Editorial: Good customer care is the heart of the matter

For decades, Rwanda’s economy was hinged on the agricultural sector. Coffee and tea were its mainstay and close to 90 percent of its population depended on agriculture.

For decades, Rwanda’s economy was hinged on the agricultural sector. Coffee and tea were its mainstay and close to 90 percent of its population depended on agriculture.

Since it had no say in pricing of its commodities on the world market, it was dependent on the whims and fluctuations of the market. A fall in prices spelt doom for the economy. It was unsustainable.

The country had not yet tried to fully exploit its natural resources nor taken up full ownership as is the case today, but new sources of revenues were needed, urgently. The only viable option was the service sector.

Many hotels, including international brands, began to dot the country’s hillsides, new banks and insurance companies sprang up and tourism received the necessary oxygen that it needed to turn the country into a tourism hub.

Today, the service industry is the country’s lifeline. It accounts to 46 percent of the GDP having unseated agriculture with 31 percent.

So, it only makes sense when those in the sector are encouraged to bring out their best to attract more traffic. Today Rwandair is competing with the best airlines and it is slowly taking bigger slices of the African air travel cake. Tourism is experiencing it best run yet and the sky seems to be the limit.

So when Rwanda Development Board puts excellent customer care among its priorities it has valid reasons to do so. The just concluded Customer Care Week took into consideration the need to keep that sector vibrant.

So recognizing best customer service providers from all sectors; from a waiter or traffic police officer to someone from the corporate world is an indication that everyone has a role to play in improving the country’s economic fortunes.

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