By  Princewill Ekwujuru

Managing customers, fostering customer loyalty and generating more revenue today is far more complex than what it used to be before the adoption of Web 2.0 applications.

In the past, information and branding were managed exclusively by companies, partners and employees and they had a relative amount of control over customer behaviour. In the Web 2.0 space, the relationships between buyers and sellers have changed.

There has been a fundamental shift from being vendor-centric to customer and community-centric. Conversations about products and brands in social communities such as Twitter and Facebook, are now visible to everyone. Additionally, with the wide availability of third party information sources and peer forums and reviews, consumers today rely on a mix to influence their buying decisions.

A new approach to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is needed to not only adapt to the way organisations and people transact and analyse business, but also how they engage these activities. People today expect a personalised experience and they expect to be able to find the answers they want quickly.

Customers also expect companies to demonstrate that they know who they are – and organisations that deliver get their businesses going.

To manage this new environment requires a CRM solution that can capture vital information that occurs across channels and systems to fully connect customers, employees, and partners across a company’s sales, marketing, and service organisations.

These challenges may have formed Panasonic’s decision to institute ethical culture of training and retaining its engineers and technicians for customer retention without fear of labour turnover.

In marketing, when a business knows its customers and targets its communications to their specific interests and shopping behaviours, the result is increased revenue, loyality and long-term relationship. This is the power of one-to-one CRM. If the CRM practitioner cannot focus on individual customer transactions, both in the process of segmentation and in the contact strategy, CRM strategies will not be successful, as postulated by Duane Sharp, a customer centric strategy expert.

To say the least, the home appliances and electronic market in Nigeria is polarised. While new and emerging products from this market segment keep arriving, the established brands are busy formulating marketing and sale strategies that would make them stay ahead of the new entrants. As this ambush marketing strategy go on, little or no attention is given to the issue of after-sales service, which has become a huge challenge to both marketers and consumers.

In trying to solve this myth, Panaserv Nigeria through Panasonic brand has cultivated the culture of training and retraining of its technical staff that would provide excellent after-sales services or fix any problem arising from power fluctuation as the case in Nigeria, which would eventually give the customer peace of mind.

To this end, the Nigerian market has benefited from this project. Both in the air-conditioners and television segments of the market particularly for Panasonic brand suers.

Recently, experts from Malaysia stormed Nigeria courtesy of Panasonic and took its technicians across its service centres putting them through on challenges on Panasonic Viera Television. Areas of training were on the 3D TV-related problems, chassis structure with different parts from current model, picture problem, and power circuit and power LED blinking time table.

Speaking on the benefit of this project, Chandru Pahilwani, Manager, Panasonic Ikeja Service Centre said: “There are some engineers who do not know the technical ways of repairing the new television sets therefore; to forestall any unforeseen circumstances we bring our engineers from Malaysia and Japan to come here and train them to ensure that customers are optimally satisfied.”


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