By Net One Customer Care
Customer service excellence is no longer just a supporting pillar of business but the only inimitable source of competitive advantage. While product superiority and technology are necessary, they are not sufficient on their own to provide long term advantage to a business over its rivals. Thus, the issue of service excellence cannot be over emphasized as it has now become more critical than any other time in the history of the mobile telecoms in Zimbabwe. The competition has intensified, the market is fast maturing and phenomenon of customers carrying multiple SIM cards is now commonplace. As such, the only sustainable way a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) can differentiate themselves from competition is not just by offering products and services that are meaningful to customers but complementing that with a superior customer service.
Investment in Service Support Systems
The impact of technology on service excellence cannot be over highlighted. Quite clearly, the mobile telecommunications industry relies heavily on technology in providing the necessary supporting customers. That being said, it is imperative that suitable technologies should be acquired and integrated with other key business interfaces to revolutionise the servicescape.
To ensure service delivery and support quality outcomes, mobile network operators must recognise the need to put in place a programme of investment for service support systems. The last ten (10) years have seen the MNOs in Zimbabwe ramping up investments in support systems such as customer contact centres, customer relationship and self-service technologies (SSTs) in an effort to provide excellent service. In turn, this has resulted in customers having easy access to support thereby enhancing their experience.
Shift in Focus
As the Zimbabwean mobile telecoms market matures, it is quickly becoming a reality that the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is offering excellent customer service. It cannot be easily copied by competition, hence, provides a competitive edge over on the long haul. In light of this fact, MNOs must place greater significance and value on the importance of service quality in order to drive corporate performance as well as the Zimbabwean economy in general.
The greatest challenge confronting operators which is impacting on service is the depressed consumers’ spend and limited access to funding spawned by the economic challenges. As a result, this would entail less investment in service support systems and may adversely affect service. Zimbabwe needs to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of implementing the best practice otherwise the goal of achieving true service excellence will become elusive.