It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, R NEWELL-LEGNER

Anyone who has purchased an item or a service knows what good customer service is. Why does it matter then to consistently have good Customer Service?

First, any enterprise that has been undertaken or that has been established to meet a need, be it a public good or for profit has a desired benefit to itself or to a stakeholder, and thus must ensure it is meeting that objective. If an enterprise is neither of the aforementioned, customer service is a nice irrelevant discussion with no consequence.

Second, any enterprise that has an objective to serve the public and make a profit must commit to a continuous improvement in how they care for the customers that patronize them.

Let’s consider for a moment a for-profit enterprise. The primary objective is to make money through the provision of goods or services, period.

With that in mind then, the framework through which this is accomplished is implementing and maintaining an intentional acquisition and retention of its customers and continuously serving to meet the needs and provide ongoing services. It is consistency in this endeavor that ensures the sustainability of a healthy growing bottom line and repeat business from your core customers.

These 3 components are measurable and must be attended to within an organization and the served must be able to see and feel the impact of a well-executed customer service plan.

One of the challenges I observed on my recent visit to Rwanda was the clash of cultures. There is a global business culture, that I would venture to say is the international ideal or desirable, and there is the Rwandan social culture. When customer service is misunderstood or not properly implemented then the default is a cultural interaction that leaves a customer dissatisfied or under-served.

A good example of this is the uneasiness or difficulty of information exchange among Rwandans. We Rwandans have a tendency to say as little as possible by nature and we do not easily share or disclose much about ourselves or our knowledge.

Our level of transparency is counter to a global marketplace that ought to bring us success and sustained development.

In business, on the other hand, information is a commodity or a vehicle to move the sale or meet a need. Until we can reconcile the two cultures we are not going to play successfully in the global marketplace.

It is crucial for us to learn customer service and relentlessly provide it on every interaction with a customer from the start. This begins with a warm welcome to each and every customer that walks into your business or the customer you seek out to transact with.

It is equally imperative that a customer gets correct and up-to-date information when they need it. The inability to be responsive to the needs of individual customers and failure to provide appropriate responses to the right customers at the right time is a recipe for a soon to fail enterprise.

Accenture reported that ‘price is not the main reason a customer leaves, it is actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service.  Another study shows that 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better customer experience.

Does customer service matter? Yes! It does and you can begin to make a change right now.

Yehoyada Mbangukira,

Customer Experience Advocate

[email protected]

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