By Lovemore Chazingwa
KADOMA – A robust initiative unpacking soft skills for ethically proper business management, leadership and customer retention is the engine revIving sustainable businesses, a workshop on customer orientation techniques has revealed.
Floating on the apt theme ‘Sustaining Businesses through Customer Orientation’, the workshop headlined by Premium Business Network International (PBNI) Founder and Director Kudzanai Vere and ably co-presented by Leonard Chinembiri, the PBNI Kadoma Chapter Board Chairman, is what the doctor ordered for business owners here.
Held toward the end of last month, precisely on the 22nd, such initiatives are what can grow the economy in a prudent way.
“We’re here as business people who are eager to learn doing business in the proper, legally smart and efficient way. It is in this realm that our businesses have an anchor that sustains them with the right focus and trajectory.
“For this reason we rope in other stakeholders who are supposed to support our investment and demystify a lot of misconceptions about our business operations,’ said Mr. Vere insinuating the presence of Zimra and NAC officials who had an input at the workshop.
The hands on approach was highly demonstrated via role plays. Documentation is one area simplified on the backdrop of the ease of doing business spearheaded by the office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
While the official from Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) only referred to as Kuda made remarks at the prime workshop, a lot of participants could be observed nodding in agreement to business practise without the over-aching need for unscrupulous behaviour.
Organizer Vere was quick to point out that certain jargon used by government officials in trying to explain their operations scares away business players, both incumbent and potential.
He called for a literacy shift in putting forward terms related to regulatory operations.
The business participants went through a series of ways to attract new customers, win a customer that would think of a new dealership and most of all retain a growing client base.
Business leader Vere dissected a litany of concepts in business that drive both sales and cements merchant relationships between owners and clients.
He explored two major concepts that are vital for a business to stand and grow on a sound footing namely listen, apologise, solve and thank (LAST) as well as the smile, eye contact and comment (SEC).
In his remarks, business leader Chinembiri emphasised the need to be strong in soft skills so as to be closer to, and serve clients to the best satisfaction.
Soft skills include greeting, smiling, mannerism before clients, respect, listening to customer needs, being humble, accept fair blame and be able to solve mishap when it presents itself. Truth is a powerful touch
Mr. Chinembiri said a lot of businesses take the customer for granted without noticing the favour that they bring to business.
“You find that some among us think we’re doing the customer a favour when they vote to come to our premise but the reverse is true,” he advised.
To empower business with morality, Kadoma and Sanyati National Aids Council (NAC) co-ordinator Virginia Tausa was on call to provide advise around straight-forward behaviour.
Said Tausa: “When we get money we may be tempted to buy sex hence, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) including Human Immuno Virus (HIV). We may prefer unprotected sex to satisfy our desires. Condoms should always be available and accessible. We must not fall into the snare of both outward and decent prostitutes.”
The workshop was attended by participants from a cross-section of business from the mineral rich and agro-based town.