Ten individuals have been recognised for their outstanding devotion to customer service as ‘Customer Service Week’ concludes.
At a gala dinner held at the Kigali Serena Hotel, individuals from different fields whose work has spoken to the thousands of people, were awarded with certificates sending another message of why excellent customer service matters.
The ten Customer Service Champions of 2017 as it was referred to by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) which led a weeklong celebration of customer service, included a doctor, procurement officer, security officer, and other customer care agents from different institutions.
Those who were awarded are Antoinette Kayitesi from Access Bank, Jean Pierre Kizito a state Attorney working with the Ministry of Justice, Evelyne Muteteri who’s a customer care officer at Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), Sylivanus Kagiraneza, a security officer at I&M Bank, and Morris Ndekwe a pharmacist from Vine Pharmacy Kigali.
Others are Liliane Ingabire, a Procurement Officer working with RDB, Denis Ngoga, a waiter at Galaxy Hotel, and Etienne Uwiringiyimana from Nyaruguru District.
Dr Mohamed Okasha, an obstetrician and gynecologist and head of clinical services at Legacy Clinics was also recognised as a customer service champion. He received more than 100 votes mostly from women, according to the event’s organisers.
Senior Sergeant Alexis Murenzi who works with the Rwanda National Police’s Traffic department was also awarded amid wild cheers from the audience who had gathered for the awarding ceremony.
According to Emmanuel Nsabimana, the customer care and regulatory division manager at RDB, those awarded were selected through a comprehensive process that involved the public, and that more than 800 nominations were received for this year’s customer service champions.
“We had an open online platform where everyone was eligible to submit the person of his or her choice that they believe have incredibly done well in serving the people,” he explained.
Asked why they chose to award individuals over institutions, Nsabimana noted that they wanted to send a strong message to people that they have a critical role in making sure that institutions achieve their customer services goals.
“What we wanted to do is to give a message to the ordinary person that they represent their institutions. An institution is wide, therefore, awarding individuals is more impactful,” he said.
According to RDB, the Customer Service Week involved week long extravaganzas to simple cake and coffee breaks as well as giving away gifts by various institutions.
“We also mobilised management to come and join frontline employees to help serve customers. This was to make sure that customers build trust even in top managers,” Nsabimana said.
Claire Akamanzi, RDB’s Chief Executive Officer, said that this year was celebrated under the theme: “Building Trust”.
“This was to recognise the importance of trust in forming strong, productive, and lasting relationships with customers and co-workers. We want to be in the top for customer service worldwide,” she said.
Emphasising service delivery’s importance
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Munyeshyaka who officiated at the ceremony emphasised the importance of prompt and efficient service delivery, highlighting that the government will continue giving support to enhance service delivery.
“As the Government of Rwanda strives to be a service led economy, we cannot achieve anything in the services while providing poor customer care. Therefore, it is critical to understand what is needed in order to provide good customer care,” he said.
Munyeshyaka urged individuals, companies and institutions from both private and public sectors to change their mindset and perception towards customer service so as to accelerate services delivery.
The services sector continues to be a big contributor to the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP). According to the latest official figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, the services sector contributed 46 percent of GDP more than agriculture sector which contributed 31 percent of the GDP.
The second quarter saw the services sector’s growth of 7 per cent largely driven by hotels and restaurants subsector which grew by 9 per cent.
The services sector also received a boost from administrative and support services which increased by 20 per cent as well as professional, scientific and technical activities which increased by 21 per cent.
The Director General of Immigration and Emigration, Anaclet Kalibata, said for institutions to ensure sustainability, there was need to build trust among customers.
“Trust is not something that is simply given, it must be earned. Our services must be predictable. We should create experience that customers can count on, but also set standards at the highest,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sergeant Alexis Murenzi said that he was excited for the recognition and he’s going to even do much more to meet peoples’ expectations.