Better Business for a Better Africa

I recently heard of a bank in South Africa that has placed a notice that stipulates that if the bank employees do not greet you, you must demand to be paid 50 rand and this is deducted from the employee’s salary. Does this sound unreasonable?

About a week ago, I went to a store that sells building materials with my father. From the entrance, we were greeted by a lady who offered to help us find what we were looking for. This was a pleasant shock for me as most if not all shops I enter do not have such friendly employees. I told her this and thanked her for her courtesy. I wondered off looking at the different kinds of cupboards within a minute or so, one of the employees came and asked whether what I was looking at was to my fancy. I felt overwhelmed but very much appreciated the service. I felt as though this was the only shop I would ever want to get my building materials from  and even felt like telling everyone I know how warm are courteous the employees in this shop were.

My boss recently came to check on how business was going. We had a meeting that ended late and he needed accommodation. After searching for a room from lodge to lodge we finally found one. We were informed that the employee that had the keys to the only room left had gone into town. We checked in and waited in the foyer and after waiting for almost an hour, knowing that town was only a five minutes’ walk away,  I got up and asked how much longer the person would be. We were advised to continue waiting. I felt that this was not proper service, if there were other guest houses we would have walked out and I would not be coerced to ever give a positive review.

How you treat people matters – they go as your ambassadors, best to have them want to give a good report. Things that can be done to provide better service:

  1. culture and policies.

Every institution must have operational policies and all employees must know and adhere to these policies. Your clients should also know these policies so they can know their rights and entitlements.

  1. Respect and Priority to clients

Always give your clients respect and priority, respectfully ignore those friends who come to tell stories that do not concern your business at the expense of clients that are waiting service. If for instance you are on the phone and a client walks in quickly cut the call as the customer comes first.

  1. Advertising

We cannot over emphasise the importance of advertising. Look at coca cola, they have been in existence for possibly over 50 years but keep advertising.  Why? To maintain customer loyalty. There are so many new brands on the market.

  1. Appearance

Appearance matters. Have the right attire, be presentable. Look like someone who knows what they are doing

  1. Motivation

Motivate your employees, regardless of what their job is. Give them even a card to show that they are appreciated. A motivated employee does not need supervision to do the right thing or wait for instruction for even what is obvious.

If we are going to develop and make money, we must do better business for a better Africa.

There is no reason businesses in Africa must fail.

Featured image | Customer Service | Ron Mader : flickr

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.

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