RDB, hoteliers explore ways to improve customer care
In the wake of rising complaints over poor customer care, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), on Friday, met with a group of 20 experts in the hospitality sector to draw quick steps to improve service delivery.
Several strategies to help improve service in hotels, restaurants and bars, were agreed on.
It was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Private Sector Federation, hospitality associations as well as the quality standards taskforce within the Tourism Chamber.
According to Rica Rwigamba, the Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB, it was agreed that the association of hoteliers embarks on an urgent programme to ascertain the standards and quality of services delivered by hotels and other hospitality facilities.
“The hospitality sector is a service-oriented sector hence customer care should be at the core of every business success,” she said.
“Our priority, this year, is to ensure that businesses in the tourism sector offer high quality service and we are ready to work hand in hand with them to achieve that objective. However, we shall take appropriate measures for those that will not fulfil basic requirements,” Rwigamba told The New Times.
Among the things agreed upon include improvement in the presentation of the staff by wearing neat uniforms and name tags.
A mechanism of shaming of establishments with poor customer service will be launched this later this year.
Feedback forms will also be provided by management of each business to ensure clients can share their views for improvement and a mechanism to handle complaints should be put in place in every establishment.
A joint inspection team between the Tourism Chamber and RDB to sensitize the owners of the establishments on customer care and also assess the factors that impede service delivery was set up.
The inspection will be finalized in two months outside Kigali, while the capital city will be covered by mid-March.
According to Dennis Karera, the Chairman of Rwanda Hotel and Restaurant Association, the group has already set up a team which is conducting a countrywide awareness campaign aimed to improve customer care in hotels and restaurants.
This exercise follows the classification (star-rating) of 31 hotels in the country.
Over the recent past, Rwanda has witnessed a steady increase in the number of tourism establishments.
The country seeks to boost customer care to gain a competitive edge in the region’s tourism industry. Tourism receipts increased by 25 percent in 2011, from $200 million to $252 million
Investments in the sector in 2011 amounted to $117 million compared to $106 million in 2010.
Tourism remains the country’s leading foreign exchange earner.
Contact email: edmund.kagire[at]newtimes.co.rw