Customer service recognition


Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 08:00
The first Namibia Customer Service Awards and Conference ended in Windhoek last night, culminating from a survey of over 7 000 responses collected on customer service conducted by the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business (HP-GSB) of the Polytechnic of Namibia. 
The survey was conceived and commissioned as part of a campaign to promote excellent customer service in Namibia.  Professor Grafton Whyte, director of the school said that, “the aims of the campaign are threefold, to start a conversation in the nation about customer service, to raise awareness of the benefits and initiate a movement, not a one-off event, towards excellent customer service.” According to Professor Whyte, “when we approached this problem there was very little data available, lots of anecdotes, lots of opinions but no hard evidence.  We at HP-GSB decided that we would collect the hard evidence and create a basis for action that if successful, would transform the business service delivery landscape in Namibia.”  
The survey targeted the most important services for the typical Namibian and those that consumed 95% of the discretionary expenditure of the typical Namibian household.  The twelve categories this year are supermarkets, banks, health services, municipal services, and electricity supply, transport, telecommunications, security, home affairs, insurance, post office and education.  “The survey however, only tells us where the problems are, not how to fix them,” the professor explained adding that this was the reason for the first Namibian Customer Service Awards and Conference from 3 to 5 November at the Polytechnic of Namibia.  
At the official opening of the conference Minister of Home Affairs Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said that, “Judging by the growing public outcry over bad service delivery across the board, it is evident that every industry from commercial to government needs to have a great deal more focus on customer service.” According to the minister, “It is not a secret that the Ministry of Home Affairs has been under scrutiny for several years with regard to poor service delivery. Not too long ago, as the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, I promised the citizens of Namibia that we will deliver services better, faster and smarter with the aim of contributing to building a performance oriented ministry and government as a whole.” She said that, “I must be very clear that poor customer service delivery is not an issue solely for the public sector, but also an issue that pervades the private sector.”