For a while people in Rwanda have been pondering over the issue of customer care. How it is a problem and how concept can be improved.
The whole idea of customer care and service delivery needs a lot of attention especially considering that we have few natural sources of wealth.
Some authors have generally attributed poor customer service to lack of skills, lack of competition, poor altitude towards service, poor work ethic, cultural traits and attributes to mention but a few.
In my view, most of these points are not applicable with the Rwandan case simply because our culture is one of the best when it comes to the treatment of guests at home.
The culture of a given country goes hand in hand with the type of customer care it can avail; in the context of Rwanda, our culture is viewed as one of the best worldwide and this is shown by a number of prizes Rwanda has collected from various international exhibitions.
But nationally something still is missing. I have not discerned the reason as to why none of the entertainment joints in Kigali have Rwandan traditional dancers performing in them.
The same thing happens in restaurant. One finds food from other countries ranging from Italian, Indian, Ugandan, and Chinese but it is near to impossible to get local Rwandan cuisine. Many people visit our nation and want to try our dishes.
Allow me to cite President Paul Kagame. He asserted that “customer service remains highly problematic in private, public and civil society domains, something that is most certainly going to preoccupy us in the coming days, months and years.
We can no longer accept a culture of mediocrity either from services, or Rwandan customers who quietly accept sub standard “customer care” if I can call it that”.
What is this culture of mediocrity? We keep talking about “Customer service” – we have identified the problem but don’t do anything about it. Why do we accept bad service? And reward it by paying?
This is perpetuating the culture of mediocrity! We may be smart outside but we need to smarten up from the inside. How long will leaders just talk about this? It is unacceptable”.
The service sector will be one of the major drivers of Rwanda’s economy if it is given priority by all and sundry.
Both the Government, private and civil society should take a lead role in designing policies geared towards encouraging investment in services.