With the #TopZedBrands winner announced, we had the opportunity to have a chat with the final top 3 brands. We asked about the #TopZedBrands and the state of customer experience in Zambia. Here’s what they had to say.
What do you think about the #TopZedBrands initiative? Any feedback you can give will be appreciated.
“We think it’s a great initiative. It’s important to remind brands that customers do matter, and customers can rate their experience and recognise the brands that appreciate them. It would be great to take it offline too, and perhaps have stricter criteria to really get the most out of this.”– Cathy Phiri, Media 365
“I thought it a great on line initiative. A good start. It got people thinking about brands they have seen and what they like about them. I do think it favours larger brands who have big budgets for marketing — people tend to remember brands they have seen on TV or heard on radio. So if you are a start up and a new product (but a good one) — you may not be as visible. It would be good to announce all the companies that we nominated on a website.” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles
“#TopZedBrands is a wonderful initiative that creates a platform for brand awareness and recognition. It encourages companies to focus on the activities that drive a positive market brand perception.” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia
What do you do differently to ensure the customer experience you provide is positive?
“It’s always important to remember the needs of your customers and end user. Listen to their feedback and where possible act on it. People come back to you because of the experience. Sometimes people think its only price that matters, or the end product, but it’s always about the experience. In fact in my opinion the experience always outlasts anything else. Just because a person might be forced to use your company doesn’t mean they want to, lack of choice is not a choice. Don’t hold your customer to ransom just because you can, and you know they don’t have a choice.”– Cathy Phiri, Media 365
“We speak to our customers. We tend to do samplings and therefore get feedback on the product, concerns, cooking issues directly from the consumer during the samplings.” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles
“At FNB, customer service is a strategic focus enshrined in our core values which help us to better serve our customers and stakeholders. These are based around passion, enthusiasm, meeting deadlines, the will to exceed local standards and become the benchmark, innovation, consistency and accountability. In addition to our making customer service a strategic focus, we have developed and implemented a dynamic customer support system and service standards to ensure the effective delivery of an exceptional service experience and continuous service improvement.” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia
What do you think about the state of customer service in Zambia?
“It’s pretty bad. But as consumers we also need to do something about it. Taking a stance like voting for a top brand is one such stance. It’s not about what your peers think or the biggest advertising budgets. It’s about your service and nothing else. “– Cathy Phiri, Media 365
“I think it could definitely be better — on both sides. Customers need to appreciate value and good products and be willing to give feedback (both good and bad). Also we (as a suppliers/brand owners) need to ensure we provide the best quality product at affordable prices. We need to appeal to what people want — their every day needs. We should be able to help make life easier for our consumer (so no messy packages, no underweight products, easy labelling, easy to follow instructions etc).” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles
“Although there has been steady improvement, the general state of customer service in Zambia could do with more of a focus for businesses.” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia
How can companies improve on the customer experience they provide?
“They have to listen to feedback, seek it out if they have to, and actively act on it. If they don’t they will eventually lose their customers, and everyone knows its cheaper to retain a customer than find a new one.” — Cathy Phiri, Media 365
“They need to listen to their customers and understand what they want.” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles
“Companies can improve customer service by identifying it as a strategic focus and embedding it in the organisation’s value chain. This approach makes customer service the underlying acquisition, growth and retention strategy.” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia
Anything else you want to add?
“This is great! What a great way to end the year!”– Cathy Phiri, Media 365
“We are totally excited that we are in the top 3!! Can’t wait to hear the results” — Monica Musonda, eeZee Noodles
“This is great recognition to add to FNB Zambia’s commitment to innovative service delivery which has been recognised by the leading professional organisation including the Bankers Association of Zambia, The Zambia Institute of Marketing, and Kitwe Chambers of Commerce. In the past two years FNB has been awarded among other accolades, Best Customer Service Financial institutions 2012 and 2013, Best Electronic Banking Services 2012 and The Best Bank in Kitwe.” — Clotilda Mulenga, FNB Zambia
Update posted on 18/12/13