|New Customer Management Initiative for Africa|
|Written by David Brunnen|
|Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:35|
African entrepreneurs and practitioners are to be helped to build more profitable and lasting customer relationships
Groupe Intellex Associate Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas is collaborating with the Institute of Customer Management in Accra, Ghana in a new initiative to help local practitioners review and improve how they manage their relationships with customers.
According to Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, “While newspaper headlines highlight Africa’s problems many of its emerging businesses, and its 900 million consumers, represent a frontier of opportunity for ambitious businesses. If they are to prosper and become competitive internationally local professionals and entrepreneurs need to engage with customers in ways that deliver service, value and mutually beneficial outcomes.”
“Value creation starts with the aspirations and needs of customers. Suppliers need to engage with customers to ensure their requirements are understood and addressed. Increasingly, this means working with them rather than selling to them. It means helping them to understand their needs and available options, and making it easier for them to buy and receive appropriate after sales support. It can mean learning with customers and developing bespoke solutions.”
“Effective customer management, and supporting those in the front line who are responsible for managing the relationship with customers, is a critical success requirement. The approaches of customer management teams that succeed in building long term and profitable relationships with customers are very different from those of teams that struggle and fail. To raise their game, ambitious practitioners need to understand what the high performers do differently.”
While the new collaboration is aiming to address a variety of development needs, its initial focus will upon two groups: entrepreneurs and those who are in or seeking managerial roles; and those who wish to become customer management professionals. Subject to local demand, courses at certificate level will be offered at convenient times during the day, while diploma candidates will be able to study their course modules in evening and weekend streams.
The Institute of Customer Management is based in Accra, Ghana. Its mission is to inspire excellence in customer management. The Institute is collaborating with UK based Adaptation Ltd which helps people and organisations adapt to changing aspirations, requirements and conditions. Details of the company’s support activities can be found on http://www.adaptation.ltd.uk
The new customer management initiative will draw upon a series of briefings that examine different aspects of customer management and recent projects to support those with responsibility for building mutually beneficial and lasting relationships with customers.
The 28 briefings in the ‘Close to the Customer’ series and related bespoke benchmarking reports can be ordered from http://www.policypublications.com