Customer Service Week 2017 : The Kenyan Customer Service Landscape

Today marks the beginning of the Customer Service Week. For some organizations, this is a time to recognize and reward loyal customers  while others consider it a time to reflect on and review an organization’s customer service policy. It is very difficult to find a company that is successful without it having a great customer service policy. Customer service and customer experiences have improved a great deal in Kenya and you cannot compare it to a decade ago especially with the emergence of social media. Any business or brand that wants to make a name for itself or remain relevant ensures that having a great customer service is at the top of their priority list.

The good thing about customer service at this era is that it can also be offered on social media. Companies like Safaricom, Airtel, KCB Bank, Huduma Center, KFCB, among many others have perfected the art of social customer support. In fact, many would argue that if you want your issues attended to promptly, use social media. Unlike a phone call or text message, social media is an open platform where organizations are judged by the public on how they handle customer queries.

People nowadays will not only go to a shop because it sells high quality products or services but because on top of that is the great customer service experience. A lot of small businesses have closed shop due to bad customer service. Statistics have shown that it takes 12 positive responses to make up for one negative response. In Kenya, it has been normal to go to a place and experience bad customer service. That’s why some of us get stunned when we receive good customer service, in fact, I am sometimes obliged to give a tip after a good customer experience. Some people would rather pay more if they are guaranteed  good customer service. Customer Service Week is a time for organizations to rethink their customer service strategies to enhance customer service experiences.

There was this scenario where a customer belonging to one of the local banks based in Kawangware area of Nairobi experienced a very bad customer service experience and decided to share it on social media. She complained of how it wasn’t the first time that the customer service representatives and tellers would act as if they were being disturbed for asking for help concerning an issue she had with her bank account. She then decided to close her bank account there and open a new one in a different bank. It might have just been one customer lost but we don’t know how many other customers made a decision to step out because of that experience. This is just but one example but that shows how customer service can affect how and if customers stay or not. The more bad experiences a business gets the more customers drift away from the business unless they are resolved promptly.

My own personal experience was with one of the e-commerce companies in Kenya, Jumia. I had ordered for an item but then the item delivered was the wrong one. I requested for a refund and the first customer care representative I engaged with made the situation worse by claiming I should have returned the product within 24 hours yet their policy says 7 days. I got so pissed off that I made a deal with myself to never purchase there again. After expressing my disappointment on social media, a few other potential customers commented that their decision to order anything from the platform would depend on how they handle my case. So one of the customer care representatives contacted me and helped me till I got my refund. It was only after the refund, that I thought, just maybe, I could continue being their customer. And yes I have purchased more goods after that incident.

Customer Service Week is an important time to raise awareness of the importance of good customer service and remind customers of your commitment to customer satisfaction. Good customer service ensures that customers develop trust in your brand. This is because, if a customer trusts a particular brand or business, there is a high probability that they would be repeat customers. Having the trust of customers will ensure that your customers remain loyal to your business rather than jump ship. Statistics have actually proven that 3 out of 4 people will go to a business with a great customer service compared to the service just being cheaper.

Another importance of having great customer service in your organization is that it contributes to brand awareness. This is through word of mouth which spreads faster than anything else. And nowadays, customers post their experiences on social media for the world to see. Therefore, offering good customer service experiences will give your brand a name and people will talk about those positive experiences. Remember, good customer service = Happy customers = $.

Happy Customer Service Week.

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About the Author

Sharon Adisa
Sharon is a writer and editor who strives to continually further both the depth and breadth of her skills as a writer so as to contribute superior work and deliver client and customer satisfaction.