Is yours a customer service or a customer experience? 

This was a challenge posed to the guests of the ICS Breakfast Forum talk by Jannet Atika, Director,Customer Operations at Safaricom Limited. She urged the guests not to be “Mr/Mrs Fix it” who is just reactive to the customers’ problems and rushes to fix them but instead to be proactive and connect to the customer’s emotions thereby giving them an experience.

In a survey conducted to determine whether customers receive World-class services, several customers said the following concerning their experience with their service providers:

12% -unacceptable

29% – Below average

38% – Just average

18% – Above Average

3% – World class

Basing on the results above, Jannet urged the guests to get customer Experience to the Board room since in the board room is where the company’s strategy is discussed. Customer Experience should be one of the most critical Pillars that run an organization and therefore should be one of the strategy directions.

The voice of the customer must affect how you align your operations with the rest of your business. “Bring the voice of the customer into the board room not as a report but as a verbatim,” remarked Jannet. These verbatim can be in form of a video or audio and it should be presented to the Executive in the Board Room. This will engage the customer with the executive team and they will receive customers’ feedback directly which would in turn affect their decision making. Unless a customer is happy, he/she is not going to buy from you, therefore Customer Experience.

Jannet continued to say that “Customer Experience is not a department nor is it a human being. It is the attitude of everybody in your organization.” Every unit in an organization should be linked to the customer’s needs. For example, at Safaricom every unit has a customer operation expertise who make sure that the unit’s operations are aligned to the customers’ needs.

The talk was very informative and inspiring and the guests went home with a take away to apply on their everyday lives.