News : Rwanda: Service Sector to Adopt Data to Improve Customer Care
Kigali, Rwanda, Aug 15, 2016 -- Public and private sector players can improve service delivery by introducing scientific tools to regularly monitor customer satisfaction, local experts have said.
Noting that most service providers in the country are yet to adopt a data-based assessment and improvement approach, the experts say the adjustment will give insights into customer preferences and weak areas of service.
Public entities that have employed data-based assessments say they are able to easily assess customer satisfaction and areas that require improvement.
The head of governance, research and monitoring at Rwanda Governance Board, Dr Félicien Usengumukiza, said measuring tools put in place include smart indicators and indexes that, in turn, brought about citizen participation.
Measuring and collecting data on the levels of customer satisfaction, he said, bring about citizen participation in improving service delivery.
"It is the reason why we introduced the citizen report card, we want to track the levels of satisfaction. Most of the international indexes relied upon in the past failed to measure this as expected," he said.
Academics in service delivery say studies indicate that by measuring satisfaction levels, firms and sectors identify contributing factors in meeting clients' demands.
Ingrid Guerra Lopez, an author and expert on human and organisational performance, said monitoring customer experience should be a precursor to evaluating customer satisfaction and organisation performance.
She said, among the ways, firms and government agencies can ensure this by tracking customer complaints and use the feedback on how to pro-actively avoid such complaints.
"Understanding your clients' needs is a great tool for creating excellent customer experience. One of the ways to do this is by tracking the complaints and using them to generate ideas on how to go forward," she said.
The experts were speaking at a workshop on service delivery organised by USAID dubbed, 'Everything Counts; Measuring performance in Rwanda's service industry,' in Kigali last week.
Lopez, however, notes that in measuring and gathering data, it is important to know what kind of data is needed, its timing and the use of the results after the data has been analysed to influence change.
Speaking from a private sector service provider point of view, Konde Bugingo, the chief executive of BRD Commercial, said it is important for firms to conduct research and surveys on satisfaction to differentiate themselves from peers.
"It is such important actions and steps that include customer experience in the products and services you are dealing in," Bugingo said.
He emphasised the need for simple tools to engage clients on the levels of service and having departments handling such matters, saying these go a long way in improving public perception of service providers.
Also crucial in improving service delivery, Bugingo said, is investing in staff and motivating them to take a lead role in customer care and quality service delivery.
Lucy Mbabazi, the country manager of Visa and a social media enthusiast, said among the ways to collect the data and measure perception is by monitoring social media where clients freely share their experiences.
"Previously, it has been said that Rwandans do not have a culture of speaking out in public about services received, but now with social media, there is an outlet to voice out their concerns," she said.
Service sector players note that the Government has laid ground for improvement of service delivery through campaigns and policies to regulate the sectors.
Quality service delivery has taken a centre stage in recent years as the country aims at becoming a middle income economy courtesy of the service and technology sectors.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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