Sandra Idossou

My customer service experience…one year after my absence

“Welcome back home.” This is how I was recently welcomed to Rwanda by a young and smart immigration officer at the Kigali International Airport. For family reasons, I have been away from Rwanda for over a year now. While I was away, my resident permit expired but because African...

Monday, June 24, 2019, 12:09 AM

The President's message on customer service is timely

I want to start this piece with a confession: I envy Rwandans for having a President who is a fervent advocate of customer service. Throughout my years working on customer service in Africa, I have never seen any other President on the continent so passionate about service delivery. Over the past...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017, 12:00 AM

Of fine dining restaurants and laptops

There was a heated debate on our social media networks recently following a move by some restaurants in Kigali to ban the use of laptops in their premises. Though I haven’t gathered enough information to write authoritatively about this issue, a well-travelled person I know raised this...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 12:00 AM

Benefits of serving with passion

Abdul is a 26-year-old young man I met few weeks ago at the Kisite Marine Park in Kenya. He was the sweetest and most dedicated waiter every five star hotel or restaurant in the world would love to employ because he was passionate and ‘in love’ with his work. At the end of our lunch,...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 12:00 AM

Local banks should embrace new technologies to enhance services

Last week, I read a post by a follower on the ServiceMag social network platforms that I think, somehow, described the current service by the local banking industry perfectly. “We have too overcrowded bank branches that are understaffed, with few tellers to serve that almost always crowded in...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 12:00 AM

The day I kissed Stacy at the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi

Together with over twenty travel writers from fourteen different countries, we were invited by the Kenya Tourism Board to experience Kenya’s best in terms of tourism offerings as part of the coming Magical Kenya Tourism Expo that will started on October 12. Our first day started with a visit...

Sunday, October 23, 2016, 12:00 AM

Offering good service amid crisis

I am a regular traveller, especially within Africa. Most of the time I travel, I use Kenya Airways or RwandAir. I must confess that I have had issues with Kenya Airways that I stopped flying it for over two years now. Yes, you guessed right, my best African airline is RwandAir for many reasons I...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 12:00 AM

Customer Service Week: What firms can do to ensure excellent customer experience

in 1992, the US Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week as a nationally recognised event, celebrated annually during the first full week in October. Since then, thousands of companies across the United States and around the world celebrate Customer Service Week between October 3 - 7, underlining...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

Customer Service Week: Appreciating clients and employees gives you an edge

Julian works as a cleaner in one of the big institutions in town. Owing to the nature of his work, clients and other employees do not usually meet or deal with him, apart from few security officers of the company. He starts work early in the morning and, by the time customers and other employees...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 12:00 AM

Private sector, seize intra-African Trade opportunities

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon” once said Brandon Sanderson. In the next ligns, I am going to share with you three stories I hope can make you ask the right questions and advise on what needs to be done.  For...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why we must aim at quality in everything we do

Let me start this with two stories. Benin, my home country celebrated its Independence Day few weeks ago and as the customs demand, a state parade was organised. This year’s celebrations were meant to be moderate (sober) and the parade, the first official event organised by the new...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 12:00 AM

Understanding local hospitality industry challenges, opportunities

A number of new players have joined the local hospitality industry over the past two years, making it more competitive. That’s why at The ServiceMag we decided to focus on the sector in our next issue to highlight the challenges and opportunities the entry of new presents Rwanda stakeholders....

Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 12:00 AM

Restaurants need to be creative and improve food presentation

Above anything else, what I love most about my job in Rwanda is being able to engage stakeholders on issues that can help improve the level of service in public and private institutions. I like the fact that we have agreed to constantly aim higher to excel in all that we do. Obviously, that is...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 12:00 AM

Agenda 2063, the Africa I dream of

The past few days have been exhilarating with the 27th African Union Summit that brought together the whole of Africa to Kigali. I beamed with joy and pride knowing that delegates from over 54 African countries were here to witness by themselves the dynamics of development in Rwanda. Just like...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why are businesses taking customers for granted?

Sandra Idossou Recently, a tweet of a consumer who got blocked by WASAC for complaining ‘too much’ got viral. Luckily, the CEO himself got to know about it and responded with an apology, and also promising to take action. “Apology. That is not acceptable... Going to take the necessary steps,”...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why we need to examine quality of local hospitality training institutions

Sandra Idossou  When I was a teenager, I was passionate about languages, travelling and journalism. This passion was probably born from the numerous foreign magazines my mum used to bring home when she was working at the American Embassy in Cotonou, Bénin. She was not surprised when I decided...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why hospitality sector needs to do more on service delivery

Sandra Idossou “Rwandan very courteous, but slow. The people were nice and composed but not that dynamic, especially when dealing with customers. Most times, I had the impression that language could be a serious barrier as service staff usually smiled at my request, but didn’t seem quite...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 12:00 AM

How Kenya's eco-tourism initiative drives coastal communities' devt

Sandra Idossou During a recent familiarisation tour of Kenya, I was fascinated by the Kenya Tourism Board’s initiatives that have brought on board communities surrounding tourism sites as key players in the sector’s development. The tour that involved several regional writers provided insights...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 12:00 AM

Masai Mara park: A larger-than life experience

Sandra Idossou “Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller,” an Arab traveller, Ibn Batuta, once said. That is what happened when I visited Kenya recently.  I could say the highlight of the tour was my visit to the Masai Mara National Park, one of Africa’s...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 12:00 AM

Lessons from Kenya's tourism body

Sandra Idossou   The Kenya Tourism Board recently invited me and other travel writers from the region for exclusive media familiarisation tour of Kenya. Well, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) knows their game when it comes to marketing Kenya as one of the best tourism destinations in the region...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 12:00 AM