Businesses challenged to prioritise consumer relations

Source: Businesses challenged to prioritise consumer relations | Herald (Business)

Participants follow proceedings at the Green Climate Fund project launch on building climate resilience of vulnerable agricultural livelihoods in Southern Zimbabwe in Harare last week. — Picture: Memory Mangombe

Ishemunyoro Chingwere

Business Reporter

THE Government has implored businesses to continue striving to deliver customer and consumer satisfactory goods and services despite Covid-19 induced drawbacks and warned those that fail to comply to risk denting their reputation and survival prospects into the future.

The counsel came from Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, when she officiated at the launch of a book by renowned customer relations expert, Dr Mthokozisi Nkosi, titled “New Generation Customer Service”.

The call to prioritise customer relations comes at a time Zimbabwe and the world at large, are grappling with the effects of Covid-19 pandemic that have pushed several businesses onto the brink.

Zimbabwe on its part, is also on a launchpad to industrialisation and economic growth towards an upper middle-income earning economy by 2030 as enunciated by President Mnangagwa.

Due to challenges caused by Covid-19, some businesses are tempted to do some short cuts, in the process compromising on the quality of goods and service.

Said Dr Nzenza: “. . . It is also refreshing to note that the launch (of the book) is running under the theme, ‘The magic of service: creating, maintaining and enhancing strong long-term relationships with key stakeholders through service”.

“I am happy that this theme is a warning to all businesses. Service providers that fail to meet the expectations of their customers will be consigned to the dustbin of history and it will judge them ruthlessly.

“It is my sincere hope that key decision makers in both the public sector and (private) business will take time to appreciate the thought-provoking work by Dr Nkosi and walk the talk of customer service.

“The adage that the “Customer is King” clearly points to organisations that have to do everything possible to satisfy the needs of their customers who ultimately pay the salaries of all employees.

“Let me remind this audience today that customer service is the foundation for successful business entities and if practiced by all of us translates to economic and social growth in our country,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management (CICRM) Council chairman Professor Zororo Muranda, said the launch of the book was a milestone as it marked the first time that they launched a book whose focus is exclusively on customer service.

Dr Nkosi said the book is a culmination of his three decades in business and some of which has seen him exposed to world class customer service that he shares through his works.

“This is a result of work-related experience of over three decades and having been exposed to world class organisations, I think I have an obligation to pass my experiences,” said Dr Nkosi.

“The book goes at length in giving people what it really means when one is said to be customer centric because in as much as most companies are saying they are customer centric, my experience shows that they probably don’t understand what it means,” he said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new order that requires the services provider to follow customers and study their consumptions behaviours and failure to adhere to that will see them going under.

There are businesses that are going to completely change their models due to demands caused by Covid-19, while others are not going to withstand the pressures caused by the pandemic and close shop completely.

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