Customer Experience versus Customer Service (2 of 5)

Telling a story is one of the most effective ways of getting a point across. It is through examples, simulation and experiences that we not only relate to others but ensure that the message is conveyed in a more ’empathy’ oriented manner for better understanding.

Corporate culture is one of the most important aspects of the business for strategy implementation. I say this, especially looking at big corporates, because the expectations raised through advertising/marketing campaigns usually are difficult to measure against the reality.

If certain products are portrayed as excellent and geared towards addressing my needs, I rightly expect that my needs will be met when I spend my hard earned money. The reality of this is that for a company that has multiple operations, it is often difficult to receive the same products in the same manner at different times and in different regions.

Take for example a restaurant in Gaborone, the service might be good, staff pleasant and the food as expected. If I were to go on a trip to Maun, and the same brand restaurant is operating there, I would obviously expect the same kind of experience, considering they provide the same products, endorse the same marketing and principles. This is usually not the case, where either the service is terrible, something from my plate might be missing or the ambiance isn’t similar to the very same designs and protocols in Gaborone.

It is this stark difference, that isn’t necessarily caused by human error or different community cultures; but the difference in how employees articulate the strategic intent of the organisation.

I get baffled by the difference in the kinds of customer service I would receive over the phone from the same company in South Africa, as opposed to Botswana. Its as if none of the managers or senior staff in Botswana never experience their counterpart’s work in other countries.

It is this that is reflected in Botswana’s position on the Global Competitiveness Report, it is this that encourages people to put faith in foreign products as opposed to national ones. Competitive advantage has largely been neglected due to the lack of population and limited markets, but the reality of today’s challenges is that pricing isn’t going to be the only factor to focus competitiveness any more.

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