I was at the Safaricom Care Center at Nakumatt Mega yesterday afternoon to get my SIM card converted into a microSIM. After getting the service rendered, I needed to have the PIN changed to check if it had correctly latched on after insertion. There were four care agents on duty and I dutifully stood in the queue awaiting my turn.

A light skinned lady dressed in regular clothes (white, flowered attire) came up to me in the queue and asked “What service are you waiting for?” I looked at her and wondered who she was. But because she didn’t look threatening in any way, and she spoke with some level of authority, I told her about my need for the SIM PIN change, and she then directed me to the cashier’s counter to get the service done.

Apparently the cashier who at the time had no customer to attend to, serves as a multi-service desk primarily receiving and processing payments, but also providing relief services as needed. I thought that was a really good system.

As I got served, the regular clothed lady passed near where I was and I asked her “Do you work here?” She looked surprised and said “Yes. Why do you ask?’ I let her know that I was surprised at her conversation with me for several reasons:

  • I didn’t know who she was. She hadn’t introduced herself to me.
  • She emerged from the main door and not from an office inside that would have indicated that she was part of the team.
  • She wasn’t uniformed and so didn’t look like an official.
  • She had no name tag.
  • She acknowledged all this as she proceeded into the back office.

The service was great and the people in the shop were very helpful. My interaction with everyone was pleasant and I am a diehard subscriber. I however feel that as service delivery is the key differentiator, and as a brand that has positioned itself for leadership – it is the small things that matter. It is not technological innovations that will change the game, it is the connection with customers on the ground.

And yes, she was indeed very helpful and I much appreciated her intervention. I would have been more impressed if she greeted me, introduced herself and then proceeded with the rest of the conversation. That would have taken say 15 more seconds of her time and would have made all the difference in the world wouldn’t it?

As we digest this, let’s ponder over how John Wooden so aptly says “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”