RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tuma sticks customer care service into our bookshelf


The notice on the wall announces with colourful importance that the “Customer is King” but the services are horrible. Either you are ignored or attended to with disinterest, and often the person behind the counter gets irritated when asked a question or two related to the services being sought. 

This is the alarming level that customer care has descended to in a country without a consumer protection policy. And in a bid to save the day, a book has been written. Keeping Customers by Dorothy M. Tuma was launched last week in Kampala. 

Ms. Tuma (left) with her parents and Ms. Mbiire cut the cake during the book launch
Dubbed “a must-have customer service handbook”, the volume is based on the column, Dora’s Diary, depicting “winners” and “losers” in customer service that has been running in Daily Monitor’s Business Power pullout for close to three years now. 

The writer goes beyond the content of her weekly articles, and in 15 chapters and over 200 pages, explores comprehensively the delights and pains a customer enjoys or endures while engaging with the service providers. The books also contains practical tips on what must be done to attain excellence in customer service, with emphasis on how to keep customers. 

It comes with humorous illustrations to enhance one’s reading pleasure and understanding, complete with points to ponder, a to-do-list that provides practical suggestions a reader can implement immediately, and an outline of principles through which service providers can assess their performance in customer care.

The launch was graced by the who-is-who in the service industry and other sections that all enjoyed an edifying interaction on customer care. One of the guests, for example, disarmed all with a rhetorical question: “If Ugandans are born with the DNA of hospitality,” she asked, “why then doesn’t customer care become second nature to us?”

Daily Monitor’s Executive Editor David Sseppuuya, who also wrote the book’s introduction, said the time is now for the service providers to train their staff and rise above platitudes and treat the customer importantly. He explained why Daily Monitor runs Dora’s Dairy: “Dorothy is a specialist in customer care and she has put her knowledge down. Let’s write, not just Facebook!” 

Dr Geoffrey Bakunda, the dean of Marketing and Hospitality Services at Makerere University Business School, said poor customer service has severely affected Uganda’s tourism industry. He advised that it is only through good customer service that we can survive in the jungle that is today’s business world. 

MTN’s head of customer service Stephen Mutana, lauded the impact of Dora’s Diary on local businesses and the greater impact the book will have, admitting he often relies on Dora’s weekly insights to improve service delivery and ensure customer satisfaction. 

Customer Care was officially launched by chief guest, award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd, Ms Tereza Mbiire. Described by close friends as “a fearless influencer” that believes in leaving the world a better place than she found it, Ms Tuma was compelled to write by frustrating experiences of service providers treating customers like they were doing them a favour. 

“My hope is that this book will be used by businesses, but also that customers who read it will stand up to demand better level of service,” she said. 

The book is on available in local bookshops as well as on Amazon.

--Saturday Monitor, December 17, 2011