017 15
of big corporations. It could be just the particular employees’ attitude and/or ignorance. A number of studies have placed the blame on the employees themselves. To this extent employees need to be trained on effective customer service, including issues such as company systems, sales and service techniques, communication skills, inter-personal skills. Training should naturally include an explanation of the make-up of the company’s products and industry…….a look at the majority of complaints on badservicesa.com will reveal that some of the “bad service” is a result of employees not fully knowing what to do. And generally, employees should know the bottom line impact of bad customer experience and bad customer service (I don’t think Innocentzulu will be paying a visit to Pick n Pay Rosebank anytime soon...and maybe a few others who will read that bad service complaint!).
POWER OF SHARED VISION
ntrepreneurial thinking has to permeate every part of the business and not just for the business owner. Everyone needs to be working in the same direction. Employees must think in terms of how they create value for the business. Customer Service will
make a company. NO customer service will kill it from the top down or the bottom up. Everyone should read how to Win Friends and Influence People - twice - one person company or a mega organization from forklift operator to the CEO arrogance will drive people away never to return. The most likable people generate their own energy. Their attitude does not depend on everything going well and everyone being so grateful for their good work. They are just positive because they are positive. I know all the reasons this is hard. I’ve had years in which nothing in my career seemed to be working. Was I positive the whole time? No. And that was probably a big part of the problem. Kim Cameron, Associate Dean of Executive Education at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, cites the power of the heliotrope effect. He writes: “This effect is defined as the tendency in all living systems toward that which gives life and away from that which depletes life—toward positive energy and away from negative energy. All living systems have an inclination toward the positive—for example, plants lean toward the light, people learn and remember positive information faster and better than negative information, positive words predominate over negative words in all languages, all life forms from bacteria to mammals possess an inclination toward positive energy—so strategies that capitalize on the positive similarly tend to produce life-giving, flourishing outcomes in individuals and organizations.” BUINESS HINT: don’t fight a natural law.
16 June 2017 | The Customer
Countrywide for 40 years
Zimbabwe Top Outstanding Security Company 2014 and 2015
04 751395-9 | email@example.com | www.safeguard.co.zw
EMPATHY AND SYMPATHY
U N D E R S TA N D I N G T H E T H I N L I N E B E T W E E N
B By CICM
eing great at customer service does not mean we should always be sympathetic to our client’s issues. There is a significant difference between being sympathetic with a client and showing empathy. Some people believe we should be sympathetic - to show understanding. Yet when we are sympathetic, we join them in the same emotional space so there is a danger of their becoming two victims
18 June 2017 | The Customer
instead of one. A great customer manager will see the clear difference between what happened and whom it happened to—and work on the former to bring things back to normal.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? The Oxford English Dictionary states that sympathy is “feeling pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune” and empathy is “understanding the feelings someone else is having.” Empathy means you can objectively ‘stand in someone else’s shoes’ whereas sympathy means you can acknowledge another person's emotional state without necessarily understanding it. So what has that got to do with customer service? Understanding your customer’s experience
Sympathy as they engage with you is vital so that all staff can give customers a consistent experience. After all, we are all customers so can empathize with where the problems are and what we would want the process to look like if we were experiencing the journey ourselves. Getting it right goes a long way to making the customer experience better for our customers but it misses the ability to show your customer that you’re listening and that you understand what they are experiencing. This is where empathy is so important (e.g. Active listening and building rapport). Responding to customers with sympathy— getting as upset as they are—puts you on an emotional roller coaster and can leave you worn out and frazzled at the end of the day. The trick is to be emotionally aware and sensitive without becoming too emotionally
EMPATHY AND SYMPATHY
Think about it this way: when you’re sympathetic, you simply feel badly for someone. Sympathy doesn’t communicate to a customer that you understand WHY they feel the way they feel
involved. When you respond with empathy, you stay calm and in control of yourself. Only then you become at your absolute best: ready, willing, and able to help your customer meet his needs or solve her problem. Showing empathy for customers allows you to be professional and caring at the same time. It also makes customers feel that they are important and what they are saying matters. All too often customer service teams respond to customers with sympathy. A sympathetic response could be: “I’m also unhappy with the delayed delivery, it’s really frustrating.” Sympathy is rarely an ideal response to a customer’s problem. Instead, show empathy. Empathy allows to you be professional and caring at the same time. It also allows you to avoid becoming emotionally involved (like when you show sympathy). Think about it this way: when you’re sympathetic, you simply feel badly for someone. Sympathy doesn’t communicate to a customer that you understand WHY they feel the way they feel – it only allows you to communicate that you understand their problem. A typical response – “I’m sorry” – is insufficient to solve a customer’s problem. You must do more. On the other hand, empathy communicates that you not only understand the customer’s problem, but also that you can relate it to something you yourself have experienced. We can develop and show empathy by
listening and building rapport with our clients. Five essential tips for building rapport 1. Use client’s names to help them feel valued and listened to 2. Smile (even if on the phone) – the customer will notice this in your voice 3. Show interest. No surprise to anyone, people are self-focused. People want to feel like they have an opening to share what they’re thinking, including their desires, fears, and problems. The more genuinely interested you appear the more relaxed and willing to share they’re likely to be. 4. Repeat back - Repeating important details and recapping back to the customer reassures them that you are paying attention 5. Pace and lead - This technique is extremely useful when someone is in an overexcited state. Start by showing urgency, confidence and concern in your speech patterns and manner to match and reassure them. Then gradually begin to calm and slow up your speech patterns. As long as the customer feels things are happening and that you’re in rapport, they will follow you down and become calmer in response. Showing empathy results in stronger customer relationships and makes for a more enjoyable working environment and is a great skill (in work and in life) to have.
The Customer | June 2017 19
you want answers
20 June 2017 | The Customer
“High-growth companies stay in touch with their markets - and willingly spend the money to do so. They know their customers and they keep their knowledge fresh,” says the American Management Association (AMA) in its “Research Report on Consumer Affairs.”
t is important to know your customers’ wants and needs before you try to sell them a service or a product. If you do not know, then you are guessing. Guesswork makes dissatisfaction inevitable.
By John Tschohl
You might have been good at predicting customer behavior in the past, but remember that it is not what you think you know that is important. It is what customers think that matters, even if they are illogical or uninformed. Good service has nothing to do with what the provider of services believes it to be, unless these beliefs coincide with the attitudes of customers. Good service only has to do with what customers believe it to be. Few executives truly understand what good service is, nor are they close enough to their own employees to understand how bad and inconsistent service is. Kris & Mary Anne Kowalski, owners of several supermarkets in the St. Paul, Minnesota area, have a fine informal survey format that could be used by an organization of any size. Each quarter they rent a conference room somewhere near each of their stores. They meet at each store with an invited group of 8 to 12 customers. “Nothing formal,” says Kowalksi. “We just order out for pizza and ask them a lot of questions about what they like and more important, what they don’t like about our stores. They talk. We listen.” Out of these meetings have come decisions to stock more low-calorie foods for older customers, to offer smaller meat cuts to accommodate people who live alone, and so on. The Marketing Science Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts asked customers of a wide range of service businesses such as banking and appliance repair what factors they considered most important in
Good service only has to do with what customers believe it to be.
The Customer | June 2017 21
assuring their satisfaction with a product or a service. Researchers found that these were the most important characteristics of quality service:
If you want your business to be easily found online by future customers, you need to know everything you can about the key words and phrases they use when looking for companies like yours.
• RELIABILITY. Customers want companies to perform desired service dependably, accurately, and consistently. A major source of customer dissatisfaction is unkept promises, it turned out. • RESPONSIVENESS. Companies should be helpful and provide prompt service. A business that answers or responds to telephone calls quickly meets this expectation. • ASSURANCE. Employees should be knowledgeable and courteous, customers say, and should convey confidence in the service they provide. • TANGIBLES. Physical facilities and equipment should be attractive, clean, and employees should be well-groomed. • EMPATHY. Customers want companies to provide individualized attention and to listen to them. The Marketing Sciences survey indicates that people want to be treated as individuals. They want to be noticed. Asking questions is one way we learn information and communicate with the people around us. For instance, ask customers what they would Google to find a business like yours? If you want your business to be easily found online by future customers, you need to know everything you can about the key words and phrases they use when looking for companies like yours. How valuable is customer input? Here is a unique case study that paints a believable picture. The example comes to us from 3M. 3M’s poorly performing Medical-Surgical Markets Division was looking for a way to kick-start its lackluster innovation record in the 90s. Instead of taking the standard route (relying on
22 June 2017 | The Customer
internal, employee backed ideas), a separate team was formed to search for breakthrough innovation that consisted of the “lead users”. When the results of these two groups (users vs. employees) were compared side-by-side in terms of revenue generated, the differences were quite drastic: • User-lead innovations had an average revenue of $146 million dollars (in 5 years). • Internally generated innovations had an average revenue of $18 million (for the same span of time). The results were clear: Customers were coming up with the winning ideas more often than not, because they were….ASKED. Asking is the beginning of receiving. People forget that. Reach out to your customers and ask them questions The information you’ll get from your customers “ can help you steer your product and company to the next-level of success. ”
John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service. He will release shortly the 11th Edition of Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service. The Service Quality Institute (http://www. customer-service.com) has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Published with permission from the Author
The Customer | June 2017 23
WHO ARE THE
W BY ROD JONES
24 June 2017 | The Customer
w e N
ithin the next five years, large numbers of a new type of customer will have emerged, and they will be very much part of Africa’s digital economy. They will have a profound impact on how organisations engage with them, and specifically, how the customer service environment will have to change significantly to meet their very specific demands. These new customers are part of a massive, global shift in the way that consumers are engaging with their chosen suppliers and providers. To many organisations, the impact of many of these trends will be tsunami-like. Many high-profile brands and organisations may well be completely wiped out by these changes. Others will not only thrive, they may grow exponentially, should they be agile enough and inspired enough
to embrace both the changing customer environment, and the new breed of technologies that are presenting themselves.
So, What’s Changing? Call centres and contact centres are changing. From being merely expensive cost centres serving post-sales queries, there is now massive pressure from executives for contact centre operations to urgently address five key challenges: • • • • •
Reduce the overall Cost of Operations Increase Operational Efficiencies Increase Revenues (Sales, Collections, Up-sell / Cross-sell.) Reduce Risk (Financial, Brand and Reputational risk.) Increase Customer Satisfaction (Loyalty / Lifetime Value)
Simultaneously, contact centre managers and management teams are being directed to ensure that their operations move rapidly from being mere Cost Centres, to become Value Centres, and ultimately, Measurable Revenue and Profit Centres. What is driving up contact centre costs? Throughout the world, the sheer volume of customer contacts is growing exponentially. Whist in some markets, voice calls are diminishing slightly, there is tremendous growth in eMail, Web Chat and all manner of text-based communication, including most of the many social media channels. This growth in interaction volume is driving the physical growth of contact centres. As more agents are employed, so are more team leaders, supervisors, quality assurance, and other support staff. And the physical infrastructure grows too. All this manifest as rapidly increasing cost-of-operations; specifically, staffing costs.
Customer Demographics Are Changing The age profile and other demographics of customers is changing, and having a profound effect on consumer behaviours. Younger customers are far more ‘tech-savvy’. They have far greater access to smartphone technologies and therefore, to more alternative channels.
Customer Attitudes And Expectations Customers are demanding more and expecting more. More choice. More options. More variety and more service. The new generation of customers has very little tolerance. They are unforgiving when it comes to product or service performance failures. Customers are now more informed than ever before. They are digitally connected. They have access to massive amounts of information; to competitive product specifications, pricing and distribution alternatives. They are certainly not gullible.
Today’s customer demands instant gratification. Whatever it is that they want, they want it right away. They want information. They want actions. They want service. And they want it now! Digitally connected customers are also demanding self-service. They want to connect directly into their providers’ systems to obtain information, to initiate actions, to buy products or services or to log service requests or complaints. And they demand to be able to do these, twenty-four hours a day, every day.
The 2022 Customer Contact Centre To keep abreast of change, and to maintain and retain customer loyalty, by 2022, customer contact centres will be compelled to embrace several fundamental strategic principles, and to deploy appropriate technologies. Not only will these interventions win customer loyalty and retention but will simultaneously reduce the escalating costs associate with ‘Live Agent’ servicing.
Any Device – Any Channel – Any Time The 2022 customers will expect to be able to communicate with their providers using any device (mobile phone, tablet, PC, kiosk etc.) and to use whatever channel that they chose, at that particular time. These options will have to include as a minimum, conventional fixed line telephony, mobile (GSM) telephony, social channel voice and text, webchat (text), eMail and quite possibly by then, video. Smartphone Apps will be fundamental to doing business. What’s more, customers will expect services to be provided twenty-four hours a day, every day.
Self-Service And Self-Help Large numbers of customers are already showing preferences for non-voice, text-based interactions. What’s more, the demands are growing for providers to make the vast majority of their information and service facilities available to customers via self-service and self-help portals. These will include comprehensive IVR systems, access to web and App-based FAQ’s
Comprehensive Systems Integration Many organisations rely on multiple ‘back-end’ systems. These could, for example, include customer records and CRM systems, billing systems, core banking systems, inventory and provisioning systems and many more. To be able to provide fast, accurate, and up-to-the-minute customer service, it will be a strategic imperative to ensure that comprehensive systems integration provides a ‘single view of customer’ to contact centre agents, whilst also allowing customers to directly access all relevant data and information.
Agile Process Automation Only a few years ago, process automation in contact centre and back office operations was strictly something that only the largest The Customer | June 2017 25
and best-funded corporates could consider. The challenges of the business environment of today changes rapidly. Modern process automation technologies are not only extremely fast to configure and deploy, but the on-going development, refinement or modification of automated processes can often be put into the hands of operational managers, and not exclusively those with specific IT skills. When coupled with analytics, process automation becomes a critically important part of delivering outstanding customer services whilst also aiding the organisation to reduce operational costs, increase efficiencies and to gain valuable business intelligence and insights to assist with strategic and tactical planning.
Analytics Interaction analytics will be a vital element of contact centre technologies and practices by 2022 and beyond. In its most simple form, contact centre interaction analytics automatically captures unstructured data from the ACD , recorded calls, emails, chat transcripts, social channels and other customer interactions, and turns this information into statured data. Analytics systems and applications then use the structured data to identify, for example, trends, root cause of issues and quality assurance factors. In a nut-shell, interaction analytics helps organisations to achieve one of their key operating objectives; to reduce the cost of operations whilst maintaining and enhancing customer satisfaction. In addition, analytics helps organisations to automate many previously manual and labour-intensive (and therefore costly) processes and provides the means by which to gain accurate insights about the entire customer life cycle.
Omnichannel Services And Resources Although many contact centres have added additional channels such as eMail, SMS/Text and WebChat to their basic voice (telephone) services, few have actually managed to integrate these appropriately to be able to provide true ‘Omnichannel’ customer engagement. In most cases, channels tend to operate in silos. The term ‘Omnichannel’ is now recognised to mean that customers have access to facilities to communicate with their provider using any of the available channels, on any particular issue, (even concurrently) and obtain a consistent level of customer service. Omnichannel also implies that agents servicing customers not only have a single view of all customer records but also the contact history across the multiple channels used in these engagements.
The Rise Of The Super Agent The reality of constantly rising salaries and wages is a source of major concern to most contact centre managers and operators. In most operations, the cost of staffing and management can be as high as 75% of the total overhead. This, when set against declining productivity, high staff turnover, and increasing
26 June 2017 | The Customer
Arrogance Belongs In The Dictionary Not In Customer Service.
t amazes that everyone wants to bash customer service without realizing that they are directly responsible for its poor state. Front line customer service people are the lowest paid, the company does not invest time and money to train them properly even though they are the first point of customer contact and represent the brand and the store. The excuse given is that they leave and hence it’s not worth investing in them. What a flawed thought process. The other excuse given is that it would cost the company too much and they would be forced to raise prices which customers would be unwilling to pay and hence the business would not do well, another flawed thought process. I am sure some of you are retail and business owners. Start treating your front line customer service people with a lot more respect, pay them a lot more than the minimum wage, train them well and make them your brand ambassadors. Invest in them and watch how they take your sales and customer experience to a new level. Always look to owners to set the tone on customer service. The in store help is just a reflection of their training and management choices. This lack of good customer service seems to be very pervasive when the economy is good - watch those same places when the economy slows: almost 360 degrees phony attention to “good customer service”.
customer demands and expectations, raises concerns about the calibre and skills of typical call centre agents. In many regions, there is a growing trend for contact centres to move away for the model of employing young, first-time workers earning entry-level salaries or wages. In its place is emerging what is being termed, “The Super Agent”. Such specialised contact centre staff tend to be far more mature, and having extensive experience within the organisation; perhaps having worked in multiple business units over many years. Super Agents will also command as much as three to four times the salary of a typical entry-level call centre agent. By 2022, many contact centres will have deployed extensive customer self-service and self-help facilities and implemented strategies and tactics to reduce the volume of personal service customer engagement. The ‘live agent’ will, however, always be a requirement for when self-service channels and resources don’t provide the information or the actions that certain customers will need. The agent-of-last-resort, or Super-Agent, will have extensive experience and empowered to make significant decisions on behalf of the organisation.
Planning For 2022 The realities for the business environment of 2022 pose significant challenges for executive decision-makers across virtually all private and public sector organisations. There is no doubt whatsoever that to remain viable and sustainable, organisations will have to undergo significant changes at strategic, tactical and operational levels. Policies, processes and procedures will have to be adapted to meet the changing customer environment. Sophisticated technologies will need to be acquired and integrated into the organisation to enable efficient and effective services. And there is no doubt that significant investments and enhanced knowledge and skills will be required to bring this about. Planning for the changes required to ensure success going forwards, is critical.
“Men, horses and cannon are useful in battle, but strategy and planning win wars.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
The Customer | June 2017 27
AN APPROACH TO LEADING IN THE
DarK IS IT DIFFICULT TO HELP AFRICA?
t is the late nineteen eighties. There have been mixed results from a flurry of social, BY: NEEMA J. NDUNGURU, politica l and TANZANIA e c o n o m i c experiments that have been implemented since independence in most African countries. A conversation takes place between two African intellectuals - one from the East and the other from the West of the continent. Following a typical discussion on Africa, her problems, what leaders should be doing better, and who should or should not be in power, the two African intellectuals conclude as follows: “My friend”, said the West African, “it is very difficult to help Africa”.
28 June 2017 | The Customer
After approximately two decades of not interacting, the two African intellectuals meet once again. “My friend! Long time! Tell me... is it still difficult to help Africa?”. “No,” replied the West African, “now it is impossible”. Each one laughed. But this laughter did not hold joy or pride. It was instead, a laughter that concealed disappointment in the state of the continent and her people. It is the laughter that one makes when the other alternative would be to cry. In Oliorhenuan’s (2009) piece “Don’t Cry for me Africa”, he describes the journey African Leaders have taken in addressing the continent’s challenges. In reading about one summit after another, where a series of declarations on “ending poverty in Africa” have been made, one appreciates that there was, in all these gatherings of minds, a common underlying theme which was based on “helping Africa overcome her problems”. While the focus was on developing plans to tackle issues, there was an apparent weakness in the implementation of these plans. One therefore cannot help but get the sense that our leaders (for the most part) approached these agendas like goldfish rather than like elephants. The goldfish, it is said, has a relatively short term memory. Recent research has concluded that goldfish have a memory of up to three months. Elephants, on the other hand, never forget.
In remembering our past and the thought processes that have led us to where we are, we are able to better understand our current circumstances. Most importantly, however, remembering should guide us towards not repeating the same mistakes from our past. In his address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997, Kofi Annan stated: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are, what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there”. Knowing all these things requires deliberate individual and collective thought. This calls for leaders who not only invest in building individual understanding of their context, but who also consider the building of others as an obligation, and subsequently lead from this understanding. Oliorhenuan concludes that ‘the problem is not in us – that we are Africans – but in our leadership, in our intellectual leaders who have forgotten that independent thought is the foundation of development, in our political leaders who fail to recognize that the people are the foundation of African development’. This paper argues that to positively transform Africa, a critical mass of African
leaders need to personify the very thing that they are called to nurture in their people: deep thought followed by systematic prioritized action, underlined by accountability. Leading in the Dark In writing about the ideas advocated by Julius Nyerere towards development of mankind, Komba (1995) cites a speech that Nyerere delivered in July 1961 (before Tanganyika’s independence): “We in Tanganyika do not believe that mankind has yet discovered ultimate truth in any field… We wish to contribute to Man’s development if we can, but we do not claim to have any ‘solution’; our claim is that we intend to grope forward in the dark towards a goal so distant that even the real understanding is beyond us – towards, in other words, the best that Man can become… If we are to make such a contribution to Man’s progress, then the most important thing for us to do now is to guard our freedom to think as well as act. Both can be lost. No one else can stop a man thinking, but he can stop himself and indeed, the temptation to do so is so strong because thinking is hard work and introduces into life, uncertainties which only the strong can face.” These words were spoken at a time when the majority of African countries were in various stages of seeking independence from their colonial masters. It was therefore clear that the call for freedom to think and act was a plea for Africans to boldly explore
context s p e c i fi c solutions, to understand the world order of the time, and to consider alternative possibilities for the newly and soon to be independent states and her people. The assertion made by Nyerere approximately 55 years ago, still holds today. Not only for Tanzania, but for Africa in general. The range of realities that exist in the vast continent of Africa have been well articulated for decades. The history of African countries prior to, and post, colonization has been recorded in various forms. However, depending on which side of the coin one looks, the term Africa is synonymous with hopelessness, social and political unrest, inequality, despair, and several more negative traits. On the other hand, Africa has increasingly been used together with terms such as “rising”, “potential”, “the last frontier”, and “hope”. The contrast in these descriptions reflect the complexities of the realities we, as young Africans, need to grapple with as we strive towards positive continental transformation. The circumstances that surround political, economic and social leaders today are unprecedented. By 2050, it is estimated that Africa’s population will double from 1 billion to 2 billion. Increasing population growth in the continent means that as time progresses, consumption of resources – and therefore demand for resources - will The Customer | June 2017 29
increase exponentially. Increasing population growth against a backdrop of depleting resources, coupled with the threat of climate change and an expanding gap between the “haves” and “have nots”, calls for immediate and informed decisive action. The challenges of providing good quality healthcare services, quality education and the necessary basic infrastructure in an equitable manner are well known. What is not well known, however, is “how” these challenges can effectively be addressed. Not knowing the “how” essentially renders many African leaders to “lead in the dark”. THINKING - BUSINESS UNUSUAL
It has repeatedly been stated that addressing Africa’s challenges calls for S W A Z I LA N D
innovative approaches. Innovation in this case is not only limited to technology. It is about doing things differently (business unusual) in order to find solutions to current problems. While the notion of innovation is attractive, this can only be achieved if preceded by the facilitation of an environment that fosters independent thinking for all. Because thinking is “hard work” (as highlighted by Nyerere above), it can easily be discouraged. It becomes a leader’s responsibility to encourage the creation of this “thinking” environment.
It is expected that a myriad of ideas and thoughts on solving problems will result from this environment. Recognizing the perpetual limitation of resources to address all our challenges simultaneously, prioritization then becomes a critical factor. Backed I N V E S T M E N T P R O M O T I O N A U T H O R I T Y P R E S E N TT SS by reliable data and information, the process of prioritization (another thought-intensive activity) allows leaders to focus on manageable areas that can be tackled within a specified timeframe, with a clear indication of resource requirements and success measures (targets). With a focused agenda in hand, what follows is systematic action which goes beyond eloquently worded declarations and policies. In this 01 - 11 SEPTEMBER 2017 stage, actions are guided by a MAVUSO TRADE & EXHIBITION CENTRE discipline of execution, underlined by a framework of accountability.
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If systematic prioritized actions become the focus of leaders and their people, accountability to oneself and to the people one serves is perhaps the next critical duty of A frica’s leaders. During implementation of prioritized areas, and once implementation has completed, it is the duty of the leader to ensure there is full disclosure on actual achievement against the set targets. This requires continuous communication with the people
30 June 2017 | The Customer
on implementation progress. This inclusive dialogue should seek to not only inform the people, but also provide room for people to engage with the process through challenging the status, suggesting alternatives, and even accepting and providing testimony on the results. Essentially, the dialogue should seek to encourage people to think about their development path, and in the process, own their development agenda. The degree of transparency in the process of thinking, prioritizing and implementing the priorities lends itself to creating greater accountability. The final call is on the need to assess and reflect. It is in knowing better that one will be able to do better. Honest reflection includes recognizing the strengths and weaknesses in the process and searching for relevant ways in which to address these. Thought is therefore refined through lessons from actions. Similarly, actions are refined and guided by thought. If a critical mass of African leaders were to approach leadership in this way, an additional feature could be a peer review mechanism that focuses on the selected priorities. The review process has the potential to further enhance accountability as well as open opportunities to leverage on one another’s strengths, learn from one another, and share lessons with one another. It is anticipated that this process will shift the African leaders path from “leading in the dark” to “leading towards understanding”.
HUMAN RESOURCES INFORMATION SYSTEMS TRAINING TRAINING WORKSHOP SYSTEMS 28 Aug - 07 Sept 2017
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Chartered Institute of Management & Leadership (USA)
1. Tuition Fees 2. Comprehensive Training Materials (Modules & Laptop) 3. Certi icate of Attendance 4. Teas and Snacks During Training 5. Transport to & Fro Airport 6. Field Trips 7. Excursions: Experience the Swaziland Reed Dance (umhlanga)
HR Directors Admin Of icers Divisional Managers Head of Department Executive Managers
IS, Organizations and Strategy
Information Systems & E-Business Database concepts & application In human resource information systems
Managing Knowledge and
Decision Making HR information systems in a
Participants in the course are expected to develop a general knowledge of currently available Human Resource Information Systems with regard to their capabilities and limitations. A well-designed human resources information system (HRIS) is a powerful, computer-based tool that enables you to enter and update all types of employee-related information quickly and easily.
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Africa needs to innovate in order to transform. However, it is known that with change comes resistance. The final leadership challenge then becomes that of navigating disruption and resistance and connecting with others so that there is a shared vision and understanding that drives execution.
IRDM SWAZILAND FIRST FOOR 104 DZELIWE STREET RED CROSS BUILDING MBABANE SWAZILAND TEL:(+268) 2404 4389 7611 6353/7634 3819
Is it difficult to help Africa? It is unfortunate that the conversation that took place between two African intellectuals in the late nineteen eighties carried on for over two decades with little hope in the end. Sadly, this conversation continues to date. The decisions of present and future African leaders will determine whether or not this conversation will take a turn for the better in two decades’ time. The key is to promote deep thought followed by systematic prioritized action, underlined by accountability. In the late twenty thirties, following a series of transformative decisions by bold African leaders, it is hoped that two African intellectuals reflecting on their continent will have the following as the substance of their conversation: Is it difficult to help Africa? Perhaps. Complex? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not.
The Customer | June 2017 31
MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY
UNDERGRADUATE & POSTGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMMES
A member of:
FOR THE AUGUST 2017 INTAKE
1. BCom Honours Degree in Accounting – 3 Years Entry Requirements; A Higher National Diploma (complete qualification) in Accounting, Business Studies, Public Sector Accounting Complete CIS or: At least two (2) passes in relevant “A” Level subjects. 2. BCom Honours Degree in Banking and Finance – 3 Years Entry Requirements; National Diploma (complete qualification) in Banking and Finance, Accounting, Business Studies Diploma in Education or any equivalent tertiary qualification or at least two (2) passes in relevant “A” Level subjects 3. BCom Honours Degree in Business Management – 3 Years Entry Requirements: Diploma (Institute of Bankers),ND in Business Studies, Accountancy, Purchasing Diploma in Education, Institute of Administration and Commerce (IAC),Institute of Personnel Management (IPMZ) Diploma in Business Administration (ZIM) Diploma in Marketing and any other relevant tertiary qualifications deemed to an equivalent or passes in relevant 'A' Level subjects CIS Higher National diploma in Business studies, Accounting, Banking and Finance and Secretarial 4. BCom Honours Degree in Economics – 3 Years Entry Requirements A National Diploma in a Business related field, Education, or any equivalent tertiary qualification. or: at least two (2) passes in relevant “A” level subjects and proof of employment
5. BCom Honours Degree in Insurance and Risk Management – 3 Years Entry Requirements: A Diploma in Insurance An Advanced Diploma in Insurance National Diploma in Business Studies A Higher National Diploma in Business Studies Any other equivalent tertiary qualification Or
At least two (2) passes in relevant “A” Level subjects
6. BCom Honours Degree In Marketing Management – 3 Years Entry Requirements: ND in Marketing Management IMM Diploma (Institute of Marketing Management) Diploma of the Institute of Bankers ND in Business Studies, Accountancy, Purchasing Management Diploma in Education, Institute of Administration and Commerce Diplomas, Institute of Personnel Management of Zimbabwe Diplomas Diplomas in Institute of Real Estate Agents Diploma in Business Administration (ZIM), Diploma in Tourism Management Any other relevant tertiary qualifications Or Passes in “A” Level subjects and proof of employment 7. BCom Honours Degree in Retail and Logistics Management – 3 Years Entry Requirements: Diploma of the Institute of Bankers (IOBZ) HND/ND in Business Studies, Accountancy, Purchasing Management, Diploma in Education, Institute of Administration and Commerce (IAC), Institute of Personnel Management Zimbabwe (IPMZ) Diploma, Diplomas of the Institute of Real Estate Management Diploma in Business Administration (ZIM), Any other relevant tertiary qualifications. Or At least 2 Passes at 'A' Level. And At least two years working experience in the relevant field 8. BCom Honours Degree in Tourism and Hospitality – 3 Years Entry Requirements: Diploma in Tourism Management/Tourism Operations Management, International Tourism, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Hospitality Management, Travel A g e n c y M a n a g e m e n t , Culinary Studies/ Professional cookery/Bakery studies, Business Studies, Purchasing, Education, Marketing Management, Retail Management, Institute of Administration and Commerce (IAC)A
National Diploma in Travel and T o u r i s m o r equivalent relevant qualification and a proof of employment in a tourism and or hospitality organisation POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMMES – BLOCK RELEASE FACULTY OF COMMERCE Master of Commerce in Accounting (1½ years) Applicants must have an Honours degree with specialization in Accounting and confirmation of employment from the employer. Master of Commerce in Banking and Finance (2 years) Applicants must have an Honours degree in Banking and Finance, Economics, Accounting or their equivalent. Other four year undergraduate degrees can be considered provided that (i) the applicant has at least 3 years practical experience in Banking and Finance and (ii) the applicant has over and above the degree, a full diploma in Banking and Finance. Master of Commerce in Economics (2 years) Applicants must have an Honours degree with a specialization in Economics, Agricultural Economics, Banking and Finance or related fields. Master of Commerce in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance (2 years) Applicants must have an Honours degree in Management, Accounting, Human Resources Management and /or other tertiary qualification approved by the department. Master of Commerce in Marketing Strategy (1½ years) Applicants must have a good Honours degree in Marketing, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Supply Chain Management or any other degree plus an appropriate professional qualification (e.g. IMM, CIMA). Master of Commerce in Tourism and Hospitality Management degree -2years Applicants must have minimum of a good Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management or an equivalent qualification. - Have a minimum of two years working experience in the industry. G R A D U AT E S C H O O L O F B U S I N E S S LEADERSHIP Masters in Business Administration – Block Release (2 years) (AABS Accredited and a member of CEEMAN) Entry Requirements.
Applicants should be at least 25 years of age and be
holders of at least a second class degree or its equivalent awarded by Midlands State University or any other
MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY Applications are invited for admission to the following programmes at the Midlands State University for the August 2017 Intake. Applicants are advised to visit our website, www.msu.ac.zw or contact the Admissions Office for more information. Please note that
NB: WE OFFER DPHIL DEGREES IN ALL PROGRAMMES
applicants for undergraduate degrees must submit confirmation of employment from their employer.
At least (2) years of relevant experience.
Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) – Block Release (½ years) (AABS Accredited and a member of CEEMAN) Entry Requirements
Applicants should be at least 35 years of age and be an
Executive of their own business or has been a manager for at least five (5) years. Must be holders of at least a second class degree or its equivalent awarded by Midlands State University or any other recognized institution. A holder of a third class degree or its equivalent may be admitted only after providing evidence of academic maturity in the desired field of study as shall be judged by Faculty Post Graduate Studies Committee. equivalent may be admitted only after providing evidence of academic maturity in the desired field of study as shall be judged by Faculty Post Graduate Studies Committee. The Graduate School of Business Leadership (GSBL) is accredited by the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) and is also a member of the Central and Eastern Europe Management Council (CEEMAN). This means that the degrees programmes offered by the GSBL are internationally recognized. FACULTY OF ARTS Master of Arts in Development Studies (1½ years) Applicants should have an Honours degree in History and Development Studies and Economic History or related fields. FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Master of Science in Information Systems Management (2 years) Applicants should have a good Honours degree in Information Systems, Computer Science and Mathematics (with bias towards Programming) or any equivalent qualification with a strong Programming background. FACULTY OF EDUCATION Bachelor of Education (Primary) (2 Years) Entry requirements - have passed 5 'O' level subjects including English language and Mathematics; 'A' Level subject passes will be an added advantage. - be a holder of a teaching certificate or diploma from a recognised Teachers' College approved by the University. - have attained a satisfactory standard of performance on any entrance test which the University may devise for the purpose of entry and/ application.
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (2 Years) Entry Requirements - five 'O' level subjects including English language and Mathematics; 'A' Level subject passes will be an added advantage; - have a teaching certificate or diploma in either ECD or Infant Education or its equivalent recognized by Midlands State University; Bachelor of Education Management and Leadership (2 Years) Entry Requirements a teaching qualification approved by the university ;be employed as a senior school teacher/lecturer, school head/college principal, or hold a post of leadership in an approved educational institution. employed as a senior school teacher/lecturer, school head/college principal, or hold a post of leadership in an approved educational institution. a) Bachelor of Education Food Science and Nutrition (2years) b) Bachelor of Education Fashion and Textiles (2years) To qualify for entry into programme (a) and (b) above applicants must: possess a teaching qualification approved by the university, with a major in home Economics or Fashion and Textiles; be employed as a teacher/lecturer. Bachelor of Education Computer Science (2years) To qualify for entry into programme applicants must normally have a teaching certificate or diploma recognised by the university. FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES Bsc Honours Degree in Music Business, Musicology and Technology Studies Entry Requirements Have at least 5 'O' level passes including English Language and Mathematics. Be holders of a Diploma, or HND or any related qualification in any of the above disciplines. Be employed in a field related to the above disciplines. Have at least two years working experience after attainment of a Diploma or Higher Diploma. Submit confirmation letter of employment from the employer. Master of Science in International Affairs - Block Release (1½ years). Applicants must be holders of a good Honours degree in History and International Studies or any related fields.
Master of Science in Media and Society Studies – Block Release (1 ½ years) Applicants must be holders of a good Honours degree in Media and Society Studies or any related degree. Master of Science in Human Resource Management – Block Release (1 ½ years) Applicants must be holders of a good Honours degree in Human Resource Management or any related degree. Master of Science in Safety, Health and Environmental Management – Block Release (1 ½ years) Applicants must be holders of a good Honours degree Geography and Environmental Studies or any related degree.
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK CERTIFICATES NEW!!
Entry Requirements: 5 ‘O’ levels including English Language. Experience in a relevant field is an added advantage. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
The deadline for applications is 30 June 2017
Tigo Tanzania ‘MAKES A DIFFERENCE’ BY CICM
IMAGE FROM TRINITY PROMOTIONS
34 June 2017 | The Customer
FRICA’S thirteenth largest country now has its first stateof-the-art call centre. It’s a recent development… very recent…as in April 2017 recent. To give this development an even greater perspective, Tanzania (at 947,303 square kilometres) is the 31st largest country in the world, sandwiched in proportions rankings between the littler Nigeria and the larger Egypt. And it’s all on account of the country’s mobile telecoms powerhouse – Tigo Tanzania (Tigo). Now, Tanzania is not too popular for customer service excellence, but by pioneering a state of the art call centre in the country Tigo has taken a huge step in driving customer service excellence. Customer service theory – or let’s just call it that – says that a call centre is a key player when it comes to determining customer loyalty, and, ultimately, the long-term profitability of a business. The new Tigo call centre features embedded data security measures to protect customer information and identity, and the migration from E1 to SIP allows for a wide range of functionality and agility necessary to service Tigo’s 10 million-strong customer base. With a USSD/SMS platform for query follow-up and escalation and 100 percent CRM monitoring of customer satisfaction, Tigo’s customer service is expected to improve significantly. Operating 24 hours to serve 55,000 customers daily, every day of the week, and programmed to escalate customer queries every two hours, the call centre will provide swift resolution to customer queries, drastically reducing call queues, the operator said. The call centre will also provide a platform to receive and respond to customer feedback. The facility is supported by the PCCI Group, active in customer experience and operations outsourcing worldwide. The PCCI Group will offer Tigo customers
both traditional voice call centre services as well as new digital support over social media, e-chat and email. It is almost unthinkable that Tanzania is just getting its first call centre this year, but then again everything starts somewhere. And Tigo could be the driver of excellent customer service in the country…if Everett Rogers can be trusted. For those not in the know Everett Rogers, is a professor of communication studies, who popularized the theory of ‘diffusion of innovations’ in his book Diffusion of Innovations, which was first published in 1962. At the most facile level, the theory helps to explain processes through which modernisms are spread over time among participants in a social system. Said Tigo’s managing director Diego Gutierrez during the launch ceremony: “Our investment in this new Call Centre underscores our commitment to grow and diversify the channels through which we reach our customers. Our business partners and customers can now look forward to receiving the most advanced customer care available in the country, buttressed by professional Call Centre agents ready to provide excellence in customer service”. Tigo has certainly blazed a trail in Tanzania, and although it’s never easy to predict the level of broader take-off of a novelty there is no doubt the country’s customer service milieu will never be the same again. END About Tigo Tanzania Tigo is the first cellular network in Tanzania. It started operations in 1994 and is Tanzania’s most affordable and innovative mobile phone operator. Tigo is part of Millicom International Cellular S.A. (MIC) and provides affordable, widely accessible and readily available prepaid cellular telephony services to more than 30 million customers in 13 emerging markets in Africa and Latin America.
The Customer | June 2017 35
Consumer Protection in Zimbabwe?
UP IN THE AIR BY CICM
36 June 2017 | The Customer
IMBABWEANS simply have no rights...consumer rights, that is. At the most basic level, ‘rights’ are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement. In the field of customer service two of the key consumer right is the right to be heard and to re-dress. According to the country’s top consumer lobby body, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, this right “involves the right to be represented so that consumer’s interests receive full and sympathetic consideration in the formulation and execution of social and economic policies. The right to redress entails the right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy goods and unsatisfactory services”. But Zimbabwe has a peculiar problem with regards to protection of these two rights especially. The problem is the lack of a legal statute that helps ensure that these rights are protected and/or enforced. It is true that ‘rights’ can be normative, that is, relating to an ideal standard or model, or being based on what is considered to be the normal or correct way of doing something. To this extent it is ‘normal’ or ‘expected’ for such rights not to be backed by law. However when they come into competition with a greater force, it becomes imperative that they are given legal backing. Zimbabwe currently has no Consumer Protection Act hence consumers’ supposed rights to representation and to redress is basically non-existent. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe is on record saying that it can only use the ‘power’ of moral suasion’ (which isn’t much when it comes into conflict with the might of corporations). Consumers’ perceived dollar-power - the ‘I will hold back my dollar for bad service’ isn’t much either - when corporations decide to hold sway. Hence some countries saw it necessary to implement Consumer Protection Acts, or variants of sorts, to ensure that consumers can fight back. In India, for example, the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is the law governing consumer protection. Under this law, Separate Consumer Dispute Redressal Fora have been set up throughout India in each and every district in which a consumer (complaint can be filed by both the consumer of a goods as well as of the services) can file his complaint on a simple paper with nominal court fees and his complaint will be decided by the Presiding Officer of the District level. In the United States a variety of laws at both the federal and
state levels regulate consumer affairs. Among them are the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Federal consumer protection laws are mainly enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the United States Department of Justice. Zimbabweans have not been so lucky. Promises have been made though. A new Consumer Protection Act, which would provide recourse to law for affected consumers, has been on the table for quite some time now… The sooner it comes the better. But it will not be soon enough for venerable consumer rights advocate and Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Ms Rosemary Siyachitema: “None of us who have been living in Zimbabwe in the last decade can deny that we need protection as consumers. “This has become apparent to all of us consumers that the marketplace during this particular decade was riddled with many instances when consumers have been pushed to complain about injustices that have been perpetrated against them by those who are selling goods and services,” the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe leader wrote in a 2012 article. “Utility providers, manufacturers, retailers, banks and insurers have taken consumers for granted and thrown the adage ‘the customer is king/queen’ into the garbage, seemingly only interested in making a quick profit at the expense of the consumer.” According to Ms Siyachitema, Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries are now doing better in terms of ensuring effective consumer protection. From a regional perspective, the SADC Declaration on Regional Competition and Consumer Policies and recognise and enunciate the rights of the consumer. Siyachitema says other countries in the region has made strides in ensuring the protection of consumer rights. “Already in the region, South Africa, Malawi and Zambia have enacted such definitive legislation, proving that it is possible to give consumer rights legal standing.” “Zimbabwe lacks a definitive Consumer Protection Mechanism at law, with the result that....most consumers are not aware of having consumer rights and those who are do not get any meaningful redress due to the absence of the legal framework underpinning the respect of their consumer rights.” When the Government eventually promulgates our Consumer Protection Act, the country will be able to meet its regional and international obligations to consumer rights protection. But more importantly, as consumers our rights will be effectively protected.
The Customer | June 2017 37
TRUTH ABOUT CX
truth T H
The world has formed a digital skin and CX is now at the heart of digital transformation, says Joe Manuele, Group Executive, Customer Experience and Collaboration at Dimension Data.
38 June 2017 | The Customer
rganisations and customers alike are embracing digital capability. Yet the transformation and challenges to provide great customer experience (CX) are becoming more complicated. CX is not just about the contact centre anymore - it requires connections with customers that not only include multiple channels, but the interconnection of those interactions. Dimension Data Global CX Benchmarking Report recently celebrated its 20th edition and consists of research results spanning all aspects of CX in an organisation. The results clearly indicate that there is a growing gap emerging between those committing to digitising their CX to the standards expected by modern and evolving customer types, versus those procrastinating on when and how to make their move. [subheadline] What’s holding organisations back from creating a great CX journey?
TRUTH ABOUT CX
1. OMNICHANNEL CAPABILITIES AREN’T INTEGRATED
hosted solutions gain in popularity. In fact, hybrid cloud is set to treble from 10% to 33% by the end of the year globally, and from 5% to 32% in MEA.
Organisations can’t claim digital transformation without having a connected CX. Global results reveal that 41% of organisations currently have none, or very few, channels connected, and in Middle East and Africa (MEA), just 35% have all channels connected.
3. LACK OF ANALYTICS TO DELIVER PERSONALISED EXPERIENCES
It’s not that organisations don’t understand the CX benefits created by an omnichannel approach. They do, and they believe in the value CX presents to the organisational objectives. It’s just that so many still struggle to deliver on areas receiving so much attention. The biggest obstacle (59% globally and 61% in MEA) is caused by organisations that are managing their contact channels via individual silos. Management of channels by silos stops visibility, management control, focus, education and enrolment in a broader CX strategy. Organisational change is required to facilitate the omnichannel vision.
2. LEGACY TECHNOLOGY HINDERS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND HYBRID IT IS THE ANSWER For 55% (globally) and 60% (MEA) of organisations, the primary hindrance to becoming digitally mature lies within the legacy systems that still exist in the business. Hybrid cloud solutions are heavily acknowledged as helping connect legacy solutions to new technology, as well as facilitating the organisational journey towards omnichannel capability. Hybrid IT models are now forming the base of most architectures as hybrid cloud/
Analytics was voted the top factor that will transform CX in the next five years – yet, only 48% (globally) and 51% (MEA) of organisations have customer analytic systems. Only 36% (globally) and 39% (MEA) possess Big Data analytic solutions. It’s clear that organisations need to analyse, or fall behind their competitors. Without a strong practice focused on collection and analytics of data, it’s impossible for an organisation to deliver personalised experiences to customers. A wealth of information can be gathered from alternate sources to provide a more objective view of the customer’s digital interactions, such as web site traffic and social media interactions.
4. OLD-FASHIONED APPROACH TO NEW WORKING STYLES Organisations are increasingly feeling the pressures from employees, especially ‘millennials’ (e.g. those born after 1990) in the workplace. There remains a lag as operations attempt to catch up and adapt their old ‘tried and tested’ methodologies, metrics, reward mechanisms and management styles. To accommodate millennials, only 42% (globally) and 49% (MEA) are adapting their management techniques. The role of millennials in supporting organisations’ profitable growth and transformation is mission critical. This
generation has grown up in a far more realtime and review-based society. They require the ability to provide feedback, share ideas and expect more review and personal feedback than previous generations. For millennials, personal time and strong worklife balance is crucial and often ahead of more remuneration. Consider alternative scheduling and homeworking options to alleviate this.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA IS MANAGED SEPARATELY FROM OTHER CHANNELS Many organisations are starting to establish an online presence. However, these practices and customer engagements tend to be structurally removed and distant from the operations of the organisation. Results indicate that 61% of organisations both globally and in MEA will respond to some comments on social media. Furthermore, 44% (globally) and 43% (MEA) will subsequently redirect customer enquiries to other (and less public) contact channels. Integrating social media channels more seamlessly into the customer lifecycle, including core enterprise applications like CRM and ERP, will drive a richer experience and ultimately a more customercentric service delivery. Social media should form another element of the many well-defined and managed channels to market. Managing social media separately from other channels will inevitably lead to a less than expected CX.
CX is not a debate, but a necessity to compete The Customer | June 2017 39
TRUTH ABOUT CX
The uncomfortable truth is that highperforming companies that have committed to the opportunity created by the digital revolution, are outpacing established market leaders. The benchmark research highlights that top quartile organisations are performing up to ten times better than the typical standard.
The world has become digitally-orientated and business, service, technology and commercial models have changed forever. Organisations are strategically challenged to keep pace with customer behaviour. Digital transformation both accelerates opportunities and causes disruption. Pioneers of the digital age have reimagined business models and processes that have changed customer behaviour forever. If organisations want to ensure future success
40 June 2017 | The Customer
they will need to make the right choices in their CX and digital strategies. About Dimension Data’s Global CX Benchmarking Report: The 2017 Global CX Benchmarking Report is designed to provide a single point of reference on key aspects affecting CX within today’s organisations. The Report is based on research conducted via a comprehensive survey. This year 1,351 organisations across 14 industry verticals in 80 countries in Asia Pacific, Australia, the Americas, MEA, and Europe contributed to the research. Our online benchmarking portal complements the Report and allows organisations to compare their performance and results to a more specific benchmark, as well as to their industry peers. Via the online portal, organisations can filter data at eight levels (including region and sector), export content, as well as build
bespoke presentations to determine how to accelerate CX in their organisations. Learn more at www.dimensiondatacx.com Possible pull out quotes ‘The 20th anniversary Global Report is acknowledged by associations, customers and analysts as the leading go-to reference document for CX.’
‘ The uncomfortable truth – high-performing disruptors are outpacing established market leaders by committing to the opportunity created by the digital revolution. ’
THE GENIUS OF LIVING CONSCIOUSLY BY RICKY HARRIS
Philosophers and scientists
have long mulled over the idea of consciousness, but even after so many centuries no one can yet claim to have fully grasped its full weight. But at least most, if not all, are agreed on one of key elements – awareness. Awareness is what guides us to make the best out of the myriad of life choices that we come across almost every second of every day that we live. For instance, over the course of a regular day, you make numerous choices in your business and in your social
42 June 2017 | The Customer
life. It’s awareness that determines whether you will smile and treat your customer with courtesy or be rasping… It’s awareness that determines whether you will arrive at work on time or 30 minutes late… Philosophers have conjectured that consciousness is inherently connected with the phenomenal; that the universe has consciousness at its base. It is therefore about a higher calling, a bigger purpose. In this life too many questions abound: Has the food we eat been organically grown, are they free of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other chemicals that are harmful to our bodies? Are the doctors looking at our wellbeing holistically and not just giving us pharmaceutical medication to keep the pharmaceutical companies and themselves in profitable businesses? Are medical aids and insurance companies
and other investment companies giving us a fair return on our investments? Are companies responsible in looking after the environment and whatever they manufacture and produce are not harmful to our environment? Are they taking care of their staff and are they involved with social and economic responsibilities and development? Are they getting involved in educating and uplifting their staff and getting involved with tangible projects that will benefit the poor and uplift communities and not just looking after their own wellbeing? But regardless of what question may be thrust upon you, you have the awareness to make the right decision. As human beings living in the 21st Century it has been said we are more conscious or aware of what is happening in the world around us. This is because from past experiences – or at least the past experiences of those that have lived before us – we now know how certain behaviors can have different effects on our world, either good or bad. We should therefore consciously strive for a better
world and living conditions for all mankind and not just a few ruling individuals who do not have the interest of the majority of the people. We should demand accountability from our leaders and from each other to make our living experience a pleasant one. Consciously we take our power back by questioning and taking action by physically getting involved in having a say by getting involved with our local council meetings and consciously being part by getting involved with various projects that will have a positive influence on the future of our world. Each and every one must consciously take action as to make sure that we have a say and play a part in making positive changes that will benefit the future generations. Being conscious has a lot more depth than being merely being aware. Once aware of a situation and consciously questioning it, you begin to see the reason behind everything, which helps you connect with your purpose of existence and the relevance of that situation to it.
The Customer | June 2017 43
HOW TO FIX BAD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE T H E F U T U R E O F O R G A N I S AT I O N A L S U RV I VA L . Customer Experience, Company Culture And Innovation.
BY SPENCER MANGUWA
ost organisation would like to think that their own company is giving lousy customer service. It is a lways a challenge for organisations to utilise internal customer service measurement tools and most senior executives would rather wait for external research findings that are usually commissioned not more than twice per year. In most instances the measuring tools are available and, maybe, your customer service isn’t actually all that bad; in my own experience, most of the companies think that they are already giving reasonably-okay customer service, and just need help turning it into what I would call exceptional customer service: the
44 June 2017 | The Customer
kind of “wow” customer service that can create earthshattering, loyalty building, word-of-mouth generating, and, internally, morale-lifting results. But, maybe, the reality is much worse than this: Maybe your company is guilty of giving terrible customer service and offending customers left and right. If this is your current, desperate situation, here are seven measures aimed at helping you stop the bleeding and heal your company’s ailing customer experience: 1. Set Organisational standards. The way to make the most out of whomever you currently have manning the phones and answering the emails is to set company-wide standards. Here are three examples: • Phones should be answered after no more than 30 seconds. • A telephone greeting includes a greeting, your name, and an offer to help. (“Welcome to Four
Aces, this is Micah, how may I help?”) • Email messages are answered within an hour. Even if the only response you can come up with within an hour is “I need to look into this further,” you need to respond this quickly, if only to let the customer know that you’re there for them. [Note: Does this sound unfairly stringent to you? Your customers won’t think so. When I see companies that have lengthy internal commitments to answer emails, such as “no more than 48 hours,” I think they’re out of touch. 48 hours feels like 48 years in internet time.] Obviously these three suggested standards are just the start. A great organization can have as many as 3,000 standards, company-wide. 2. Start using the right language. Maybe you have a bunch of enthusiastic, well-meaning employees, but they’re blowing it with customers simply because they’re using the wrong language. Engage in what I call “language engineering”: write down specific phrases you encourage and discourage for use in customer service phone calls, chats, messaging, and email. FOR EXAMPLE: Discouraged: ‘‘You owe . . .’’ Better: ‘‘Our records show a balance of . . .’’ Discouraged: ‘‘You need to . . .’’ (This makes some customers think: ‘‘I don’t Need to do anything, buddy—I’m your customer!’’) Better: ‘‘We find it usually works best when . . .’’ Discouraged: ‘‘Please hold.’’ Better: ‘‘May I briefly place you on hold?’’ (And then actually listen to the caller’s answer)
enough employees. If your hold times are ridiculously long, if your phones aren’t getting answered, or if people are waiting a long time to be helped in person, you’re goingto need to hire more heads. If so, hire the right employees. 5. One of the most frustrating kinds of customer service is customer service that isn’t available during the hours your customers need it. Look for ways to offer after-hours coverage without breaking the bank. For example, if you can’t currently afford full-fledged 24/7 customer support, maybe you can afford an emergency on-call number, and you can beef up your self-service options. 6. Speaking of which: Make sure you’re not frustrating customers by requiring them to contact you for what I call “obvious stuff”. Keep your FAQs and other self- service sources of information up to date so that they actually include all your frequently asked questions. Provide your mailing address and hours of operation on your website so customers aren’t wasting their (or your employees’) time by having to call. 7. Search out and eliminate the places where you’re dropping the ball. The most common place people drop the ball is on the handoffs: when one employee or department cedes ownership of a customer inquiry to another. But sometimes it’s even simpler, and just as disastrous: You’re not noticing when customer queries (or even orders!) come in, or if you do, you fail to get those queries into the queue. So, do whatever you can to systematically address these gaps, and do it now. A customer complaint that you fail to notice, and therefore fail to respond to, can be catastrophic, and even a straightforward customer inquiry that you don’t respond to can quickly turn into a public complaint. Conclusion - Follow up with unsatisfied customers. Any customer experience measurement tool yields more meaningful insights only when the organization follows up
3. Expose your employees to what extraordinary customer service looks like. Sometimes, well-meaning employees simply have no idea how good customer service can be because they’ve never experienced it themselves, or because they weren’t paying attention when they did. So take a field trip to a Radisson Hotel, MTN, an Apple Store, a Starbucks, and pay attention to how it’s done. 4. Don’t imagine you can do something with nothing. You can’t give tolerable customer service if you don’t have
with the customer in the event of a low rating. For instance, a low score on an interaction with the call centre. A follow up enables the team and the call centre to understand the problem, and address it maybe with more training, process adjustment, better communications, etc. Reaching out to unsatisfied customers shows that you care, and you may be able to win them back in the future.
The Customer | June 2017 45
POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
uestions of Diligence to
urtail Poor Customer Service
W By Benson Mukandiwa
hat Comes First Employee Satisfaction Or Customer Experience? There is a positive and significant relationship bet ween customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction is significantly related to service quality and to customer experience satisfaction, while the later in turn influences firm profitability leading to a satisfaction-qualityprofit cycle. The simple definition of a customer is “the conduit between the employee and any profit potential that an organization may realize”. The most important thing for any business to remember is that ‘customer service’ is not a noun, it’s a verb. One has to be doing it, not saying it; and how you deliver the service matters most.
46 June 2017 | The Customer
It is best to focus more on delivering the positive experiences. Know what customers actually want then focus on getting them to get value for money. Loyal customers know they can depend on your brand as a reliable, trustworthy, and competent business that appreciates them. It’s worthy to value the fact that they choose to spend their hard-earned money with you, and know that it’s a pleasure doing business with them. Maybe the most established level headed discussion in life is — which started things out, the chicken or the egg? So also, a vexing inquiry for every insightful business owners is whether: a) It is my customer’s experience or my employee’s experience first? Employee engagement drives specifically to business victories, higher benefits and client reliability or the other way around? b) Manager or employee – who is in charge of customer’s experience? All these precarious inquiries, resembles the
POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
chicken or egg first verbal confrontation, isn’t that so? Keep in mind, individuals buy from individuals: So where do you remain as business owners — who is number One, employee or client? The appropriate response is very self-evident – it must be the employee, regardless of the possibility that it’s only a slight lead than clients. Here’s the reason: Irrespective of your business or industry, you serve a customer need, and they associate with your employees in somehow: a) Your service and building group make beat quality items that address their issue. b) Your selling makes brand and product mindfulness, while your employees make the deal. c) Your employee benefit empathizes with customers and helps them in making right utilization of your products or services. Without your employees, you can’t give clients the best encounters. On the off chance that employees are not locked in and fulfilled, they can’t give a “WOW” client encounter. What’s more, if clients are not fulfilled and served well they won’t continue returning; it impacts the bottom line, employees won’t have a job (or the assets won’t exist to serve them best). Along these lines, on the off chance that you need to be prosperous and fabricate a practical business, you need to put your employee’s experience first. By owners approaching employees with deference and unwaveringness, they will probably convey the brilliant administration that keeps your clients pleased and returning for additional. Employee encounter matters: How you build employee experience matters. So where do you start? How would you verify that the employee encounter inside your brand is ideal? With regards to outlining employee encounter, it ought to answer these inquiries from every employee’s point of view: What’s in it for me? Why would it be advisable for me to mind? Why would it be advisable for me to accept? “At the point when individuals see that brand, they get much vitality out of work. They feel the significance, poise, and importance in their employment.” –Ken Blanchard [Paraphrased]. You should first comprehend the employee – in light of the fact that you can’t change something you don’t understand. Why Do Good Employees Become Poor Customer Focused Managers After promotion? In most of the employee engagement surveys you
read that one of the top reasons why people leave their companies is their manager. It is not about money, it is not about work, it is not about team, it is about the boss. Every now and then you run into someone in leadership position that leaves you wondering how that person could get there. These individuals are often smart, they appear to be confident, and play nice with their bosses. The real issue shows up when you see how they communicate with people who they deem unworthy, people with lower status, their teams, or people who may threaten their position. I’m talking about blackguards or jerks in management. According to Webster dictionary it defines jerk as “an unlikable person; especially one who is cruel, rude, or small-minded - a selfish jerk”. This is the type of boss I’m talking about. So how do such people get into management? The question you have to ask, is about causality. Do people become jerks after being promoted? Or, then again do they get progressed in light of the fact that they are blackguards? Some investigation demonstrates that proud, narcissistic and furious characters have more prominent chance to twist up executives. Not necessarily good managers, but because of their ability to present themselves well they tend to be seen as confident and persuasive. If the company doesn’t screen carefully their management candidates it easily happens that these people get into management roles ahead of those who have more suitable qualities and actually lead people and are helpful. The problem with a blackguards is that he doesn’t know he is a blackguards. These characters truly believe they are great because their egocentrism prevents self-reflection. It is only the surrounding people, the culture, the company who suffer. The only decent remedy is to limit the scope of interaction of these brilliant jerks or to remove them from the team altogether. Aside of the ones who got to management because of their jerkiness you have a second type of management tyrants. Those who became one over time. They were completely fine individual contributors who got increasingly antisocial once they got to a management positions. The great thing is that these people are not inherently damaged. They are not jerks, they just act that way. For these people it is usually something that can be changed with feedback, training, and help from outside.
The Customer | June 2017 47
CUSTOMER FOCUSED CULTURE
I know I’m sounding redundant, but if you haven’t already done the crucial steps of creating a vision and journey map – and I’m surprised at the number of organizations who haven’t yet done so – you have extra work to do before you can think about getting your employees into alignment.
The One Thing We Must Do
to Create a Customer Focused Culture BY SHEP HYKEN
ne of the most important ways to i mpr ove customer service is to make sure that everyone in an organization (company) is in alignment with the customer service and/or experience vision. While the concept is just one word, there are several steps to achieving alignment. The first step is to define that vision in simple and memorable terms. So, if you’ve been following my work, go back a few weeks to the concept of creating your
48 June 2017 | The Customer
customer service mantra, which is my fancy word to describe a customer service vision statement. Before you can get everyone into alignment, you must give them something to align with. I like a vision statement or mantra that is short and to the point. So, if you don’t already have a vision for everyone to align to, you’re going to need one. Assuming you have the customer service vision statement – or mantra, as I like to call it – the next step is to prove how everyone in the organization impacts that vision. And, I mean everyone! Start with your basic customer journey map that shows all of the typical interactions – or touchpoints – that the customer has when doing business with you. And you may need more than one map. A customer’s sales journey is different than a service or support journey. The interactions a customer has on your company’s website will be different than over the phone or in person. There is a second part of the journey map exercise, to show underneath each touchpoint how different departments and roles within those departments impact those touchpoints. If done correctly, you will eventually be able to show how each and every department – in other words, everyone – impacts the customer’s experience.
And, now it’s time to get everyone into alignment. By getting everyone to know and understand your customer service vision, and showing on a journey map how everyone, even as individuals, impact the customer’s experience, you can begin to train everyone to your vision. This is simple in concept, but not always easy to do. You must have an effective communication strategy. It can start with an announcement. It must be articulated as not just a vision, but also an expectation that everyone must keep in mind, regardless of their role and responsibility in the organization. And just announcing and communicating it is not enough. Each and every employee must be properly trained. It must constantly be reinforced. It must be obvious and almost overt. For employees to be in alignment, they must know it, understand it, and be able to execute it. Customer service isn’t just for the customer service department or the front line. It’s everyone’s job. So, if there is one thing that will make a difference in your customer service for 2017 (and every year thereafter), it is to get everyone in the organization in alignment with your customer service mantra. Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken Copyright © MMXVII Shep Hyken – Used
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Tuition and Online Tutorials done by leading Academic Professors and Industry Experts Upon Registration • You receive a complete online package (online students) • Hard copy modules (face to face tuition students) • Become a CICM member • You will be guided by experienced tutors • You will receive discounts to attend all CICM Continental and global events • You will receive CICM call centre and customer service: e-newsletter research materials • Career development and job opportunities • You will receive a free copy of The Customer Magazine
TREAT THE CUSTOMER
treat the customer The way you would like to be treated. BY BENSON MUKANDIWA
elf-confidence leads to positive interactions because if a person feels good about himself or herself, it is more likely he or she will be more comfortable communicating with people and working in teams.
Customers want to know that the employee they are dealing with is confident and is capable of giving them the necessary support they need to meet their needs. They need the assurance that the advice, recommendations or products they are receiving are coming from someone is who confident and knows what he/she is doing. In customer service, it is always best to test for personality and attitude, then train for knowledge and
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skills. Be more concerned about how much the candidate cares about people than about how much they know.It is easier to teach a person how to use a computer, or make a calculation than it is to train the same person to be patient, friendly, outgoing or empathetic. With only three ways to differentiate their brand, they forget that Customer Service is the cheapest approach with the biggest and farthest reaching impact. Entrepreneurial thinking has to permeate every part of the business and not just for the business owner. Everyone needs to be working in the same direction. Employees must think in terms of how they create value for the business. Customer Service will make a company. NO customer service will kill it from the top down or the bottom up. Everyone should read how to Win Friends and Influence People - twice - one person company or
TREAT THE CUSTOMER
a mega organization from forklift operator to the CEO - arrogance will drive people away never to return. The most likable people generate their own energy. Their attitude does not depend on everything going well and everyone being so grateful for their good work. They are just positive because they are positive. I know all the reasons this is hard. I’ve had years in which nothing in my career seemed to be working. Was I positive the whole time? No. And that was probably a big part of the problem. Kim Cameron, Associate Dean of Executive Education at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, cites the power of the heliotrope effect. He writes: “This effect is defined as the tendency in all living systems toward that which gives life and away from that which depletes life—toward positive energy and away from negative energy. All living systems have an inclination toward the positive—for example, plants lean toward the light, people learn and remember positive information faster and better than negative information, positive words predominate over negative words in all languages, all life forms from bacteria to mammals possess an inclination toward positive energy—so strategies that capitalize on the positive similarly tend to produce life-giving, flourishing outcomes in individuals and organizations.” HINT: don’t fight a natural law.
Why is it that stores selling high end product also give high end attitude. Arrogance belongs in the dictionary not in customer service. It amazes me that everyone wants to bash customer service without realizing that they are directly responsible for its poor state. Front line customer service people are the poorest paid, the company does not invest time and money to train them properly even though they are the first point of customer contact and represent the brand and the store. The
excuse given is that they leave and hence it’s not worth investing in them. What a flawed thought process. The other excuse given is that it would cost the company too much and they would be forced to raise prices which customers would be unwilling to pay and hence the business would not do well, another flawed thought process. I am sure some of you are retail and business owners. Start treating your front line customer service people with a lot more respect, pay them a lot more than the minimum wage, train them well and make them your brand ambassadors. Invest in them and watch how they take your sales and customer experience to a new level. Always look to owners to set the tone on customer service. The in store help is just a reflection of their training and management choices. This lack of good customer service seems to be very pervasive when the economy is good - watch those same places when the economy slows: almost 360 degrees phony attention to “good customer service”. I want to say that it could probably be that majority of the people who buy high end product also have high end attitude. Sometimes, some owners and employees treat some customer as an equal and reciprocate!!! With the business shifting online, unfortunately less attention is given to the quality of customer service when it comes to face to face interaction. Customer service all over is shocking at the moment, I mean from my suppliers that I deal with to personally banking issues. Monopoly is what ruined customer service. Nothing worse than being belittled by a sales rep who thinks they have a superior product. Attitude pills come in handy some times. Bad habits from traditions in some cultures that get integrated in corporate cultures. Products that come from places in our planet with these old ways reflect at their point of sale. I am always amazed by the poor way I am treated in high end stores... I have the budget and appetite for luxury but a) often times when not working I am very casual so you might not know it I love $$ things and b) I refuse to pay for poor service out of principle not matter how much I like a product. This has happened to me shopping for cars at the Mercedes dealership (repeatedly) and Louis Vuitton recently. And in addition, it’s NEVER about how much someone makes, it’s about how much they value what that experience and product is bringing for them... The Customer | June 2017 51
TREAT THE CUSTOMER
many people without deep pockets will “find budget” for a few high end items because it makes them feel a certain way.... high end stores need to teach this to their people!! There’s an old sales adage which says, “People buy from people they like.” Based on this, one would assume many ‘high end customers’ have arrogant, high end attitudes and like to buy from salespeople who are more like them. Recently, I spoke with a guy who left a job selling ‘high end cars’ because he got reprimanded by his sales manager for smiling and saying ‘hello’ to a walk-in customer. Apparently, they have an ‘Up’ program (this is what he said they call it) where you are not allowed to acknowledge the customer until the customer has gone to the receptionist and requested to speak with a salesperson. I have delivered customer service training from St. John’s to Calgary in the last 25 years and I can say unequivocally that this flies in the face of the very foundational principles of providing sales and service excellence. If I walk into a store and just one person has an unpleasant attitude. I leave. I’ve come to realize that if just one person has that attitude, then that is the attitude of management. Once in a store at checkout, there was the attitude. Well she got an “excuse me?” Then a few “can you repeat that please?” This was after I had purchased quite a few pieces of clothing. Guess they were accustomed to someone purchasing more than two items. I fear this arrogance is not only in high end stores. It seems apathy towards customer service is prevalent everywhere. I suspect there are many reasons for this. Many employees have never had exceptional service mirrored back to them. Customer service is a skill not an innate trait so more training needs to be done in this area. The idea of serving others (business, organizations and some political systems) is lost. Customer service, like life, requires acknowledging our interdependence. This is opposite of the trend in all areas of independence. The last to me is the most frightening of all. Every role in every organization and business is a service role. People forget that sometimes. The answer is always “Yes” (I hear you) “and” (What if we try x; Let me suggest x; that could work really well if we did x; I can advise x; Sounds perfect...let’s do it - and give the person, customer, client the public credit they deserve.). It helps to have served in a customer service setting as a teenager, when we got paid minimum wage but people responded with an extra smile or thank you, or simply relief when you provided great service, especially when they needed just to have the kindness shown. Having been in the retail sector for many years at different levels, I don’t understand this mentality. I have experienced this sort of behaviour many times and actually call the salespeople out every time! How else will they get it unless they hear about their behaviour? What are the trainers training these people?
52 June 2017 | The Customer
Copyright © 2017, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. 6 LESSONS LEARNED 1. Great buying experience is not enough what matters most is “achieving desired business outcomes” 2. Identify areas throughout the customer journey where you can increase the likelihood of their success 3. Ensure that >70% of your marketing and sales content is business outcomes focused 4. Demand that marketing spend get allocated to customer retention 5. Require that your sales organization (direct, inside, or channel) can have executive conversations that matter 6. Get serious about value realization!
LOVE R E T T E L
s to Dear D of ‘Love Letter 2N e th es m co meant to This be of ar tistic pieces s rie se A e’. at er service in Corpor erns over custom nc co er om st cu convey ature Customer anner. In this fe m ue iq un lly ra that ‘Corporate’ a gene ar t pointing out he r he t ou g in edback and is pour n of customer fe io ct lle co e lu va has to deliver y. to alter service it of e us od go make
BY RODRICK SIMBA MAZOYO
t can never be over-emphasised that communication is the backbone of any sound relationship, in the same spirit I have set down to pen yet another piece for you to consume, digest and absorb! Your reaction will be seen in due course and it will determine how many of my Kwachas, Dollars or Rands will gladly migrate to your pocket. Critical isn’t it? In this letter my concerns are with your recording and use of information from the market, in short ‘feedback’. The market is where you found me, the market is where l dwell, remember? My voices from this place are of paramount importance if ever we want longevity to be part of this arrangement. I know you know I don’t nag and I feel you feel that it’s only out of love that I speak. As long as I have love for you, I will always have words for you. My lover, yearn to know what l like and dislike at all times. When captured and used appropriately, my feedback is vital to this end! ‘Business’ as our union is termed, can only flow, float and sail if sustained in the eighth sea called satisfaction. It’s however quite fortunate that you do not need to part with an arm and a leg to get my feelings over what you are offering. A simple survey will go a long way in making you achieve this goal. Besides surveys, also make
54 June 2017 | The Customer
use of Email to timeously respond to my inquiries and complaints. From the thread of our communication you can definitely pick how I view and feel about your current service. In this age, monitoring my posts and comments on social media will also go a long way in shading light on how I am reacting to your products and services. Likes, cliques shares and re-shares or their lack-thereof should mean a lot to you. Website analytics is also an excellent source of information even though l may not answer directly. Simply track what parts of your website I am duelling on much, the general browsing pattern and where I usually go next. Review sites are also at your disposal to achieve the same goal dear. All those online reviews are meant for you, not for me and my kind to just vent. Read through; engage moderate and mediate were necessary. Remember in this era word of mouth has been replaced by word of mouse. Placing comment boxes on websites also makes it easy for me to air out my feelings anytime of the day. Traditionally you may place physical suggestion boxes within service centres such that I scribble my concerns and leave them for you to go through. Once in a while I might haul insults at you or your staff in these, but please forgive me, I am the Customer, I am sovereign. One of the most important sources of feedback from me is that person who serves me on your counter every day.
The gentleman or lady I speak to every time I desire your services. The salesman, customer-care agent, relationship manager, waiter and bank tailor. Those guys hear my voice and its tone. They see the size of my smile and can even predict when I am about to frown. Don’t call them your employees; call them ‘bridges’. They carry us across to each other. I beg, listen to them all the time! According to Dr Seuss, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep realising that reality is finally better than your dreams.” Dear Corporate, I pray and hope one day we shall reach these levels. As optimistic as I am, it’s just but a matter of time. Like the munching of a mopani worm, calmly and slowly we will transcend into that beautiful reality. One vehicle that will take us there definitely is you making use of the above suggested information gathering tools to improve, alter or create great products. Time and again, worry about how I am feeling. Use my reaction to know what I desire or distaste. I have no time for ‘stop-it-I-like-it’ moments, we are now both mature my love. Finally I say to you my better half, after collecting information as feedback, use it! If you do, surely longevity becomes part of our relationship equation. I am pretty sure you read my last letter, signs are showing. If ever you find yourself lapsing in that area, grab a copy of that letter once again and like a ruminant, regurgitate. In this episode, note this; you need to always pay attention to my feedback and make good use of the findings to design new products and improve the current ones. I know I sometimes come out raw and naggy, but I also know you never doubt my feelings. The flow of my hard earned money via PayPal, VISA, MasterCard or even in hard currency is enough evidence of my commitment. Dear Corporate, we need each other, let’s stick together. PS: As usual, do not reply by a letter, I prefer action. Yours in love,
Bad habits from traditions in some cultures not good for customer service
ometimes, some owners and employees treat some customer as an equal and reciprocate!!!With the business shifting online, unfortunately less attention is given to the quality of customer service when it comes to face to face interaction. Customer service all over is shocking at the moment, I mean from across many African cultures that clients deal with especially in restaurants, retail shops and banks. Monopoly is what ruined customer service. Bad habits from traditions in some cultures that get integrated in corporate cultures. Products that come from places in our planet with these old ways reflect at their point of sale. And in addition, it’s NEVER about how much someone makes, it’s about how much they value what that experience and product is bringing for them... many people without deep pockets will “find budget” for a few high end items because it makes them feel a certain way.... high end stores need to teach this to their people! There’s an old sales adage which says, “People buy from people they like.” Based on this, one would assume many ‘high end customers’ have arrogant, high end attitudes and like to buy from salespeople who are more like them. Recently, I spoke with a guy who left a job selling ‘high end cars’ because he got reprimanded by his sales manager for smiling and saying ‘hello’ to a walk-in customer.
The Customer | June 2017 55
TAKE A “VOW TO WOW”
VOW TO WOW
BY JOHN TSCHOHL
am in the process of updating one of my books and I came across a heading that I had written in for Costco….Vow to Wow. Since day one COSTCO has had an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing for their members, employees, suppliers and the community. Their strategy is to make sure its customers come back. Its merchandisers are meticulous about their
56 June 2017 | The Customer
choices of product for their customers and have set detailed standards on everything from the size of cashews to the thread count of bed sheets. That unbeatable value proposition on quality products and customer service has inspired roughly 90% of Costco’s 85 million cardholders worldwide to renew their $55 to $110 memberships each year. Wow! For the twenty-two weeks ended January 29, 2017, the Company reported net sales
of $52.26 billion, an increase of five percent from $49.98 billion during the similar period last year. Wow! The same holds true for Disney. Have you ever heard of Disney’s reputation for exceptional service? Empowerment is a religion there. Employees are thoroughly trained and then told that they have the authority (has been delegated to them) to do whatever is necessary to deal with problems on the spot in order to make
VOW TO WOW
customers happy. Cast members (as front-line employees are called) do not say, “That’s not my job, I’ll get a supervisor.” When people with problems call a number at Disney World, the first employee who answers the phone makes an effort a heroic effort, if necessary to solve the problem. The employee does not send the caller all over the company. The Disney philosophy is reflected in a statement that every organization in America with a desire for customer loyalty should mount on the boardroom wall: “Management Must Not Only Support the Front Line but It Must TRUST It As Well.” Disney believes that front-line employees should be the first and the last contact for customers. These employees and all Disney employees are treated with respect. Wow! Disney realizes great financial benefit for its quality service standards. Because clients are willing to pay for helpfulness and friendliness, for cleanliness, and for fun, The Disney Company attributes its enviable achievements in employee commitment and customer service to
“pixie dust.” The formula for pixie dust is not secret. It is Training + Communication + Care = Pride. Wow! Singapore Airlines is a paragon of service excellence among the world’s airlines. The airline sets the quality standard for the world in customer service. The difference with SIA is they walk their talk. Singapore’s standout service makes for a famously pleasant journey during which flight attendants are trained to treat customers with extreme care and respect. Personal TVs with plenty of entertainment options and hot towels served before take-off are just some of the economy perks. The airline’s home base at Changi International Airport is one of the finest facilities in the world and has been named by Skytrax as the Best Airport in the World four years in a row. Wow! Stew Leonard’s is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut and operates four stores: in Norwalk, Danbury and Newington, Connecticut and Yonkers, New York. More than 400,000 customers a week are served by 2,000 employees. Sales are estimated at $400+ million for all stores. The stores sell more of every
item it carries than any other store in the world and is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records for having “the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States.” One thing Stew always says at the store is, “You have to make Stew’s a great place to work before you can make it a great place to shop!” The company’s culture is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; Team work gets it done; Excellence makes it better; WOW makes it fun. MY TAKE ON THIS IS TO: 1. Vow to treat customers like life-long partners 2. Vow to not disappoint or anger customers 3. Vow to see the business through customer eyes 4. Vow to deliver more service than you promise
“Take a vow to have 100% customer service every time, every day, always And, you’ll ‘Wow’ them every time.”- John Tschohl
PSMI CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN
Countrywide Clean-Up Campaign
IMAGE 1 & 2: PSMI Vice Board Chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander and Gweru Mayor Councillor Charles Chikozho.
SMI employees on Sunday, the 7th of May 2017, went out in their numbers with brooms in hands, gloves, face masks and clad in orange t-shirts PSMI cleaned up streets in 10 provinces where the company’s centres are strategically situated.
Gweru was the major highlight where the event was graced by PSMI Vice Board Chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander and Gweru Mayor Councillor Charles Chikozho. PSMI also donated 15 bins in Gweru and 5 bins in Marondera in support of the city councils’ antilittering campaign. There was a lot of excitement among the employees who were cleaning the streets with a Psmile and some who were on night duty could not miss this opportunity to make a difference in society hence they joined the campaign. “The clean-up campaign is one of our many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), through the company’s philanthropic arm TOUCH (TOgether we
58 June 2017 | The Customer
PSMI CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN
Understand and Care for Humanity). For PSMI to be where it is right now, it is because of our loyal customers who have stood with us through thick and thin. As a way to thank our number one stakeholder, the patient, we are giving back to the community
through activities like the clean-up campaign. PSMI cleaned up 15 areas across Zimbabwe namely Harare, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Victoria Falls, Masvingo, Chiredzi, Chipinge, Mutare, Rusape, Marondera, Bindura and Chinhoyi. The Customer | June 2017 59
PSMI CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN
60 June 2017 | The Customer
“We could not have done this campaign without the help of all responsible city councils, environmental management agencies and the community at large who helped us with cleaning material and also the necessary support. In support of the anti-littering campaign, PSMI donated 20 bins 15 in Gweru and 5 in Marondera and it is our hope that we will donate bins in all cities/towns where our centres are in the near future. I would like to commend the partnership that this clean-up campaign has nurtured between PSMI and the 15 city councils. It is our hope that this partnership will grow from strength to strength as we look forward to a fruitful synergy. We are in full support of the city councils’ “three R” Campaign of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,” said PSMI Vice Board Chairperson Mrs Cecilia Alexander. Apart from the clean-up, PSMI engages in a number of corporate social responsibility programmes which include but not limited to free screening
Rewarding Conversations Don’t Have To Cost A Fortune We Live In A Vastly Complex World, But That Does Not Mean We Need Complex, Costly Solutions To Deal With It.
e all know South Africa has much to offer the contact centre industry. And as migration to the cloud becomes a sink-or-swim factor, the opportunities for expansion and cost reduction are endless. The key risk in this frontier time is that we do not, as an industry, lose our connection with rewarding conversations. But first: what are rewarding conversations, exactly? And why do we need them?
The Customer | June 2017 61
The conversational ideal
The best of both worlds
Imagine a contact centre that greets you with the warmth you’d expect from a family-run business – one that knows you, gets your needs, understands your history and gives you what you’re looking for, every single time you connect. Rewarding conversations take us places. They open new worlds for everybody involved. They lie at the very core of the win–win ethos. The real question, then, is: is it even possible to survive without them? It’s upon this premise that Cape Town–based software powerhouse ZaiLab launched ZaiConversations: a cloud contact centre solution built from the ground up around the notion of rewarding conversations. It solves six key points of pain in the industry: a lack of customer experience; poor team insight; inadequate routing; excessive complexity; patchwork integration; and grievous cost. In short, it works to assist humanity – not to replace it – by automating away the things that hold us back.
Startup contact centres – particularly those in the competitive BPO space – face a dilemma: should we go open source or enterprise? Open source technology makes sense on a surface cost level, but organisations without the skill to configure the tools and customise their code are left at a serious disadvantage. Add to this the fact that open source vendors often monetise through support? The suspicions start to mount. Enterprise software, meanwhile, can deliver tremendous power and scalability – but these benefits are matched by immense complexity and cost. ZaiConversations cuts through the middle by offering an intuitive, total solution that rivals enterprise systems while trimming cost to the bone. The usage-based model means that the software grows with the business: more sophisticated features unlock only when they’re needed – ensuring clear value is baked into every interaction. Rewarding conversations should take each and every one of us places, after all.
Scalable accessibility and the case for usage-based pricing And because democratisation is at the centre of a solution like this, ZaiLab has adopted a pricing structure completely dependent on usage. You only pay for the features you use; and if you don’t use any, you don’t pay a single thing. The company is so confident in its offering that there are no contracts or onerous licencing agreements – and no profit is made on call rates. And if one of your agents is sick or on leave? You’re not stuck paying a licensing fee for an empty seat.
62 June 2017 | The Customer
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ZAICONVERSATIONS VISIT: www.zailab.com. PREPARED BY: Asonele Kotu firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WORLDâ€™S LARGEST EXPRESS NETWORK IS READY TO DELIVER
Published on Jul 3, 2017
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