Lead Stories

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Created on 04 April 2014 Written by Sandra Idossou
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Customer service is the cornerstone of a solid, thriving business. It is a necessity for any institution that wants to remain in business. Do you know that it costs more than five times to get a new customer than to maintain the satisfaction and loyalty of an existing customer? In other words, it pays more to have satisfied customers than to invest in adverts and other promotional materials for your company.

I love Burundi for the warmth of people, the beauty of the country and sometimes think that the Burundian themselves do not see the great potentials of their country. But the last time I entered a furnishing company down town, I had the impression that I was disturbing the lady. She was lying on one of the couches, chatting on her phone and did not even offer me a glance.

After 3 minutes looking around, I walked out and she never noticed my departure. I asked myself if this lady knew why she was there. Do you think she makes the link between the customer and her salary at the end of the month?

The first time, I went to the Botanika Restaurant, I was so impressed by the quality of the food and the service that when my team arrived in Bujumbura and asked what was the best place to have meals, I had no reservation of giving this address. And guess what, throughout our stay, we always went there for lunch.

Customer service does not only concern the private sector but in on a large extent to public sector because everything starts with the public and government institutions. No matter how hard you struggle to cut costs, it is paramount you realize as a business owner; that keeping customers happy has the same bottom line effect as cutting costs. Increase your customer retention by 5%, and you could increase your profits 25%. But you won’t get there by providing “average” service.

In our African countries, where everything is a priority, improving customer service is often one of the most challenging and neglected areas of management. And this is rather sad because customer service imposes that our institutions put in place standards and systems that will make them become more productive.

Considering the development project of Burundi, it is important that people from all areas of service understand the impact of customer service on the global image of this country. And this should start from ministries, airlines, the immigration service, the hotels and restaurants etc down to taxi drivers, the hair saloon, souvenir shops, filling stations and all public services.

Seriously, improving service delivery is a must…we have no option. Let’s all get involved.

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The author is a Customer Service Trainer who publishes The ServiceMag, a business magazine with a focus on Customer Service. www.theservicemag.com

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Created on 27 March 2014 Written by CNSOR
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Sports marketing is everywhere. In all the stadiums of the world especially during the greatest sporting event on the face of the earth - the Olympic Games, different competitors are fighting hard to get a piece of the cake.

More and more global companies use sports as a platform to raise awareness about their brand, and to get people talking about them. Why are they doing this? Well, first of all, let’s be honest, everyone loves sports!

Secondly, it spreads positive values which are particularly close to the values and objectives of a company. And finally, it is one of the cheapest forms of communication, which has the most impact on the general public.

Let’s take an example, the Tour of Rwanda is the most widely viewed sports event in Rwanda attracting about four million people every November. The cycling federation in Rwanda, Ferwacy, gives an opportunity to companies to advertise in their caravan movement during the competition which attracts cyclists from all over the world. However, when the companies calculate their return on investment, this increases their fame much more than any other basic advertising they could do.

To sum it up, sport brings a brand, a company closer to the public. Everyone is united around one great event. Think about the image, and the sympathy that this will create for a brand. Moreover, as all the categories of the public are involved in these big events, it will impact everyone.

Now, what is Olympic marketing?
If you look at it closely, you will find that 11 of the most influential companies are official sponsors of the Olympic movement. And if we talk figures, today it accounts for seven billion dollars of revenue over a period of four years. Not bad, uh? And do not forget that these brands also benefit from the exclusivity that is granted to them.

And what do we do in Rwanda?
The Olympic movement is becoming more active. There is a new vision which is aiming at building generations of champions. The Rwandan Olympic Movement is increasing its scope of influence nationally but also regionally and internationally, by developing programmes that involve the entire Rwandan population, with one single objective: ‘Make Rwandan sport shine’.

The Rwanda National Olympic and Sport Committee, through the development of its activities is offering an amazing opportunity for promotion and growth. You will do well to embrace it! 

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