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Education Vital For Consumer Satisfaction

By Adebayo Dawodu

Lagos, Nigeria; June 30th, 2014: Airtel Nigeria's Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Emeka Oparah, has identified consistent consumer education as strategic imperative in ensuring customer satisfaction and reducing the crisis of confidence between Nigerian consumers and product and service providers.

Oparah, who made this assertion at a recent debate on Customer Service organized by the Customer Service Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CUSPA), admitted that indeed the customer service culture of Nigeria left much to be desired ostensibly due to a combination inadequate awareness for products and services.

According to him, many consumers are not interested in understanding the products they are buying or services they are subscribing to before they pay for them thereby making it easy for unscrupulous providers to take advantage of the gap.

He wondered why someone would buy a phone or a stereo or even subscribe to a service without thoroughly reading the attached manual to properly understand the product or service before using it.

Most of the complaints which come through to service providers, in the telecommunications industry for example, are generally due to poor awareness on the part of the customers, which is a challenge CUSPA must address as part of its cardinal objectives.

The Airtel Director, therefore, urged service providers to invest significantly in customer education to mitigate the influx of complaints and negative sentiments which are expressed by customers across the products and service spectrum available in the country.

Mr. Oparah gave kudos to telcos who, as he said, pioneered the use of Call Centres and promoted a customer service culture in Nigeria, a practice that has now been adopted by other sectors including banking, insurance, manufacturing, airline, etc.

Welcoming guests earlier at the event, the President, CUSPA, Uloma Umeano, said the CUSPA platform was committed to providing strategic direction and excellence-in-execution in the development and delivery of Customer Service in the Nigerian private sector.

According to her, CUSPA will continue to sponsor and support initiatives on Customer Service standards, ensuring that members attain the zenith of professionalism resulting in continually increasing levels of Customer Satisfaction.

The occasion featured contributions by notable professionals including Africa Marketing Director, GlaxoSmithKline, Mr. Lampe Omoyele; Membership Director, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM), Mrs. Toyin Ojudun; Head, Service Quality Management, Entreprise Bank, Nduka Mba-Uzoukwu; Managing Consultant, Hamilton Lloyd & Associates, Chinedu Duru; Alumni Relations Manager, Pan Atlantic University, Eno Inyang; Sola Salako, Chief Executive Officer at Purrples Consult Limited and Olusola Lanre (The Catalyst) of the Olusola Lanre Coaching Academy, among several others.