I have been meaning to write this article for some time but it was not until I read a Facebook post from a friend that I decided to finally get it done. The post read: “It is better to have a consistently mediocre product than having a product whose quality is inconsistent”. I don’t know if I am a naively idealistic guy but I find statements like these outrageous.
To help you relate to the idea, allow me to paint this picture: you are looking to open a bank account. Bank A has a relatively good penetration, with branches in various locations in town. However, its banking halls are always crowded. In fact, you won’t be able to withdraw your 20,000 Rwandan francs, unless you take a half-day off.
Now that the idea of queuing for hours for a simple inquiry such as readiness of your checkbook doesn’t appeal to you, you consider Bank B to be a better alternative. The problem is Bank B’s ATMs are out of service 60% of the time. From your friends, you hear that Bank C has quite a good service, but the issue is their inconvenient working hours.
Bank C closes at 6PM on weekdays (you finish work at 5:30PM), and 1PM on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays. As for Bank D, it is well-known for a terrible customer service, therefore no need to get pissed off at 9 o’clock in the morning. Thus, this whole bank quest becomes a nightmare. The same picture can be painted for mobile telecommunication companies, insurance firms, motor vehicle garages, eating places and restaurants, etc.
The underlying problem is having to choose between the bad, the worse and the worst. I believe this theory is a deep disrespect for customers. Things need to change. Change will start with us, the customers, refusing to settle for these bad offers and demanding what we truly deserve, the best service, not the least bad.
Rwanda is known to have made tremendous strides on various fronts; something we are all proud of. However, we still have a long way to go as far as quality customer service is concerned. And this is hugely critical given that the country is capitalizing on the services sector to achieve a middle-income status.
To be continued…
The writer is Business Development & Research Manager East Africa Exchange