Allow me through your paper to expound on a few things in an article that was published, ‘RDF staff complete training on customer care service’ (16, May 2010).
The article states that Corner Stone Africa (COSTA) is involved in Skills gap “development”. On the contrary, Corner Stone Africa endeavours to “bridge” workforce skills gap. Its mission is “to develop quality and credible workforce for Rwanda and the rest of the region to meet tomorrow’s labour market, through technical training and provision of technical systems solutions”.
We have recognized that workforce skills, especially soft skills, are a big challenge not only for Rwanda organizations but also for organizations in the rest of the region and have positioned our selves to play a significant role in providing solutions to this challenge. Our strategy is to partner with leading international service providers in order to supplement our local solutions with internationally accredited tools, skills and best practices.
That is why we have partnered with the Customer Service Consulting Company of Kenya and Customer 1st of UK to deliver a customer service training programme, approved by the Association of Business Practitioners (ABP) of UK, to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) of Rwanda and the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF). The programme is called Award for Customer Service professionals (ACSP).
The Ministry of Defence and RDF have championed the customer service excellence crusade! We at COSTA are happy to identify with and help them to achieve their goal. If anybody thought that Customer Service was a preserve of commercial organizations then MOD/RDF has proved them wrong.
As The New Times Editorial put it, Customer Service cuts across. In fact, it is a strategic tool that organizations use to differentiate themselves from competition. An effective customer service strategy in an organization is one that is integrated and implemented well across the organization, leading to enhanced customer experiences.
These experiences will, in turn, contribute to higher customer retention, lower costs and consequently, increased productivity.
The question on the lips of many may be whether MOD/RDF or other public organizations need to go the extra mile to have in place customer centered systems, processes and behaviour, and my answer to this is a big YES.
Corner Stone Africa