You can do better Zinara

16 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
You can do better Zinara

Your Money, Your Call

Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba

EARLIER this month, on June 1 to be exact, I found myself running a bit behind schedule at the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) showground offices.

My vehicle licence renewal was overdue and I was determined to get it sorted out.

Unfortunately, by the time I reached the entrance, it was already past closing time — 11.30 am.

Upon arrival, about 15 minutes late, I discovered a crowd of people who had also missed the deadline. They shared my frustration of encountering closed doors. Our pleas to the security personnel to allow us in were unsuccessful.

This experience, however, highlighted a significant issue: many people prefer the convenience of paying for their vehicle licences on Saturdays.

In my opinion, Zinara should consider implementing more flexible hours, especially during periods when a large number of licences are expiring. Paying customers are valuable and their needs should be prioritised.

Picture this: a group of us stranded outside, staring at the locked doors and wondering why a Government agency could not extend their hours for a few minutes to accommodate us.

I acknowledge the importance of efficient operations.

However, I believe that customer-focused organisations should prioritise flexibility. They should recognise that their clients have busy lives, and rigid closing times, particularly during peak seasons, can cause unnecessary stress and wasted time.

So, how could Zinara have handled this situation differently?

Below are some of my suggestions.

Extend hours: The influx of customers clearly highlighted the need for Zinara to consider extending their operating hours. A simple solution could be extending the time. This adjustment would have accommodated those who had arrived a few minutes late.

Communication: Clear communication is key. Zinara could utilise various media platforms to spread the word, for example, local newspapers, radio stations and social media posts on Facebook and X. A more proactive approach would be sending renewal reminder emails a week before monthend, highlighting closing times and potential consequences of late renewals.

Empathy/flexibility: During monthend, demand for vehicle licence renewals can easily double, placing a significant strain on Zinara’s resources. However, a more empathetic approach would be to consider the needs of its customers. Understanding that some individuals only receive their salaries on the last days of the month, Zinara could implement flexible solutions.

These could include a dedicated express lane for late payments or even exploring the possibility of online renewals. After all, these customers are the very lifeblood of the organisation. Treating them with respect and offering some flexibility would go a long way in improving overall customer service.

As I left the Zinara showground office that day, I could not help but reflect on the missed opportunity and the frustration of many others.

Let us hope that Zinara re-evaluates its approach to closing times, recognising that excellent customer service extends far beyond mere efficiency.

It is about understanding customers’ needs and finding solutions that work for everyone. Perhaps next time, the doors will remain open a little longer, welcoming those who rely on Zinara’s services.

After all, is this not what public service is all about — serving the public in a way that makes a positive difference in their lives?

 Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba is a marketing consultant with a strong passion for customer experience. For comments, suggestions and training, she can be reached at: [email protected] or +263712979461, 0719978335, 0772978335.


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