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Opinion - Never treat customers as secondary consumers

2022-09-13  Staff Reporter

Opinion - Never treat customers as secondary consumers

Tio Erastus Nakasole

There is an unprecedented level of customers’ complaints against a myriad of operators in the business sector. 

In the fourth industrialisation concept and digital world, one has to understand Michael Porters Forces Model, where his ubiquitous influence need to be understood in the market. Porters’ outlined competitive forces: Potential threat of new entrants, bargaining power of buyers, threat of substitute products and bargaining power of suppliers. What this means is that, these should echo in the ears whenever paying the lip service to their customers. 

The adage that the customer is always right was initiated with the intention to give a high priority to customer satisfaction. In other words, it was advocated in such a way that customer complaints should be treated seriously so that customers do not feel cheated or deceived. It is up to the overlings (seniors) and underlings (subordinates) to embrace the circle of control, circle of influence and concern over their customers. 

What the majority fails to understand is that, in the customer’s lens, all competitive products and services look increasingly alike. This means the onus for creating a meaningful differentiation between you and your competitors is that 1% of how you treat them. There are four key aspects that each service provider needs to consider: Curiosity, responsiveness, empathy and problem solving. 

Curiosity: The ability for the service provider to possess a win-win mentality between the parties. Curious - the solution that the customer needs and not always the tangible products that you offer. 

Empathy: Understand customer’s problems from their perspectives. 

Problem solving: Have the knowledge and insights to formulate optimal solutions to the customer’s requirement.

One has to bear in mind that for you to flourish and excel in the market, you have to take into consideration various types of customers:  New customers - are always going to have a few questions about how things work but might not always know how to ask. If their first customer experience with support is a good one, there is a great opportunity to create brand loyalty and hopefully turn them into repeat customers.

Impulse customers: These customers are quick to buy when something catches their eye, they might be impulsive in calling customer support as well. 

Angry customers: Whether they are just having a bad day or have encountered the same issue one too many times, you will have to deal with some customers that aren’t being very friendly. Insistent customers: Highly informed customer types. 

Loyal customers: Tell other potential customers about your business.

When the consumer chooses one store or one service provider over another, that decision gives signals to both buyer and seller. In a very real sense, this even gives important notice to the one not making the sale to lower his price, give faster service, or do something better to compete. 

All in all, the function of competition in the market is not to create enemies but assign every member of the social system the position in which he can best serve the whole of society and all its members. 

If you always approach people with cheerful optimism, you will find that they simply have no choice but to respond in kind. 

Concurrently, humility is honourable.  It is of paramount importance that once you are humble and nice to other people, customers’ interest, base and the knowledge you impart to your clients would forever breed positive outcomes. 

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of United States of America made it clear; “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” 

Taking the above into consideration is what will make our marketplace run at full steam in Namibia. 


Tio Erastus Nakasole is an MBA student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, a holder of Honours degree in Economics. Currently serving as the sales and service manager at HiFi Corporation Namibia. The views expressed do not represent those of his employer.

2022-09-13  Staff Reporter

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