WINDHOEK, Feb. 15 – Our President, His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob told his Cabinet colleagues,
parliamentarians and all those that work in Public Service that 2018 is the
year of reckoning. That sounded ominous and very harsh. However, it isn’t
harsh at all. We as Namibians should be able to expect excellent service
delivery from our office bearers and the Commander-in-Chief has a right to
demand the highest level of service delivery from his team especially given
that they are doing something as important as serving the nation. We are a
nation with so much going for ourselves, but also still with a myriad of
challenges ahead of us.
We should welcome such tough talk and demand for good service delivery and
tangible results. Namibia doesn’t operate in a vacuum, it never has, but it
was often treated as such. No one had to care about providing service
delivery as there was no other choice for consumers and clients. This
however has changed drastically. Not only has social media arrived and made
its presence felt. More and more companies are opening branches in Namibia.
Get bad service when getting new tyres, there are now at least ten different
places to choose from in Windhoek alone. Want better service or quality of
food at a restaurant, just go elsewhere.
Simply providing a service or selling a product is no longer enough. Good
customer service has become essential. Before you know it your organisation
could be named and shamed with good reason online on Facebook, LinkedIn,
Instagram or on local media messaging boards, leaving you to try and rebuild
a reputation. This could very well be the year of reckoning for every
business in Namibia. The economy has slowed down, people have less
disposable income and will definitely not spend where they are not treated
with respect, dignity and have a good feeling about the transaction or
Admitting and knowing that service delivery is essential to your business is
the starting point. How do we actually improve service? Keeping proper
records, being available online, answering your email queries and leveraging
technology to improve service delivery is a great way to differentiate
yourself. Banking in Namibia used to be a nightmare, long lines, forms to
fill in and never being totally happy with the service you received. Banking
apps, online banking and service call centres have changed that experience
tremendously. Streamlining processes and offering service delivery we could
only dream off a few years ago. However, the financial sector is not alone.
Everyone from insurance companies to healthcare providers and retailers have
improved their service delivery and experience for their customers and
clients. All of them use technology to improve service delivery.
This does require investment and automating processes, but through
standardised systems like ITIL, (Information Technology Infrastructure
Library) a detailed set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) comes
into its own, as it focuses on aligning IT Services with the needs of
business. It may sound scary, but to survive using technology is essential.
It’s not always just about the bottom line as some organisations, especially
service oriented organisations are judged on service delivery alone. Their
day of reckoning, whether a Ministry, public enterprise or for-profit
organisation will be judged on its customer service.
Without a well-thought out and process oriented game plan to improve service
delivery utilizing the tools available it truly will be the year of
reckoning for many organisations and not just for the Public Services. – NDN Staffer