Customer relationship management in Lesotho utility companies
Makhaola, Matseliso Mamathe
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The objective of this study is to investigate how CRM could be managed and implemented in view of improving WASCO and LEC service delivery. The research is conducted against a backdrop of service delivery and quality continuing to be a significant challenge for Lesotho utility companies, resulting in frustrated customers, and non-profitability despite the fact that they are operating in a monopolistic arena. The poor service quality and delivery is highly pertinent – particularly for monopolistic companies like WASCO and LEC that offers essential services of water and electricity – as they not only put at risk the lives of the society as a whole, but also hampers the economic growth and development of Lesotho. An empirical research study was conducted using a quantitative approach and a nonprobability, convenience sampling technique. The sample size of 250 was drawn from a target population that represented both companies’ different categories of customers, stakeholders, and employees. The research instrument used was a self-administered questionnaire. The findings of the study indicate that both WASCO and LEC’s service quality and delivery are not of acceptable standard. The main reasons identified by this research for unacceptable service delivery and quality by WASCO, in order of significance are, Unappealing appearance of WASCO’s facilities, Lack of commitment and customer-centricity demonstrated by frontline staff, Non-availability of a customer charter that is known by customers, WASCO’s bad service reputation, Untimely communiqué with respect to service failures, Unguaranteed service works, Unconvincing responses provided by the frontline staff, Non-availability of customers’ applicable information at the disposal of the frontline staff as and when needed at the different service stations, Unacceptable service costs, Nonadherence to service-level standards/agreements, and Rudeness demonstrated by frontline staff while dealing with customers. On the other hand, the main reasons identified by this research study for unacceptable service delivery and quality by LEC, in order of significance are, Non-availability of a customer charter that is known by customers, Non-adherence to service-level standards/agreements, Non-availability of dedicated relationship managers to interact with high-consuming customers like industries, High service costs, Unguaranteed service works, Service delivery standards that are not known by all the customers, Unconvincing responses provided by the frontline staff, LEC’s bad service reputation, Untimely communiqué with respect to service failures, and Failure to contact customers in the event that LEC fails to offer service on the promised time.
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