Friday, March 24, 2023

Tshani Bottle Stores offer service with a difference

Shock is written on the faces of customers as they enter the bottle store. Customers have reason to be shocked for what they encounter on entrance into Tshani Bottle Store is something customers are never used to from most service providers in Botswana.

To many shop assistants in the country, customers are naggers. It is common to encounter a shop assistant who serves you without thanking you for doing business with them or even faking a smile to make you feel welcome or appreciated. Customers always part with their money to ‘beg’ for service and it is as if customers are being done a favour by service providers.

The notion that customer is King applies the other way round where, in most cases, the service provider has become the King while the customers have been relegated to beggars.

At Tshani Bottle Store, however, customers get personalised treatment which makes them feel important and valued. As you enter the door, workers greet you and offer to help carry your drinks from the refrigerators to the cashier. As you walk about in the store, the store assistant informs you of brand promotions and specials currently running in the store. The workers always show you the fridge with colder drinks just in case you try to pick from the fridge that had just been stocked up.

If you’re looking for something that is not available in stock, the workers apologise for the inconvenience and promise to get it the next day. If you buy cigarettes, they ask if you have a lighter. If you buy many drinks, they ask if you need ice. Every transaction is sealed with a ‘thank you’ from the cashier and the workers on the floor and at the door as you leave.

“I always tell my employees that if you can’t see the importance of a customer then you don’t belong here,” says the 31-year-old lady who owns and manages the three bottle stores together with her husband.

The couple runs bottle stores in Gaborone and the service is the same at all their outlets in Phase Four, Extension 12 and Extension Four.

A psychologist by profession, the owner says for her it’s all about showing the customers that their patronage is appreciated.

“There are so many liquor stores in the city and customers could choose to go to other places so it is only fitting that we show our appreciation when customers choose us,” she says.

She further revealed that her intention is to instil the importance of customer care amongst Batswana. As a psychologist, she knows the power of the mind and the effects that come with making customers happy. A happy customer guarantees return business and attraction of more customers.

“It is important that we greet and welcome our customers with a smile. When we see customers we see our pay cheques. Even my three-year-old son knows that he has to greet people and address them as uncle or auntie,” says the energetic owner, as we stand in front of her Phase 4 bottle store. Hygiene is also given a priority at Tshani.

The stores are always looking spotlessly clean and customers are not allowed to drink in front of the premises. The owner says when they opened their first store, many people viewed their exceptional customer service as a temporary gesture from excited newcomers.

Three stores later, their customer service has remained consistent and they have become the talk of the town for their service, which always comes with a smile.


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