Empowering prosperity: a strategic blueprint for elevating customer satisfaction in the services sector

By Naomi Kwetey (Dr.)
Naomi Kwetey (Dr.)

Recently, I came across reports from the Institute of Customer Service Professionals (ICSP) that shed light on a pressing issue affecting Ghana’s economic backbone – the services sector. The revelation is stark: poor customer service is causing the sector to sputter, a critical concern considering it contributes nearly half of our GDP. The ICSP reports from 2020 to 2022 paint a disheartening picture – billions of cedis lost, widespread customer dissatisfaction and a Customer Service Index (CSI) at a mere 66.26%. This situation is both theoretical and practical, emphasising the urgent need for intervention.

The Alarming Scenario: Yvonne Ohui MacCarthy, President-ICSP, highlighted the dire consequences in a media report – stating that Ghana has incurred significant financial losses due to neglecting effective customer service strategies. Her words underscore the critical need for adopting impactful customer service measures.

The Imperative for Change: In a nation aspiring to economic growth, businesses serve as the lifeline. To thrive, they must exhibit continuous growth, positive balance sheets and a commitment to customer satisfaction. However, the ICSP report reveals a fundamental challenge – misaligned customer service goals. Picture a handful of groundnuts shared among a group, with each groundnut representing an employee. The collective consumer experience is akin to enjoying the taste of these groundnuts. If only a few are exceptional while the rest fall short, the overall experience is compromised. Similarly, in customer service when only a handful of employees exhibit excellence the entire customer experience is jeopardised; leading to inconsistencies and dissatisfaction.

Recognising the Imperative for Change: This piece delves into a strategic blueprint for companies, both small and large, to not only maintain consistent customer satisfaction but also exceed expectations.

A Journey into a Customer-Centric Ethos through the 10 Commandments of Staff Integration

  1. The Research Foundation: Emphasise the profound impact of excellent service on customer retention and advocacy, as highlighted by research.
  2. Visionary Clarity: Articulate a clear vision for a customer-centric culture that every staff member comprehends and embraces.
  3. Leading by Example: Demonstrate desired customer-centric behaviour through impactful actions, creating an environment that resonates with clientele.
  4. Staff Training: Conduct formal and recurrent training sessions to equip staff with the skills and knowledge needed for exceptional customer service.
  5. Consequence Management: Establish a system for both positive and corrective measures, reinforcing a culture that values and prioritises customer satisfaction.
  6. Induction Ritual: Immerse new staff in the ethos of customer-centricity from the beginning, setting the tone for their entire journey.
  7. Process Evaluation from Customer’s Perspective: Regularly review and refine processes from the customer’s viewpoint to ensure a seamless customer journey.
  8. Fun Learning Approaches: Deploy innovative and enjoyable methods for learning, fostering a positive and proactive mindset.
  9. Complaints Resolution Framework: Establish a robust system for capturing and resolving customer complaints transparently to build trust and loyalty.
  10. Appraisal Based on Customer Service: Incorporate customer service metrics into staff appraisal systems, recognising and commending individuals who consistently deliver exceptional experiences.

By intertwining these elements, businesses can instil a customer-centric mindset in their staff, cultivating an organisational culture aligned with the evolving needs and expectations of valued clientele. This transformation is not only a business imperative; it’s a national one, vital for the prosperity of Ghana’s economy.

The writer has over 25 years of expertise in the financial industry, including Customer experience, corporate relationship management, Treasury, credit administration, branch banking marketing and operational risk management.                                                                


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