Consumer remains king

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Business proprietors should remain customer centred even during times when demand for goods and services appears to be outstripping supply, according to Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management (CICRM) executive director Dr Mthokozisi Nkosi.

Customer centredness helps build personal relationships with consumers. This year’s festive season has had challenges with regards to the availability of goods. This is due to foreign currency shortages affecting the economy resulting in some unscrupulous businesspeople taking advantage of the situation to exploit customers.

Although still available on the market, fuel, bread, medical drugs among other essentials are in critical supply while others are sold in prices beyond the reach of the majority.

Some suppliers have taken advantage of the situation to demand foreign currency settlements for all products whose availability is in short supply, much to the detriment of the desperate customers.

In an interview with The Herald Business yesterday, Dr Nkosi said the businesses need to take note of the fact that today’s challenges will not recur tomorrow, thus the need to use current challenges to build a bond with consumers.

“There is an obvious temptation for the service provider or business to throw service through the window because at the moment demand is outstripping supply,” said Dr Nkosi.

“But those with forecast, those who want to give their businesses a better footing for tomorrow’s boom still see the need to be remain customer centred and not to overcharge customers. The reason for this is simple, there is no such situation that will remain forever, things will improve one day and consumers will remember who treated them well and who didn’t.

“The benefits will not accrue today because, today the consumer’s options are limited but they won’t be as limited the other day. Those mistreating customers might find no place in the future as customers will always remember the poor treatment they received,” he said.

The economy is expected to continue on the growth trajectory following business friendly policies that Government continue to pursue in the quest to attain Vision 2030 by which Zimbabwe should be an upper middle-income earning country as expounded by President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa has previously warned businesses against the temptation to negate consumer needs but rather strike a balance between the case for profits and national interests.

The President made the remarks during the fourth edition of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) annual business review conference earlier this month, which ran under the theme: “Enterprise Development, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Growth.”

“I urge stakeholders to continue the good relationship that has been established,” said the President while delivering his key note address at the conference.

“I further call on business to strike a proper balance between their business and national interests.”

Source : The Herald

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