In the Shakespeare’s play, The Twelfth Night, the character Malvolio makes a statement that has remained true centuries down the line.
“Some are born great,” Malvolio told Olivia, “some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.
Experts have said that no modern business can achieve greatness without building deep trust with its customers. Safaricom’s Customer Service Week theme this year was ‘Service Excellence and Building Trust.’
Majorie Adams, the CEO of AQB, a business process and software consulting firm that improves the efficiency of clients’ accounting departments writes that organisations with great customer relationships are able to grow their businesses without gimmicks.
“You have to be good at what you do, of course, but having a truly successful business is based on one simple concept: trust,” writes Adams. “With trust, you’ll have customers (or clients) for life. Without trust, you may as well pack up and go home.”
Safaricom is driven by three strategic pillars which are; putting customers first, offering relevant products and services, and enhancing operational excellence.
On the frontline of Safaricom’s customer experiences are men and women who work round the clock to make sure that the greatness of the experience enjoyed through the telco’s products and services never diminishes.
In the age of social media, stories about poor customer service are more likely to spread faster than stories on great service. And of course when the public is happy about great customer service, they can share a story a million times in a minute.
Once these public complaints get back to the men and women who wake up every day with a purpose to serve, it makes them feel unappreciated and lacking recognition.
Every year, the first week of October is dedicated to Customer Service Week. Although the week is about appreciating our customers, it also focuses on celebrating staff who serve and support customers.
“For us, Customer Service is an everyday activity. Customer service week is about the people who deliver that service on a daily basis,” Goldermier Opiyo, Head of Safaricom Contact Center says. “The trust element for us is so key. Customer service week is about your core business.”
Faith Wathoni Muthoni, has worked with Safaricom for the past five-and-a-half years and for her nothing brings her more satisfaction than serving customers and sharing in their different experiences.
“What I love about this job is that I am able to help a customer,” says Muthoni, a Customer Experience Executive. “I enjoy serving customers with different experiences.”
Which Julius Gatitu, knows only too well.
“The biggest challenge is that customers expect us to have solutions to everything, including answers to issues beyond the products and services we offer as Safaricom,” says Gatitu. “A customer can call because their house is on fire and they expect you to help. What we do is look for ways in which we can assist the customer, like for example giving them the police and fire brigade hotline numbers because they expect that Safaricom has a solution for everything.”
“When you are serving a customer give it your best, empathize with them, listen to them, because at the end of the day they called because they had a query that needed to be sorted,” says Maureen Obande, a Customer Experience Executive. “For us at Safaricom, we don’t have to wait until October. I think (Customer Service) is a program that should be running from January to December.”
“Every day you want to find out what’s happening; what’s new. Every day you change at least one person’s life,” Sauda M. Bashir, a Customer Experience Executive says.
According to Sauda even when you have a bad day you must always be nice to the customer because just like you would go to someone and ask for help, this is person is also in need of your help and so you must always be ready to help.
“We always remember that this person is also human and they want you to assist them,” said Sauda.