Zambia Celebrates International Customer Service Week

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Zambia this year joined the rest of the world in commemorating the customer services week. The Customer Service Week is an —international event devoted to recognizing the importance of customer service and to honouring the people who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism. It is celebrated annually during the first full week in October. This year it ran from the 5th to the 9th of October 2015 under the international theme “everyday heroes” which was challenging everyone who works with customers, clients, patients, and others -either on the phone, online or in person — to be the customers’ heroes! (www.csweek.com). The Zambian Institute for Customer Management in partnership with other stakeholders in the Consumer/Customer Care Industry organised the inaugural National Customer Service week and invited every organisation with customers and employing customer service personnel—practically all organisations— to in one way or the other take part in the celebrations or recognise this important week, marking it the first and annual event in Zambia. Various organisations in Zambia showed that they are customer centric as they took part in the celebrations. Some even were already celebrating this week internally in their organisations in years past and this year was no exception. Together with the others who joined this year, various in-house programs were done during this week. Some organisations decorated their service portals and gave refreshments to their customers as they came in, others gave out promotional gifts. Other programs included customer service training for staff, customer service promotions, rewarding key account customers, top management served customers, customer service staff fun day, dinners or luncheons with high value customers and so many more programs. To raise awareness of the week, the Institute invited various organisations to exhibit at the Levy mall and Arcades mall on Thursday and Friday of the customer service week. This was done so that customers can know of the customer service week and that companies have their interests at heart. Many customers had no idea of the customer service week and were even surprised. Next year it will be important not only to hold these public awareness programs but also to make use of the various media channels available to make sure that customers are well aware of the efforts that companies are taking to recognise their importance in business success and sustainability.             – ZICM Desk   Click here to read full newsletter For more information about us, our events and other programs, click here to visit our website or you can interact with us on our Facebook...

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Zambia to Hold Own Customer Service Excellence Awards

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Zambia will this year adopt a customer service awards system for the first time dubbed the Customer Service Excellence Awards by the Host, Zambian Institute for Customer Management (ZICM). The awards to be held this November at Taj Pamodzi Hotel were announced at the recently held Customer Service Conference with various customer service professionals and customer service/consumer industry stakeholders present. With customer expectations continually rising, the wider community is becoming aware of the value and role that Customer Service plays in achieving business success. This highly demanding area is arguably the critical success factor for many organisations and the country at large. For this reason it is important that the country has its own National Customer Service Awards to recognise, promote and reward excellence, professionalism and outstanding achievement in the service sector. The ZICM was formed with the objective to promote customer service as a profession and to improve the level of its practitioners’ professionalism through assessment, accreditation and certification. As such, recognition of customer service professionals’ professional standing is provided through the Service Excellence Awards thus improving the pride, motivation and self-esteem of customer service professionals. Speaking at the conference, ZICM Business Development Manager  Mr Dominic Manhundu said that the Zambian Institute for Customer Management (ZICM) will hold the Customer Service Excellence Awards on the 27th of November, 2015 at Taj Pamodzi Hotel at 18:00. Her honour the Vice Republican President Ms. Inonge Wina has been invited as guest of honour to officiate at this ground breaking ceremony in the service industry. Mr Manhundu also added that these awards aim to recognise and honour organisations and individuals who have excelled in customer services this year. Individuals who have handled customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism will also be awarded. He then called for nominations from individuals and organizations serving in customer service organizations both private and public to nominate organisations and individuals who they think have done well this year by presenting evidence of these achievements. All organizations and individuals active in the consumer facing industry involved in the delivery of customer service are entitled to enter the awards, provided that all award conditions are satisfied.  The ZICM will reward and honour the best in each service sector including Hospitality, Telecommunications, Banking, Healthcare, Transport and logistics, Retail, Insurance, ICT, etc. Apart from that it will give specific awards in these areas: Best Application of Technology to Improve Customer Experience, Customer Commitment (two awards for SME & Large Enterprises), Customer Service Innovation of the Year, Best Use of Social Media to Improve Customer Experience, Best Use of Customer Insight Award, Efficient Utilization of Multichannel Support, Contact Centre of the Year and Service Quality Award for manufacturing entities....

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Customer Service Conference a Success

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cresta Golfview Hotel was alight with service issues last month as the first Customer Service Conference was in session. The Customer Service Conference was  organised and hosted by the Zambian Institute for Customer Management. Service oriented companies graced the conference and these are the pioneers of service excellence  in Zambia. The Conference was graced by the Honourable Minister of Local Government, Hon Stephen Kampyongo, the then Deputy Minister in the Vice President’s office. He delivered the key note address. Speaking at the Conference, The Minister expressed his gratitude for the Initiative taken by ZICM in the service industry. He expressed his concern over the service status quo in Zambia but was quick to acknowledge the efforts various stakeholders in the service industry are taking to eradicate this challenge. He assured the Institute and all customer service professionals present that government remains committed to high quality of service in the country. “The government is committed to the improvement of Service standards in all companies both private and public and we are happy to see such initiatives being made and structures being put in place to promote service excellence” said the Minister. “Government will assist in any way possible to make sure that customer service excellence becomes the norm in the country” he added. The conference was held to bring together players in the customer service and consumer industries together to network, share ideas, benchmark and learn new trends and global best practices, raise awareness on Customer Service in the country, incentivise the promotion of a culture of service excellence in Zambia, find out and improve the Customer Service status quo of the country,  motivate players in the service sector to work towards service excellence and to set pace for the Service Excellence Awards through adoption of a set standards to measure excellence. Representatives from other customer service /consumer industry stakeholders such as the Zambia Bureau of Standards, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority were present and spoke during the event. We had regional presence as well as representatives from the Global Chartered Institute of Customer Management flew in from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Other speakers at the conference included the Managing Director for Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company who is also the Institute Vice Chair, Mr George Ndongwe, The ZESCO Senior Manager – Customer Service, Mr Patrick Mwila and the Zambia Society for Public Administration President who is also a ZICM Board Member Mr Kelvin Esiasa. The topics discussed at the conference were on Customer Service in Zambia: Trends and challenges, Achieving Customer service Excellence, Importance of customer service excellence – Navigating The Customer Services Jungle, Revolutionizing Customer Service in Zambia to Global Excellence,...

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ZICM Calls for National Customer Service Standards

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Development of National Customer Service Standards Imminent Speaking at the just ended customer service conference, the Vice Chairman for the Zambian Institute for Customer Management (ZICM) Deputy Chairman Mr George Ndongwe called for a standards framework to be put in place for companies to adhere to. He urged companies to be serious about customer service and to keep the highest standards in customer service. He said that most companies proclaim adherence to high service standards but it was just mere talk and no walking the talk. This kind of lip service is letting down customers and need to continue no more. The Zambian Institute for Customer Management is pushing for Customer service to be accepted as an independent vital management discipline, and the implementation of a robust customer service management system is a basic operational requirement for public and private sector organisations. This standard will provide both a recognizable benchmark and a ‘how-to’ implementation approach. Present at the conference, a representative for the Zambia Bureau of Standards confirmed that there are presently no National Customer Service Standards in place and that it is a gap that needs to be filled if companies are serious about service excellence. She went on to outline the process needed to have the standards in place. The National Customer Service Standards for organisations are to be developed as both an acknowledgement of progress made to date by some organisations in relation to standards of service excellence, and as a benchmark for others to pursue. This standard will establish benchmarks for service excellence that will withstand the rigours of national competition and scrutiny. We are used to such phrases as ‘100% reliable’ and ‘works every time‘ as they relate to products. We even have ISO certifications in terms of Quality Assurance. These product quality standards have developed over time, as consumers have become more demanding of manufacturers. But a tangible product is only one aspect of the supplier/customer relationship. The other aspect is service; indeed, in many businesses, there is no physical product. The only relationship is service. Service standards are important for customers, potential customers, employees and management of any business. They help to define what a customer can expect and to remind management and employees of the challenge and obligations that they face. Many businesses have a customer service charter, most of which we see plastered in their service centres. These charters utter promises that such businesses are committed to excellent service. But who ensures that these businesses deliver that promise? We need a national customer service charter and standards designed, implemented and enforceable by ZABS. If these organisations are as serious about keeping high levels of service standards as they say, they...

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