Thursday, 13 March 2014
KEFTFTU FITU/RATHER THE SERVICE:
13 March 2014 Addis Ababa ,Ethiopia
This piece of writing is merely a personal observation on the ground. It is neither a result of any proper research nor it considers the grand ones where my standards don’t permit. I appreciate any further endeavor meant to contribute to the industry.
Compared to our own previous standard it is possible to declare that we have leapfrogged in the service provision in terms of quality, quantity, response time and customer handling, like others in the economy. But, though the extent is varied from one organization to another, it is possible to witness that we have a lot to go to achieve a competitive service provision to the international average standard.
It has been a norm in our society to hear people talking about the phrase ‘Dembegna Nigus New’ /‘customer is a king’/ but it seems that we sometimes barely understand the real meaning of it. How a king was treated really? Was that the way we are serving our customers now? Personally I doubted.
Take notice of our list of facilities, menus and code of conducts which are stacked with seemingly copy pasted services we either rarely provide or we know we do not provide at all which probably will create a space for customers to expect much and let them go complaining though we provide with at most service. Though necessitates proper study and research, it may sometimes be advantageous to excel and specialize on few services than pushing of all together and end up with customers dissatisfaction.
The surprising irony is that most of the local hospitality industries spend much of the time on western adopted services instead of developing the local ones and offer a competitive attraction to others. As a tourism destination of historic scenes, I believe, no matter how hard we try working on western cuisine/as Pizza, club sandwiches, burger and whatsoever / we don’t make it better than they do who spend much of their life developing and evolving them although a comparative attention to it is necessary for some reasons. Neither I doubt whether they have an appetite for such particularly those who come to pay a visit the local way of life.
The case is even worse in the contracting industry where it is so easy to see promises broken, deadlines not met, timely delivery of services failed, and so on. I personally recently witnessed where a contractual period is expired long ago, guarantees are not extended on time, delivery of the product is not made in line with the contract and astonishingly no excuses are paid to the customer which left the customer with no choice for trading with the local company paying their money in advance.
I also remember once serving an angry customer who warned me to remove what was posted at the door of my office which states we could finish a list of jobs within a day while it took us more than a month to settle the case for him. Sometimes I don’t understand why we go for unrealistic promises so long as we know it won’t change the outcome. Unrealistic promises will definitely result in customer dissatisfaction.
An old friend of mine shared to me how his boss processed, a license and opened an office in one of Middle Eastern states within few days, including lectures and orientations of procedures, rules and regulations of the country, all in a single window among others while we are struggling for the same in our home country.
I heard a joke once where one woman who found a child of her neighbor whose mother was playing with her husband in her own bed mistakenly took away their child in trying to escape from her when she was back from fetching water. Soon after she discovered the enemy’s child, she angrily picked him up and threatened to throw him to the fire burning. Her shameless husband watching her close by warned her to take care as there was fire in the other house too, knowing their child was taken instead.
I mean life is not one side. One way or another, sooner or later it will end us to be treated us customers or service providers. I wonder how our people expect much from others while they are too reluctant to give to others.
I was surprised to hear how some of our neighbors’ pay taxi fares from their mobile balances just in case while we are still arguing for ten and fifteen cents change all along, forget the blessings of credit cards and visas.
An expat colleague of mine ,who for sure I know is not a fancy one, always complains about the services he gets from hotels, restaurants, bars, government offices, and almost anywhere he tried getting. This country is a blessing and may be the only and last place he could find on earth as cheap in terms of price particularly for basic services. But surely, his satisfaction is swept away with poor services. In his home country even when having a drink, the waiter/waitress don’t wait to bring another one until he drinks less than half of the previous one, as he always told me. They always keep an eye on the customers and act proactively. He genuinely appreciates how trusted and friendly we are towards others but hardly satisfied with the service even with incentives and tips. Project then how we can cope with the luxury predators.
May be, we survived because the people don’t have a choice and no place to go but why we limit our potential to such an insignificant margin while we have the possibility of extended growth. Moreover, when the trend is changed, as it is happening now, and the competition is getting tougher, it may be difficult to catch up, let alone to make a profit.
How many of us, small to big, attend training and facilitate training for our employees on the subject to acquire the necessary knowledge and skill more than the basic science. To satisfy the ever changing demand of humans, as customers, it will be crucial to attend specialized training on a regular basis.
How many of us are making assessment of our customers to identify whether we are serving new ones every time or they are coming now and again for our services which might be a better way of gauging our customer satisfaction levels.
Customer satisfaction indexes conducted nationwide may also help alert businesses for a better and scientific approach. It will be worthwhile for our businesses to listen and understand, emphasize, offer a solution, execute the solution and then follow up of every customer complaint.
Equal to other business operations, make sure we acquired the evolving customer feed-backs and complaint handling principles, ruled by them and give at most attention to customer satisfaction so that we internationalize our services and help change the overall country image.
Posted by Tigabu Atalo