Times of Eswatini

Local is lekker?!


Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” – TONY HSIEH.

So a couple of weeks ago I had somewhat of a bad customer service experience which made me realise why people are sceptical to support local entreprene­urs.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also a businesswo­man in my own right and know the pressure of juggling work, life and business, but this particular experience made me think and hope that not all local businesspe­ople treat their customers this way.

So I happened to be in need of this particular lady’s services, I called somebody close to her and asked for her number, ok shap.

I called her and we spoke. I asked her to send me pictures of some of her finished products, to which she replied that she didn’t have data and could send them the following day.

Ok cool, vele sonkhe sihle sibabete ema data. The next day comes and goes, dololo titfombe.

I called her two days later to which wangitjela about her troubles, I understood mara nalapho she could have communicat­ed with me kutsi akasakhoni to send the pictures before I made a follow- up.

On any other day I could have just looked for somebody else, but because she’s close to where I live I thought I’d support a fellow ‘ mkhaya’.

Long story short, she eventually sent the pictures one and a half weeks later using somebody else’s phone.

I’m not going to lie, the service I received was above and beyond what I had expected mane nje we started on the wrong foot. Kahle kahle this is to encourage and remind fellow businesspe­ople that ‘ first impression­s last’.

Even though at the end she came through, but I won’t forget what she put me through. They say local is lekker, it really is shem, mane nje we need to take our

selves and our brands seriously, rememberin­g that we are competing with big brands out there.

If you sell clothes, your customer service will make people take their money to you instead of Mr Price, if you sell food, why should people not go to KFC for a quick meal. The answer is customer service. Whether a person is a first time or 25th time customer, make them feel as though they are your only customer. And once you’ve made it phela, ungabese awusahloni­phi your customers who order in small quantities because wena you now deal with the ‘ big boys’ * rolls eyes*.

Lastly, have someone to work with, someone to help while you attend to other things, someone to communicat­e with customers while you’re busy, it doesn’t have to be something serious, a family member or friend you trust will do just fine. In an article by the Entertainm­ent Desk not so long ago, local artists decried the fact that organisers hired SA artists to

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