Varsity Trains Staff on Customer Service

From left: Dr. Mugane, Dr. Nasieku, Dr. Karanja and Dr. Mary Kamara during the training

Research suggests that providing excellent customer experiences is key to strengthening organizational brands through positive endorsements and good reviews from customers. According to a study by Walker 2020, 80% of organizations that think they provide superior customer service only 8% of their customers feel the same way.

In order to promote a good customer service practice in the University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) through the Centre of Professional Studies, organized a customer service training for staff members who directly deal with university’s clients. The trainees included secretaries, clerks and administrators.

In his opening remarks during the virtual training session, Thursday, June 17, 2021, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance, Prof. Bernard Ikua noted that good customer relations is evidenced by feedback which translates to a healthy relationship.

“The ability to meet and exceed customers’ expectations determines success and reputation of the organization in the public mind. Utilize self-awareness skills towards achieving service excellence and appreciate client experience as the bedrock of service excellence,” said Prof. Ikua.

He urged staff to identify key pillars and drivers of service excellence based on client experience saying it will assist in appreciating the need for organizational culture shift to create and sustain service excellence.

Dr. Mereipei Nasieku, Chairperson, Centre of Professional Studies and a lecturer, Department of Economics Accounting and Finance, urged staff members to ensure positive interaction with their customers to improve their perception about JKUAT.

“Great service is how you take every interaction you have with the customer and use that as a way to improve their perception of your organization,” advised Dr. Nasieku.

“Customer support shouldn’t be an afterthought. Happy customers come from excellent service and are your best advocates even better than your most talented marketers,” she added.

Dr. Nasieku cautioned participants to refrain from using a confrontational tone while dealing with customers saying, effective customer service is having the ability to make minor changes in conversational patterns in order to create happy customers.

She added that responding to questions with positive language can greatly affect the outcome of the conversation and the perception of the customer.

On his part, Dr. Kabare Karanja, a lecturer in the School of Business, said, the ability to keenly listen to customers is crucial to providing great services.

Not only is it important to pay attention to individual customer experiences, Dr. Karanja also noted that it is equally critical to be mindful and attentive of the feedback that you receive from customers.

“Show concern and demonstrate the desire to assist, always ask for assistance when need arises and make sure you get back to the customer as soon as possible,” said Dr. Karanja.

The participants were also addressed by the University Senior Counsellor Dr. Mary Mugane who highlighted the importance of mental health among staff.

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