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Ghana continues to lose billions of cedis over poor customer service – ICSP

Ghana is said to have lost ‘billions of cedis’ in the past and continue to lose due to poor customer service compared to counterparts elsewhere.

According to President of Institute of Customer Service Professionals (ICSP), Yvonne Ohui MacCarthy, the type of customer services offered in both public and private sectors is appalling.

She however did not restrict the situation to Ghana as this is seen in other parts of Africa.

Yvonne MacCarthy disclosed this to Joy Business at a workshop on customer service for members of Tema regional branch of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Ghana continues to lose billions of cedis over poor customer service – ICSP
The workshop exposed participants to best practices in developed countries and how businesses in Ghana could improve on what is offered.

“The country has lost billions of cedis. I think as a country we have lost so much by not being able to calculate what we’re losing when we do not effect some of these customer service strategies that other continents effect all the time”.

Ghana continues to lose billions of cedis over poor customer service – ICSP
“I think the things we find difficult to do is assessing how much we lose by not doing the right things especially when it comes to the customer’s experience. Elsewhere, there are formulas used to determine what they are losing,” she added.

This she said has a huge impact on the country’s economy by way of not doing the right things, time loss among other factors negatively affecting productivity.

“Once we’re able to tell that for this particular quarter 10 people didn’t come to work on time and missed out on five minutes each day and it actually cost us about ¢10,000, it makes it very realistic when correcting and reprimanding people,” she suggested.

Juxtaposing her experience in the west with what is offered in both public and private sectors, Yvonne MacCarthy stated the country has a long way to go in prioritizing customer service.

Asked how Ghana will address the situation, Yvonne MacCarthy averred that “leadership has to be involved by setting standards for customer service, putting together a regulator that will check consumerism and also making sure they are making avenues available to train and retrain”

She believes the country could make strides in the sector should reforms be made.

“When you look at the public sector for instance, we have a reform directive which spans from 2018-2023 which is fantastic but the question is how many of the things have we been able to do?,she quizzed.

For Tema Regional Chair of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Isaac Yusif Barry, customers are the fuel to businesses and must be treated as such.

“If customers fail to patronise what we’re offering then certainly we’re not in business hence seeking their welfare. By this, we can together build a brand that can stand the test of time,” he advised.

Sharing his thoughts on the training, Edmund Awayitey of Value Added Book Services believes customers are key to the sustainability of businesses.

“Positive mindset will help to provide the needed service to them to sustain your business. Attitude towards customers is key and they must be treated like kings irrespective of the challenges they pose to us,” he remarked.

Other participants including publisher, Michael Caesar and Tema Regional Vice Chair of the Chamber, Cosmos Bondzie shared the importance of prioritizing good customer experience.

The Tema regional branch of Chamber of Commerce is of the view that customer service is a shared responsibility in every organization regardless of one’s department.

The training took participants through how to develop skills in customer service, building your confidence in dealing with customers, learning how to offer professional customer service and other areas.

The participants received certificate after the workshop.

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