After last week article titled “Yes, we can achieve Good Customer Service in Rwanda”, I received quiet a number of comments from readers.
One of the respondents asked me to give concrete examples of service providers who have really changed their customer service attitudes since the whole campaign against poor service began.
I have been living in Rwanda for two and half years and I do have lots of examples of service improvement.
I recognized the fact that lots need to be done again but we can also acknowledge the efforts of those who are moving forward on this issue.
In this article, I’ll not be able to give the names of all the good service providers here but I would like to share with you some of the remarkable changes I have experienced both in the private and public sectors.
The following are 4 service providers that have impressed me very much.
They are organizations who have put efforts in training and instilling a customer service culture in their enterprises.
Skeptical people should go and experience their services to understand that “Yes, Rwanda can achieve good customer service”
1. Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA)
When I registered my company here, I was faced with a tedious monthly exercise of declaring my VAT taxes at the RRA.
Until recently, I was spending two and half hours every time. But today, believe me; I spend only 12 minutes. This month, service was even more exceptional. It took me less than 5 minutes.
With their computerized system, customers can nowadays print their declaration forms and fill them before going there. This is a great achievement and Rwandans can be proud of this service improvement.
Time is money and many customers do appreciate the effort that has been put in listening to our complaints.
2. The Immigration Service
Getting a visa for a foreign country is always a difficult and complicated process for visitors in many countries. In Rwanda, this process has been alleviated and simplified.
Today, one can get the Rwandan Visa just by a click on internet. For people arriving here, they can simply have their visas by filling the forms online.
I have never seen such an easy system in any other African country before. For residents here, the long hours of waiting and visits have tremendously improved.
One can trace online one’s demand. Customer service has also improved very much at the airport as their staff is now very friendly and welcoming.
3. The Shokola Restaurant
I remember, there was a time, I simply decided not to go to restaurants here anymore. Service was simply not present in many of these restaurants. But today, I’m the first person to patronize certain restaurants in town.
And I’m particularly impressed by the service at the shokola restaurant. Believe me service is simply excellent. Customers are really treated like kings and queens.
If we can have such exceptional service experiences in this restaurant, I would like to invite many other restaurants owners to follow this good example.
4. The Banana Guest House
This is another great place to be in town. The hotel rooms are very clean and comfortable. The decoration is African and beautiful, service staff seems to be happy to serve you and above all, food is delicious.
Even when the owner is not present, the staff still remembers to be professional.
The four examples above and the so many I have witnessed have made me to realize that good customer service is achievable in Rwanda.
And I’m so proud of this because the managers of all these four service providers are Rwandans. So it is not a matter of expatriates. We can all achieve good customer care practices if we decide to and change our ways of dealing daily with customers’ demands.
As a business owner, you need to indoctrinate every new hire on good customer care culture. And you need to do this right when they are recruited.
If you wait for a long time, they will adopt habits that will be difficult to change.
Investing in your all your staff through frequent and professional trainings will boost their productivity and undeniably your bottom line.
Achieving good customer service is never a miracle. You as a business owner or manager have an important role in instilling a customer service culture.
First you yourself need to understand what this entails; then live and communicate continuously to your team members the good practices.
The author is a customer service consultant working in Rwanda