As we come to the end of Customer Service Week, we can all agree that a lot has changed in the industry over the pandemic period.
Businesses all over the world are experiencing some sort of setbacks since COVID-19 made an unwelcome grand entrance. People have had to cope with the “new normal” nature of handling business activities and basically everything else. But, my question is, have businesses thrown customer service into the bin, or has it improved over the course of the pandemic?
Most businesses are hanging on a thin thread while a few are making a killing. That is the more reason, great customer service should be at the heart of every business. As a business owner, you understand the importance of selling your products and services, especially at a time when people are mostly spending their hard earned money on basic commodities.
Here is how the customer service landscape is taking shape amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
First on my list are Kenyan Banks/ mobile banking. Reason? We all need access to money to survive. KCB Bank is always at the top of my list when I do customer service surveys. The reason being it’s my bank, wait a minute, I mean, I bank there. I just love finding out people’s experiences with brands that I am personally using. Looking through their tweets and replies section I could see they have a great response time to customer’s queries, and are basically doing the most to ensure their customers are happy with their services. No complaints about customer service whatsoever.
Cooperative Bank however seems to be on the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to customer service. Customers have filled their official twitter account with negative reviews especially for their female employees. Their response time to queries is just pathetic, as it takes up to 4 days to get a response from the team. Here are some responses from various customers;
Next on the list are e-commerce sites. Most of us are trying our best to stay indoors and apps such as Jumia, Glovo, and Uber Eats have made that possible by offering delivery services to basically everything we need. From fresh produce, essential commodities, electronics to freshly prepared food.
I recently ordered an item from Jumia and I was very much disappointed by their customer service. None of the complaints I made via their official twitter handle were responded to till date. I however noticed they promptly respond to other customer’s queries. Which got me wondering, do they discriminate on the people they reply to? But apart from my bad experience, the team seems to be doing a good job in handling customer queries. Their response time is averagely four hours and they ensure customers get refunds, especially on damaged and low-quality products.
Internet Service Providers
Next on the list are internet service providers. Every Kenyan right now is using the internet all too much. And having a stable internet connection is crucially important for both entertainment and work. ZUKU and Safaricom are the leading ISPs in Kenya. But these two companies cannot be found in the same sentence in matters customer service and stable internet connection. ZUKU is just unbelievably horrible in handling customer queries while Safaricom has world-class service. Personally I have called ZUKU three days consecutively with no response and they still managed not to respond to my tweets. At this point, I have totally given up on getting great customer service from Zuku. I already mentioned their shortcomings on customer service in a previous article, and you can check it out here!
The last on my list are Supermarkets and restaurants. It is quite hard to keep off supermarkets even during a pandemic. But when you visit one, it is just great to experience great customer service and adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures. Carrefour, a multinational cooperation has hugely gained popularity since its launch in Kenya. Scrolling through their official twitter account I quickly noticed quite a number of customers complaining of poor customer service. Here are some of the responses;
However, looking through the Tuskys supermarket tweet and reply section was hugely satisfying. The people managing the account are witty, funny, and promptly engage their customers. Restaurants on the other hand haven’t been too busy. They have been mostly working on take away basis and were just recently allowed to have clients eat on their premises. I haven’t met complaints about poor customer service from restaurants. They must be trying their best to provide great customer service to ensure people come back for more.
It is pretty clear that most companies and brands in Kenya are doing a great job of providing great customer services. Brands that are not very particular in providing top-notch customer service will find their businesses struggling even after the pandemic as Kenyans don’t forget foul treatment.
Make sure your customers are happy during this time. You seriously need repeat customers now more than ever. It is clear to say that businesses have neither thrown customer service to the bin or improved. Customer service in Kenya still has a long way to go but most brands are improving on a daily basis.