Complaining and moaning seems to be in the very DNA of us humans. We as Namibians seem to enjoy and relish our fair share of complaining and moaning about things. Often for no reason, other than to just be able to vent a little and make ourselves feel better. However, we do sometimes have a point, especially when we complain about service, or the lack thereof. As Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft stated; “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” The trouble is, service providers, retailers, businesses and Governmental organisations don’t seem to take this great advice to heart. Which is troubling, as service delivery should be the very foundation upon which any business is based and will ensure long-term growth.
It is never easy to have someone tell you that your product, service, or the way you treat people doesn’t match their expectations. Your job is where you spend about a third of every working day and if someone tells you that you are not doing your job correctly, it can sometime feel like a personal attack. On some levels it is personal, however it is not an attack, it is a chance for improvement. Improving the way you deal with customers and also a way in which to improve the whole organization. It’s constant little tweaks that improve and allow a whole organization to excel. Not focusing on improving the service delivery harms the business and in turn hampers growth of the business as well as of the Namibian economy.
Improving service delivery is easier said than done. If you’ve always operated the business in a certain way, to improve service delivery, processes might need to change, or be standardized so that all departments and all employees know how and what to do and what is expected of them. This means looking at how an organisation can truly become service oriented and quality minded. Luckily there are ways and means in which to improve service delivery, even here in Namibia. The processes and procedures can and should become an integral part of the business at every step. This is where system and process automation comes in. Logging of complaints, having the customer’s details and information available at a touch of a button and acting on this information when necessary greatly improves service delivery. Customers and clients feels so much more comfortable if they feel as if you know them when you interact with them. Having a record of your present and past customers in a database is one of the most basic ways of doing this.
Using ICT as a tool is the easiest way to improve service delivery. Engaging advisors or consultants experienced in helping companies large or small improve their service delivery is often the first and right step to take. This is where 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. If implemented properly and corrective action is taken; the organisation embraces new processes, creates a framework and standardises its planning through using ICT, optimising its service delivery it will lead to product, service and quality innovations within the company. Making the business more agile, robust and make it ready for growth and expansion, whilst never ignoring the service delivery for the client or customer again. Within a few short years if we as Namibians embrace this new method, used all across the world to enhance service delivery for stakeholders, whomever they may be; we’ll very soon be able to experience improved service delivery. Which will lead to new business opportunities an inspired workforce, return customers and an improved bottom line. We just have to have a service oriented mindset, starting right now in 2018.
*Jan Coetzee is the founder of Headway Consulting. Headway Consulting was started as a Namibian company in 2011 in response to the need for an unbiased Information Technology consultancy firm that can serve corporate Namibia with advice and guidance.