We still need to fix service delivery in hospitality sector

Editor, RE: “Uncooperative hoteliers to miss out on meetings and conferences cash” (The New Times, April 14).
Guests being served at a front desk at a Kigali hotel. (Net photo)
Guests being served at a front desk at a Kigali hotel. (Net photo)

Editor,

RE:Uncooperative hoteliers to miss out on meetings and conferences cash” (The New Times, April 14).

 

There is still room for better customer care in our hospitality sector; the problem is basically attitudinal rather than lack of knowledge.

 

Rwandans should know and embrace the “Na Yombi” culture that has lived with them for generations where guests are welcomed with open hands.

 

In services, however, there is still slow progress as far as service delivery is concerned.

Hope we can improve on that soonest before we create a negative image in the eyes of our customers.

Kassim Bizimungu

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At some point, the hospitality industry in Rwanda will need to get tougher. Unless you have been living under a rock, everyone now knows what is required to produce decent service for your customers or guests.

This is not a new concept—unless we come up with a stringent policy that makes every hotelier/restaurant owner/entertainment/bars etc accountable on very specific touch points, then we are part of the problem: owners/managers who fail to recognize that the country is at the cusp of great things.

The upcoming World Economic Forum (Africa) conference will be a huge achievement for Rwanda as the hosts.

This did not come out of a vacuum. This took a lot of planning, effort and foresight, and then execution.

It is, therefore, upon the industry responsible for accommodation, food and beverage services, entertainment…to be on top of their game and do their part as well.

Laziness and tired excuses can no longer hold. Failure to implement proper management and leadership to support empowered and trained purpose-driven employees results into disastrous service and frustrated staff.

Customer service is not a department; it is an attitude. That's what we need to fix.

Nshuti

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Absolutely! And, what seems to be a unique Rwanda trait, one that upends a generally accepted belief: Government here is on the whole much more business-like, efficient and client-oriented (at least at the top and in many of its services) than the private sector.

As in many other spheres, the Rwandan developmental journey seems to revel in flipping conventional wisdom on its very head.

Most Rwandans hope our businesspeople could take a leaf from the Government and put the customer front and centre. It is also important to understand that such citizen/customer orientation has only developed over recent years.

In previous times, citizens were considered to be at the service of Government and its 'owners', big and petty, rather than the other way round.

If such an attitude is fast being replaced with one in which government is at the service of its people, it is similarly possible and imperative for our businesspeople to change their mindsets, especially in such industries as hospitality where service is a precondition to business success. It won't be too soon.

Mwene Kalinda

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