Customer Service Week’s Importance Reaches African Businesses

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

A recent survey by research and analysis information technology company, Forrester has found that 39 percent of customers tell their friends and families about bad customer experience. This means that for every customer that has a bad experience with a company, the resulting business erosion that accompanies it can increase exponentially.

While there are no current statistics on the impact of poor customer service on businesses operating in sub-Saharan Africa, it is safe to say that poor customer service can seriously impact a company’s bottom line. 

In light of International Customer Service Week, acknowledged from 3-7 October, 2016, Fatima Sullivan, Vice President of Customer Service for DHL Sub Saharan Africa, says that in an increasingly competitive world, good customer service is key to attracting and retaining customers.

“With a multitude of options now available to consumers when it comes to products and services in every sector, it is crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves through customer service excellence,” she said. “Businesses must realise that customer service is the most important touch point between companies and customers.

“When a customer’s satisfaction is increased by one point (out of 10), there is an average 10 percent increase in the possibility that they will remain a customer, according to the Institute of Customer Service. This statistic reveals that even small changes to improve customer service can have a positive impact on a company’s client retention.”

She continued: “We strongly promote and advocate having an Insanely Customer Centric Culture at DHL Express. This means that the want and need to delight a customer is at the very core of each of our employee’s DNA. Ensuring that the voice of the customer resonates throughout the organisation is essential to great service quality.  While you can measure customer service key performance indicators daily, the most value is derived from direct customer feedback.

“Initiatives such as the Net Promoter Approach (NPA) management tool, which measures promoters and detractors among your customer base and proactively sources feedback from them is extremely useful in identifying areas for improvement and enabling the company to make the necessary changes to enhance their offering and continually offer better ways to deliver excellence to customers.

“At DHL Express, we take customer service very seriously and try to deliver great customer experiences that are full of surprising ‘wow’ moments. Proof of this lies in the fact that we have won over 20 external awards for customer service in SSA in 2016 so far.”

Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa added: “Building great consumer experiences is a complex task, involving strategy, integration of technology, orchestrating business models, brand management, and commitment.

“However, before all this can take place, it starts with having a great team and this year’s Customer Service Week provides us with an opportunity to reward our super star advisors, and recognize their passion for our business and for our customers.”

Customer Service Week was founded in 1991 and runs from 3-7 October this year. More information can be found on

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