Change is a long process that need time and perseverance

In recently met a potential investor of the Service Mag, who was in complete doubt about service improvement in Rwanda. He gave several examples and concluded by saying; “Why should we be the ones offering the magazines to the public? Do you really think there is any change happening? I have ended up believing those who say that poor customer service is just in our culture.” 

In recently met a potential investor of the Service Mag, who was in complete doubt about service improvement in Rwanda. He gave several examples and concluded by saying; “Why should we be the ones offering the magazines to the public? Do you really think there is any change happening? I have ended up believing those who say that poor customer service is just in our culture.”

There is no need to say here that I found his arguments thought-provoking. Not because this was the first time I was hearing such comments about service delivery in Rwanda but because of the nature of the arguments.  

Well, though your columnist is not Rwandan, she refuses to believe that poor service is a matter of culture. I  have come to realize that many people hide behind the arguments of culture to continue delivering or accepting poor service. 

We can all admit that there are still issues about service delivery. We still experience long queues in banks, slow service in most administrations, the lack of consideration from many service providers but yes; service today is still better, in most cases, than it used to be before. 

There is a change process going on today. It might not be very visible but it is there. Let’s understand that change is a progressive thing. Change does not happen just in a twinkle of an eye. Change needs time and perseverance.

Some habits have a powerful role in our lives. If we want to improve on our habits, we need Knowledge, Skills and Desire.

a)   Knowledge
This allows us to know what to do. And it is for this reason that change needs a lot of education. People need to understand what they gain in offering good service. Knowledge is actually what helps the service provider to understand that it is for his/her own benefit to offer good service.  

b)    Skills
After Knowledge; one needs Skills to improve on one’s habits. Skills give us the ability to know how to do certain things. Again; education becomes an important element needed in acquiring new skills.
 
c)   Desire
The Desire is the motivation to do certain things. In every change of habit, we need to have a real motivation. We need to see the end result. What do we gain when we change that poor habit? What are the advantages of that change we want to do? Change starts from within so look at the final result you want to achieve before you even start the change process.

Changing habit will require that we repeat the new habit each day. If we do not succeed the first day, it doesn’t matter. All we need to do is to continue the next day until, we adopt those new habits. 

Do you remember for instance, the first time you learnt how to ride a bike or drive a car? I can imagine you laughing just at that thought. The beginning of every “first and new venture” always looks difficult and impossible.
Change is not an easy thing to achieve. It is often said that something that one continuously practices for 21 days non-stop becomes a habit. Let’s start today the change process and we will be surprised by the results. 
 
The author can be reached on sidossou@theservicemag.com

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