Editorial: Ghanaians generally bemoan the lack of quality customer service in the country. Freelance writer and Yen.com.gh contributor, Daniel Dela Dunoo explores the need to ‘Make Customer Service a Priority’ drawing inspiration from William Deming's slogan,"The customer is the most important part of the production line” –William Deming
I remember many years ago, while a marketing student in one of the nation`s tertiary institutions, we answered to a simple yet rich slogan thus: “PROMAGS – Innovation”; “Customer satisfaction – Our Priority”.
Apparently, this slogan was in sync with what we stood for as marketing students or better still what we stood for as future marketing professionals. Marketers are trained to relate to customers and potential customers in ways that will eventually win over their target audience. Their courteous mannerisms, friendliness, patience, tolerance and other admirable traits such as these are calculated at putting smiles on the faces of clients, customers and prospects; these are ultimately aimed at retaining their market share if not increasing their market share.
A shared and collective responsibility
It is gratifying when ever marketers within any giving organization make customer satisfaction their priority; it certainly is all well and good and should be encouraged. However, it is my contention that limiting customer care and satisfaction to the marketing department alone is an anomaly and counter-productive.
“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department alone” –David Packard
It is my candid opinion that customer satisfaction ought to be the priority of every “Tom, Dick and Harry” within any given establishment. It ought to run through all departments if ever Organizations are to leave a lasting and pleasantly memorable impression on the minds of clients and potential customers.
“Make it a habit to find ways to pleasantly surprise your customers, colleagues and bosses by going the extra mile” –Michael Leboeuf
No one who walks into the premises of a given business establishment ought to leave grumpy, murmuring and dissatisfied with the service or product offering within that establishment. However, even where clients and customers express reservations about specific product or service offerings, the Company`s representative (be it the security man, the front desk officer or any other staff member for that matter) ought to take complaints and even outbursts in good stride and find a way of handling the situation professionally; and where possible find ways and means of making right whatever wrong there is.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” –Peter Drucker.
Sadly, it is common in Ghana and in some other parts of the globe to find staff members of certain business outfits lash out at customers upon the least provocation and have heated exchanges with clients. Some staff members carry themselves around in a bossy, rude and egoistic manner when dealing with some clients. It is significant to also note that the egoistic posture of some Companies in Ghana smacks of gross disregard for consumers and are obviously an affront to business professionalism. Competence is important and should be hailed but so is courtesy.
It is however refreshing that some Organizations have “lifted the bar”, so to speak. They have and continue to show the way. To them, customer care and satisfaction are essential components of their priorities. Little wonder they consciously instill in their staff values that are in sync with customer care and satisfaction. They are constantly fine-tuning, updating, refining and introducing innovative ideas to improve their product and service offerings. Such companies are the better off. Who would not want to transact business with a company that shows high regard for their views and concerns and whose employees are simply courteous, amiable, understanding and every bit professional in their dealings with customers, clients and consumers?
Worth-noting at this point is the fact that a Company that consciously makes customer satisfaction a priority is welcoming of complaints and suggestions; such companies make the most of customer complaints and suggestions in introducing relevant modifications for their product and service offerings with the intent of addressing the concerns of their cherished customers. This eventually helps in customer retention and in winning over new customers. Of cause grapevine is very potent. There is no telling how many more customers will be won by the simple testimony of a satisfied client or customer. If this is so, which I dare say it certainly is, then the logical conclusion is that every business entity must necessarily make customer satisfaction a priority; perhaps the top most priority.
Written by Daniel Dela Dunoo (Freelance writer, Theologian, Professional Marketer)