We joined the world in celebrating the Customer Service Week between 4th and 8th October, 2021. This year’s theme; The Power of Service was meant recognize employees who work tirelessly to ensure customer needs are met. This theme came at the time organizations world over have had numerous challenges during this period of Covid-19 pandemic yet they had to find ways to cope with these challenges and still satisfy their customers. For example, restaurants introduced food take- away and home delivery services, training institutions offered and continue to offer online courses, most institutions introduced virtual meetings and many more creative ways that ensured work did not stop.
The history of customer service dates back to around 3000 B.C. during the industrial revolution which transformed economies by introducing large scale industry, mechanized manufacturing and the factory system. These in turn enhanced productivity and efficiency. More advancements were brought about by science, mass production and the rise of digital technology.
With all these new developments, there was need for customer skills. Traders realized that there was more than just having quality products or services. They needed to satisfy and treat their customers right to win their loyalty and build trust and ultimately grow their businesses.
According to Atton Institute, words such as “scale” and “customer care” started getting common between the years 1760-1820. Since then, customer service has undergone great evolution despite numerous challenges along the way. Among these key milestones include the introduction of an electric telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, product and service marketing, promotions and advertising.
In 1946, The International Organization for Standards was formed in Geneva, Switzerland. These standards commonly known as ISO standards are aimed at providing international standards in response to market needs to ensure your business satisfies internationally recognized procedures.
Customer Service Week was then established as the first week in October by President George H. W. Bush in 1992. This day has been celebrated since then. The celebrations range from honoring top customers through gifts, sending out good wishes through short Messages (SMS) and other online channels. Regardless of the style one chooses to celebrate this day, the present day customer cannot be ignored.
For customer service teams to be effective, organizations have come up with various ways to motivate staff to improve productivity and efficiency. This can be done through staff recognition, promotions, and rewards. This year’s theme gave an opportunity to organizations to not only reward their external customers but internal stakeholders as well. It was a time to thank front line workers especially during this pandemic period, raise awareness on the importance of customer service and affirm the organization’s commitments to customer satisfaction.
While most of us recognize the customer as the person who buys our products and services, for us at NWHSA, our customer is the public we serve. We have a duty to ensure we provide required information to this customer within the stipulated timelines.
Our Citizen’s Service Delivery Charter sets out our commitments to our clients and stakeholders with regard to the quality of services that they expect from us. The Charter has improved awareness among our clients and stakeholders of the availability and quality of the services we offer. We are committed to continuous improvement in pursuit of client satisfaction and achievement of excellence in our operations.
Secondly we are currently finalizing the steps that will enable us get the ISO Standard 9001:2015 certification. This is part of our efforts to improve our processes and systems in our operations for improved service delivery.
Finally, we are committed to ensure we discharge our core mandate to undertake on behalf of the national government, the development of national public water works for water resources storage and flood control and maintain and manage national public water works infrastructure for water resources storage.
Written by Joyce Jepkemboi
Published on 22nd October, 2021