Category D: Captain Raymond Mashudu Mutangwa
SPAR Thohoyandou, Superfecta Trading, Mutsindo, South Africa (International)
What do you do when you’re up against stiff competition in your market? Captain Raymond Mashudu Mutangwa throws birthday parties for shoppers and their families.
That’s just icing on the cake. In addition to going the extra mile to make customers at his SPAR Thohoyandou store in Mutsindo, South Africa, feel special on their birthday, Mutangwa entrusts local farmers to grow the freshest-grown vegetables for the store’s produce department, passing along savings to the consumer. He has cut waiting times in checkout and service areas to ensure a swift and efficient shopping experience.
Leading Community Engagement
To spread the word in the community about the overall value of shopping at SPAR Thohoyandou, he assigned two dedicated staff members to use the store’s PA system to communicate in-store promotions in local languages. Mutangwa bought airtime on a popular morning radio show and has a strong social media presence on Facebook, in an effort to connect with young people. He also sends out small company trucks into area villages during the week, to distribute leaflets and announce news and savings via the vehicles’ sound system. The trucks are on hand at gatherings led by tribe royal families as well.
Information isn’t the only thing shared with nearby communities. Mutangwa offers residents a chance to gain employment, through jobs and internships. The store team gives back in many ways, like painting a local care center, donating food to needy families, giving computers to local schools and arranging for health care workers to present programs on basic healthcare at local schools.
Excellence in Customer Service
Mutangwa believes that offering exceptional service with a direct, innovative and sincere approach distinguishes SPAR Thohoyandou, one of the company’s biggest stores, in a competitive market. He was brought on board in December 2018 after stints as a risk manager and store manager at other SPAR locations, tasked with motivating the store’s 400-plus employees to go above and beyond.
Starting with knowing and greeting each employee by name, he is a leader who clearly communicates goals with his staff through frequent meetings. He sets high expectations for quality, from regularly-updated displays to a constant assessment of the fresh offerings that are a hallmark of this store.
While they continue to mark customers’ birthdays at this SPAR Thohoyandou location, there is also a reason for Captain Mutangwa and his team to celebrate: the RESULTS.