Customer- service should be a mandatory subject for students in JHS through college

Akroso Students File photo

Sun, 25 Nov 2018 Source: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

Forget developing the tourism industry without injecting a robust customer-service in our education system.

It never ceases to aggravate me that we are all too willing to treat the results of unemployment and poverty while continuing to ignore their causes on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Please excuse me if I sound like a little harsh on this issue, but I can’t help thinking that many of the same folks who talk about upgrading the tourism industry to create tons of jobs are not talking about the need for a superb customer-service as a backbone of the industry.

Nonetheless, an idea with potentially anthropological consequences has been popping up and down in my head of years now. But it’s no doubt so controversial that I have avoided putting my thoughts down on paper—that is, until now. The reason being, the concept goes against many of tents upon which our cultural of entitlement syndrome, rapid- declining education system and political custom rest.

Sometimes, a desire to avoid opprobrium, ridicule or censure can act as a powerful incentive to not put one’s head in the lion’s den, and perhaps I was thinking that I would be better off waiting until I had the ‘right time’ .But then a couple of thoughts changed my mind.

One, the current education system and the quality of graduates our schools and colleges spew out every year.

Two, supposedly the World Bank is coming up with an effort to help the Ghanaian government to develop the tourism industry with US $40 million facility.

Now, let me go straight to my point:

How many times have you received a personal phone call from your service or product providers—to make sure you’re satisfied after a purchase? Your answer is as good as mine. And we wonder why there are no jobs in Ghana. The point is, if we want to see any major socio-economic transformation in Ghana there is a need to teach our students how to provide a superior customer –service before they join the workforce

Believe it or not, a superb customer-service is the most important business secret that is not taught in SHS and colleges. This secret can single-handedly transform the Ghanaian business landscape and create tons of great jobs and at the same time make a lot of people laugh all the way to the bank. It’s about providing unparalleled, superior customer service.

A Superior customer –service is simply developing long-lasting business relationship with your customers and customer loyalty. This philosophy can be applied to selling anything on this planet.

In fact, in today’s dog-eat-dog global tsunami economy; satisfying customers is not enough. To survive, businesses have to create raving fan customers and products or service ‘evangelists’—these “believers” can be turned into a potent marketing tool to help grow businesses.

Yes, everyone has customers. You might call them something else, but you still have them. You might call them clients, patients, students, audience, spectators, fans, listeners, travelers, vacationers, consumers, drinkers or employees. The bottom line is as long as you’re providing a service or product you have customers. In short, we all have to serve’ somebody’, and in business that somebody is called a ‘customer’—you got it?

Businesses exist because of customers, not for the employees. Customers determine whether to increase supply or not, hire more workers, deliver dividends to shareholders, buy more planes, build more factories and warehouses, expand the airports or harbor, relocate, or make more music albums or reprint books.

Customers don’t do business with companies; they do with employees of the company. And, they pay your salary and define the market share of your service or products.

Of course, I know many of the folks working for the government will immediately scream, vow and put their right hands on the Bible or Koran to testify or claim that they have no customers at all. Maybe that is why they treat the rest of us as ‘shit’. I wonder why government’s establishments are going down the drain!

You want more evidence? Go to the DVLA, public hospitals, airports, harbors, schools, Passport office (oops!), district assemblies –please stop me before I add yours to it. Oh, I wish somebody will tell them who their customers are. By the way, since our current education system is designed solely to train future workforce—not inventors or manufactures— doesn’t it make sense to inject some amount of great customer-service tendencies into our students’ chromosomes so as to create more jobs?

By compulsory teaching superior customer-service skills in our schools and colleges our students will know how:

1. To satisfy customers’ needs, wants or desire.

2. To make a product or service that is great, easy to find, purchase or use.

3. To Convince the customer that the benefits of a product or service worth the money.

4. To assure and ensure that the products or services they provide will make the customer’s life better, improving personal or professional condition of the purchaser.

5. To solve customer’s problems that sometimes the customer didn’t know he had.

Naturally, laziness would be the first barrier to such an idea.

Yes, this idea is audacious and is fraught with all kinds of stumbling blocks, but please, I challenge you to help upgrade the standard of customer-service in Ghana by coming up with a better solution. If you can’t then support this one because we’re all experiencing a wacky, lousy and poor customer-service delivery in Ghana.

When it comes to uplifting the standard of living of Ghanaians,” if not us, then who, if not now, then when?”Certainly, some of us are doing our part, others are shamefully not and that is the reason why there are not enough jobs to go around. So please don’t even think of developing the tourism industry if we’re not ready to introduce customer-service as a mandatory subject in our schools and colleges.

Until we meet here again, stay tuned. But be informed, educated and blessed.

Columnist: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi