Service delivery and customer care in Namibia a farce

October 9, 2013, 6:15pm

Most clothing shops in Namibia are extensions of brands in South Africa. This in itself is not a bad thing. Actually it’s a good thing as South Africa is a larger market and these shop can use their customer care experience locally. But sadly, that has not been the case.

Most shop here in Namibia have a we-don’t-care attitude that reeks of incompetence and total disregard for the very same people that contribute directly to their bottom lines.

Customer care for shop supervisors and managers is that one thing that they should be taught the very first week of customer care school. The customer is king is the message usually sang in these schools. Do everything in your power not to disenfranchise your clients, do everything in your power to make the clients happy. But alas, we are faced with something else in this country.

Supervisors do not care in the least about the welfare of their clients. Shop floor assistants, although they try their best, are not really interested in helping that much as they think of where to get the next N$10 taxi money to go home. This leaves the supervisors to do all the thinking for them. And the supervisors and managers are being found wanting. This stems from either incompetence or total disregard for basic customer care basics.

Most shops have multiple till points and pay points. Some shops with double floors even have till points in the different floors. And yet despite having 20-30 till points in a single shop, you see two assistants helping a long line of customers with the supervisor hovering around and not doing anything useful. What is the use of putting 30 till points only to have one assistant helping the whole shop? Something is just not right here. Had it been a single shop I would have said, well, it’s one of those things. This is the attitude for all shops.

This very same principle is applied in banks as well. Every month people have to queue up at banks to do their money business. And guess what? In a bank with 10-15 tills, only 3 are being used and working. And this is during peak times like month ends. What is going on here?

I think I have a solution. Most people do not have a voice. That voice is here, and it’s Lela. Lela has some interesting developments coming up that will give dissatisfied clients a voice. With the new version of Lela expected this week, people will be able to upload their own stories and pictures of their lives. This includes the queuing frustrations they have to go through in shops and banks. People will be able to take pictures and upload them directly on Lela and let it be a warning to fellow friends and colleagues to stay clear of those service providers whose customer care service manifesto is written on a piece of toilet paper.

As for service providers, ignore the voices of the masses at your own peril. You can only grow big and arrogant to a certain stage. At the end of the day, people will decide with their wallets on how they want to be treated.

I have started my story with the picture above. Start yours very soon. Use your voice to demand the customer care service you deserve.

Lela Reporter