Zimbabwean enterprises need to align themselves with good customer service as the service industry is one of the fastest growing industries, Standards Association of Zimbabwe director-general Dr Eve Gadzikwa has said.
She was speaking at the Chartered Institute of Customer Management (CICM)’s 2021 graduation ceremony recently.
“Services will become the next industry on the continent. To unlock much of the unrealised potential, African businesses must therefore pay attention and integrate service delivery in their business models.
“With customer service expectations exponentially dynamic, the global community is becoming aware of the value and role that customer service plays in achieving business success. This highly demanding factor is arguably the critical success factor for many organisations,” said Dr Gadzikwa.
“For this core reason among other keys it is important that the customer service profession has its continuous training and development on the subject through CICM so as to remain abreast with the global trends.”
“Customer service is a growing sector that will contribute hugely to graduands of African economies in the future.”
CICM is a global customer service and call centre professional and academic board currently represented in three continents through its global implementation and certification partnership network with its regional head offices in South Africa.
It offers certification programmes, with its reach extending to 24 countries, largely on the continent, although the institution also has a presence in the United States, the United Kingdom and India.
The need for efficient customer service has been necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed businesses to engage customers at first point on digital platforms.
Social distancing requirements, in particular, have changed the consumer habits of buying and shopping, as well as how businesses offer their products and services and otherwise engage with their customers. Improving customer experience has therefore become vital.
Dr Gadzikwa urged the graduating class to quickly adapt to the new economic and business realities.
“The environment is more than uncomfortable for organisations, Yes, we are faced with the greatest threat to humanity in the name of Covid-19. However, in the face of all these challenges customer experience will help revive our economies back. It will help heal our people through offering a smile on the face of that distressed customer,” she said.
“Going beyond customer expectations begins with you. Individual transformation is very instrumental in the transformation of an organisation as a whole, which translates into a culture that represents us as a nation.
Zimbabwe’s customer satisfaction ranking weakened marginally on the latest National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) Report that was published by CICM in partnership with the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) last August.
The overall National Index for 2020 was 62,6, a point decrease from 63,6 in 2019.