9 April 2007
Best Customer Service
I meant to post about this when I got back from my last South Africa trip, but forgot. There are plenty of stores in the UK where the people behind the counters know their stuff, but in South Africa it is rare to find a shop assistant who knows precious more than just how to be conspicuously absent when you have a question, but very eager to write their commission code on your purchase once you have figured it out for yourself. Not so with Konrad (never got his surname) who looks after digital cameras at Stax at the Clearwater Mall in Johannesburg.
I first encountered Konrad when I was looking at cameras just before we left South Africa last year. He was extremely helpful, and I appreciated his working knowledge of digital photography, and ended up buying a Fuji Finepix S5600. Six weeks later it was stolen on the flight back to Joburg, out of my bag, and when next in Clearwater, I visited him again to get a replacement. On my last trip, I was showing family pics to friends, and the next day they asked me to help them choose a similar camera. Konrad helped them get the same model as mine. He has a great manner with the public, and I sure hope he doesn't get affirmative actioned out of Stax, because I reckon four others couldn't replace him.
One of these days, perhaps too late, South Africa businesses will wake up to to the fact that Black Economic Empowerment should not last forever, and that once the playing field has been reasonably levelled, market forces, real skills, and proven ability should become the hallmarks of job success in South Africa.