As part of an ongoing campaign dubbed Na Yombi, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has embarked on a drive to urge Chief Executive Officers and private business owners to actively participate in improving service delivery.
In a meeting with about 100 business leaders in Kigali yesterday, Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB, said the customer care drive is aimed at improving Rwanda’s global competiveness by motivating CEOs to be actively involved with their businesses and employees.
“Some business owners do not create a conducive working environment for their staff and the staff in turn offer terrible customer care to their clients,” Rwigamba said.
The CEO of RDB, Valentine Rugwabiza, said ignoring customer service is costly, adding that a large portion of the private sector was abandoning the duty of customer satisfaction for government.
“The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (2013/14), ranks Rwanda 103 out of 140 countries when it comes to the degree of customer orientation. Another report, WEF Travel and Tourism Competiveness, ranks Rwanda 84 out of 140 countries on the same indicator,” Amb. Rugwabiza said.
“I urge you to be key drivers in fostering customer-focused standards and services to improve Rwanda’s competitiveness globally,” he added.
The business community pledged to improve service delivery.
They, however, urged government to put more emphasis on professionalism and experience while employing people in customer care and managerial departments.
“When someone applies for a managerial job, we usually ask for professional experience of three to four months, yet in reality, what we need is experience of four to five years,” Saeed Alam, Manor Hotel CEO, said.
“Some skills cannot be attained within just three months. Some virtues such as humility, and care are acquired with time,” Alam said.
The CEO of the Private Sector Federation, Hannington Namara, said customer care should be given attention as a key pillar of economic development and wealth creation.
“Our development objectives in EDPRS2 and Vision 2020 are geared at making Rwanda a middle-income country in the next five years. This can only be realised by improving service delivery across all sectors,” he said.
According to RDB, the new drive will emphasise four pillars namely; communication, training, compliance and monitoring.
A past study by the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) indicated that improved customer care can boost Rwanda’s economic growth by at least $40 million annually.
RDB launched the Na Yombi drive in 2012 as a customer care campaign to help change the mind-set and effect behavioural change of service providers through mass education and training.