Poor customer service: Clients must be part of the solution

Feedback is a very critical aspect of improving customer service. Therefore, if we want service providers in Rwanda to offer us better services worth the money we pay, it is paramount they know what we think of their services.
An attendant (left) watches as buyers check out items at a city supermarket. Clients are key in improving customer service.
An attendant (left) watches as buyers check out items at a city supermarket. Clients are key in improving customer service.

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Sandra Idossou 

Feedback is a very critical aspect of improving customer service.

Therefore, if we want service providers in Rwanda to offer us better services worth the money we pay, it is paramount they know what we think of their services.

Unfortunately, many service providers do not often conduct efficient customer satisfaction surveys to understand how and where they should change their performance in order to meet client needs.

For the last three consecutive years, The ServiceMag has been conducting cross-sectoral annual survey, where customers (throughout the country) are asked to vote for their best and worst service providers.

The survey covers and rates 10 sectors - airlines, banking, insurance, healthcare, hotels, restaurants, Internet service provider, telephone service provider, government agencies.

This exercise has been strenuous, especially in trying to convince people to participate in the survey.

As any survey, it is always a huge a challenge to get respondents willing to participate in the survey. We know, for all survey modes worldwide, non-response is the biggest challenge. In Rwanda, the most frequent responses we get when the research teams ask people to participate is: “what will my vote change?” This paints a picture of resigned attitude, and lack of understanding that their participation could change the situation for the better.

This though needs to change, especially as the level of service delivery we still experience in most institutions is appalling. We are still very far from what drives aimed at promoting customer service, including Na Yombi and Noza Serivisi, intend to achieve. Despite all this, it is important to reemphasised that customer service in Rwanda is better today compared to be several years ago.

As a consumer, you also have a part to play in improving the level of service in Rwanda. If you sit back and accept service as it is, nothing will change.

As a consumer, you have the power to let service providers know about your bad and good service experiences. It is your right. It is your responsibility. It is your obligation. Besides, you pay for these services.

As a consumer, you even have the power to broadcast your good and bad service experiences so that others may experience the same.

In fact, as a consumer, your voice counts. And, when service providers understand the benefits of feedback, they will appreciate your feedback even if it is a negative one. Even if it was aired on social media as we often do and encourage people to do in order to be sure the concerned service providers hear about them.

Our role as consumers is to bring service providers to welcome our feedback, both positive and negative, because by doing so, it helps them to improve their standards of service.

If you are an unhappy consumer with service providers, let them know so that they can fix the problem quickly. If you keep quiet, believe me, they will continue so and not even realised that they all doing it wrong.

If you seriously want the level of service delivery to improve in Rwanda, remember your voice counts.

It is good to realise that feedback in its broader sense is vital to life. Without feedback there could be no natural selection, no evolution.Feedback is an essential component of effective change.

Survey researchesareindeed experiencing significant challenges because of the level of non respondents and it is time we all decide to be part of the solution by voicing out our feedback because feedback is indeed an essential component of effective change, and therefore improvement,

Seeking feedback, giving it and receiving it – is one of the most effective tools we have for harnessing and promoting change. It is to our own benefit as consumers and citizens.

The author is a customer service consultant and the publisher of The ServiceMag

Email: sidossou@theservicemag.com  

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