I had a run-in with a Telecoms service provider earlier today. They had deducted my credit top up just ten minutes after I had ‘kopad’. You can guess my ‘righteous indignation’ directed at them, never mind that it was five in the A.M. So here I was trying to call their customer service, only to be met by some funny directions. After finally maneuvering through that, I was welcomed by a five minute wait; listening to their awesome theme song. By then, some smoke was spewing from my ears, as you have all experienced at one time or another when confronted with poor service. So, thanks to modern technology, social media, in the form of Facebook, was the last resort. Needless to say, the response was prompt, and the guys have been able to clear the air on my queries, as mundane as they may seem. My friends also had a field day, chipping in on the wall post by taunting me ‘Come Baby, Come!”
My point is this: do not make a promise and fail to deliver. Your client will never forgive you, and if they do, they will not forget. It is said that people may forget what you said to them, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Kudos to my service provider, who finally got it right and was prompt to relay feedback when called upon to do so. My actual problem may still have not been addressed, but I appreciated being listened to. That form of engagement is as important in business as it is in our personal lives. My two cents advice to them would be to ‘soupe up’ their systems, processes and structures, as they have done in the incessant marketing campaigns that bombard my inbox, print and electronic media. They should look as good from the inside as they do on the outside.
Effective brand engagement is all about getting it right from the onset, so that when external communications is rolled out, there is a seamless message and service delivery to the target market. This is Gap 5 in the Servqual measurement tool of service delivery to consumers, versus what they actually experience. The gap between customer expectations and actual service delivery can be minimized if only due diligence is observed; and communication and feedback mechanisms like social media are tactically used to engage with consumers, long after the sale is done. Sustainability of the same ensures a sense of belonging, and the feeling that value has been experienced. On the part of the service provider, repeat and even life-long business from the customer is assured as a result. This is what is referred to as brand equity. Waswahili husema ‘Mgala muue na haki mpe”, so to my service provider’s Customer Care Desk, thank you.