No better time than the present

As the Customer Value Management (CVM) specialist of MultiChoice, Manfred Jorokee Herunga is determined and motivated to create the best possible customer experience.

15 November 2019 | People

Mariselle Stofberg

The future is about creating value, and Manfred Jorokee Herunga creates value for customers on a daily basis and ensures that they keep returning for that value.

“I am in the business of converting our clients from being mere fans of our brand into faithful believers of the value we provide.”

Herunga officially joined MultiChoice’s customer retention department, which has been renamed the customer value management (CVM) department, in September 2017 and he oversees a team of four in-house agents and ten outsourced agents.

“Everything we do revolves around the customer; customers are the centre of any business’s universe. Without the customer, we might as well pack up and go home. A satisfied customer is the best marketing tool for any business and doesn’t only keep spending on your brand but is most likely to spend even more as they explore more of your products,” says Herunga.

Herunga believes that the better experience a customer has with a brand, the likelier they are to buy more, to be loyal, and to share their experiences with friends.

He has, however, had a handful of customers who felt that they were not receiving value for their money when, in fact, they just didn’t have the full scope of the benefits available to them. “The reason why most people are unsatisfied is because they are either misinformed, unaware or both.”

Herunga believes that if one takes the time to really listen, show empathy and provide all the relevant information, most customers will realise that they actually get quite a lot more for their money compared to other service providers.

“It is important to put your ego aside and understand that the person is simply unaware.”

Herunga had his first break while studying at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology when he received an internship as an assistant market researcher at the Sanlam South Africa headquarters in Bellville.

After completing his degree in marketing, he returned to Namibia and started working for Sanlam Namibia as a market research and promotions consultant.

“After Sanlam I moved to Old Mutual Namibia where I worked as a Business Unit marketing consultant, initially for the retail mass market business and thereafter the short-term insurance segment of the business.”

He started working for MultiChoice in late 2014 as a marketing officer and held that position for about two years along with a four-month stint as acting marketing manager and caretaking the then newly introduced customer retention department as both manager and supervisor.

“There was a time when I was taking on four different roles simultaneously. That was my most challenging time, but I would be doing injustice to the experience if I don’t mention the invaluable learning I got from it. My biggest accomplishment was coming out of that period having gained numerous new skills and learning a lot about myself.”

Herunga enjoys dedicating at least an hour every day scouting for something new to learn, be it anything from coding to making papier-mâché. “Time spent learning something new is more valuable than all the money you could have made not learning anything at all. If you can do both at the same time, then that is just invaluable.”

Herunga would like to retire from formal employment by the age of 45. “My dream is to be self-reliant within the farming sector. Africa is set to be the continent that will feed the world in the future and I believe Namibia, with its advantage of being geographically well positioned, is to be a key player in that future.”

If he was able, Herunga would remove religion from the world and rather encourage spiritual development and growth. “Most atrocities that happen in the world can be pinned down to differences in religion.”

Currently, Herunga believes he is living the best phase of his life. “I work in an environment that challenges me daily and it is an environment that is generally new to the Namibian business environment. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better time, as I’m learning daily through being tasked to push beyond the limits of my knowledge.

“This is the time in my life that I’m learning the most about myself. And because of that, I am able to be the best version of me for my loved ones,” he says.

He is inspired by his son, because he wants to understand everything he lays his eyes on and the idea of exposing him to more discoveries is, for him, creating a better life for his son. “And that’s what gets me up in the morning.”

He encourages the youth to never let the fear of striking out keep them from playing the game. “Never say you can’t do something and always ask yourself how you can do it. Never underestimate your potential and, as I tell my son every day: Do not be afraid to fail, because failure is the beginning of a whole new adventure. It is only when we fail that that true lessons are learned.”

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