This article shall serve as a learning experience if you run a business in Zimbabwe. I am looking at 8 things done by businesses that Zimbabweans hate the most. If your business is guilty of these then you have work to do.
Being Sketchy About Product Or Service Details Online
Being able to advertise your goods or services online is a great blessing. However, many businesses are going about it the wrong way. You find a business posting about goods or services they offer but with sketchy details. You hear things like “inbox for more details” or “inbox for price”. Why does that have to be sketchy? You cannot help but feel this is because they will be variably pricing from person to person. I have seen notable brands posting their goods or services and prices are not included. Do I have to inbox you for details or a price, really? I am preaching to the choir on this one, it is annoying for most Zimbabweans!
Slow Or Poor Customer Query Handling
I recently did an article where I was discussing when it is time to hire or employ. One of the indicators I mentioned was poor customer query handling. This can stem from a lack of relevant skills or in most cases, being understaffed. The truth is most Zimbabwean businesses are slow or poor at handling customer queries. It starts with the big brands right down to the small businesses. There is nothing as annoying as not getting your query promptly handled when you are in a time-sensitive situation.
Rudeness Or Crudeness In Serving Customers
Well, I get it that most employees are disgruntled – they mostly get unsatisfactory salaries. I also do get that most employees have pressing issues in their personal lives and what nought. At times the pressure at the workplace can be overwhelming and employees can get on edge. Superiors can be problematic and cause employees to be sulky and moody. However, all these factors and more lead to most businesses serving customers rudely or crudely. Recently, I spoke to someone who was rudely told to try other outlets just for making a simple enquiry. This thing of being rudely addressed is all too common with many Zimbabwean businesses. You end up even feeling like you are being treated as if you are getting hand-outs yet you are going to pay for the goods or services.
Poor Engagement Of Prospective Or Existing Customers On Digital Platforms
Most businesses now appreciate the importance of having an online presence. However, they think it is just about being there and maybe posting stuff and that is it. Most social media accounts belonging to Zimbabwean businesses are in shambles. They do not engage with people who visit their platforms. You will find them not even in the very least liking comments. Questions go unanswered and you wonder why they are even online in the first place. This is one of the biggest things Zimbabweans hate when it comes to the online presence of most Zimbabwean businesses.
Partial Treatment Of Customers
Corruption has so compromised people’s lifestyles in Zimbabwe that fairness has become elusive. You will find that most businesses actually hire based on nepotism, bribery, and favouritism. It does not end there; it even occurs in customer treatment. You will find scenarios where a customer does not stand in line simply because they know someone at the business in question. Even handling or addressing customer concerns is prioritized for those that are known by someone there. Imagine people waking up around 4 am to stand in line for scarce day-old chicks and not ultimately getting them. Then someone comes at 11 am after a good night’s sleep and all and still gets the chicks. Partial treatment of customers is a serious problem characteristic of most businesses in Zimbabwe.
Selling Of Counterfeits Or Expired Goods
This is rampant especially in Harare to the best of my knowledge. I have even heard people remarking that in Harare anything can be counterfeited. Selling counterfeits whilst maintaining they are genuine or originals is a huge problem in Zimbabwe. The irony is that most businesses have the audacity to price counterfeited products using prices normally used for originals. Then there is also the issue of selling expired goods. You would be amazed at how most big supermarket brands in Zimbabwe are found wanting on this. I know of a reputable butchery brand that is known for replacing labels on expired meats. Losing hard-earned money to counterfeits or expired goods is a huge turnoff for Zimbabweans.
Overpricing Or Variable Pricing
There has been a relative semblance when it comes to clearly display prices in outlets. However, I can still point out that overpricing or variable pricing still exists. Most Zimbabwean businesses overprice their goods or services because they want unrealistically quick returns. Funnily they do not realize that you can realize more by placing reasonable mark-ups to push volumes. I have witnessed variable pricing being done in surprising places. There is a furniture outlet I know of in Masvingo, I will not mention the name. I have observed that they tend to price something by judging how a person looks physically. No wonder I said the directive to display prices sort of averts this. It sounds funny but I have seen furniture items there having different prices based on who is asking.
Disruptive Lunch Breaks
I am sure most of us have witnessed or been victims of this. It somewhat reminds me of varsity where staff’s lunch break was literally 2 hours. Anyways, most businesses in Zimbabwe are not considerate when it comes to lunch breaks. They feel so entitled to them that they totally disregard that customers come first before all else. I saw an interesting remark on social media by an individual called Kenny Mandebvu. He said, “I believe this ‘Takumboenda kuLunch” is one of the reasons why Zimbabwe still lags on growth. The whole organization can actually halt operations to zero and leave clients queuing for a whole hour. Employers need to start working on staggering lunch breaks between their employees.” That is spot on and many Zimbabwean businesses are guilty of this annoying conduct.
So there you have it, 8 business behaviours that Zimbabweans hate the most. It is never too late to start putting your house in order so that your business stands out. Remember it is businesses that are customer-centric that rise to the apex.