Kombi Drivers Undergo Customer Care Training

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TOUTS and kombi crews’ customary dirtiness and foul language could soon be a thing of the past following public relations and customer care training they underwent yesterday. More than 50 kombi drivers attended the training jointly organised by Bulawayo United Public Transporters Association (BUPTA) and the Bulawayo City Council.

The meeting was held at the Tower Block in Bulawayo.

Facilitators of the two-day short course, Aurafactor, said the training was meant to change attitudes and behaviour of kombi drivers when dealing with commuters. Today the meeting will be addressing BUPTA members from the western routes.

Aurafactor is a Bulawayo based company which specialises in public relations and customer service.

Director of Aurafactor, Nontokozo Masuku, said: “As drivers, you’re dealing with members of the public and you should look presentable always. People shouldn’t hesitate to board your kombi because the conductor’s armpits smell. You should wake up, bath and put on roll on and sprays.

“That’s what makes people comfortable in your vehicle. Let’s not offend our customers in any way, but build a relationship of understanding and treat them with care.”

The meeting which started at 2PM addressed kombi drivers from the eastern areas on cleanliness and foul language. Masuku said the issue of cleanliness and personal hygiene were some of the main concerns raised by members of the public.

Masuku told the kombi drivers and conductors to stop using bad language towards their customers and among themselves for their business to grow.

Aurafactor was invited by council and BUPTA to lead the training while Trek Petroleum sponsored the workshop. The meeting also addressed problems faced by the kombi crews while executing their duties. The kombi drivers said police officers were always pestering them for bribes and finding faults with their vehicles.

“We’re made to pay for certain things that we don’t understand. It’s difficult to operate. At times our day’s takings are spent on bribing the police. Our employers don’t help matters either. They’re quick to deduct from our wages what we lose to the police as bribes,” said one disgruntled kombi driver.

Participants discussed some of the problems among themselves and proffered solutions.

Director of BUPTA, Albert Ncube, told the drivers and conductors to comply with police officers’ directives. He urged members to always carry with them all the right documents that are required by the law to avoid friction with the law enforcement agents.

At the end of yesterday’s session, participants were awarded certificates of attendance.

Ncube expressed gratitude to members who attended the meeting

“I’m glad that you all attended this training meeting. I’m hopeful that you learned something from this meeting. Let’s try to change our behaviour and attitudes towards the public to create a good relationship with our clients. That’s why we held this meeting to address the complaints raised by members of the public and offer solutions,” Ncube said