Everyone wants great service, but no one wants to provide it
DDid you know this week is called Customer Service Week and the theme is “The Power of Service”? It is often not so clear to many that every active person who is engaged in an economic or social activity is involved in the service, creation and provision of value that meets human needs.
Customer Service Week is a time when organizations go out of their way to appreciate their customers, those whose interests and needs support businesses. It’s a time when companies around the world that place a high value on brand loyalty take the time to appreciate their customers for giving them the opportunity to serve. Such organizations recognize the fact that in a competitive world, the last customer to come could have simply gone to the competition. Even now, that customer could opt out if they are not satisfied with the current quality of service. Thus, the customer-oriented company takes all the necessary steps to retain customers while seeking more.
It’s in the private sector. This is not the case in the public service or in the public service. However, the tragedy that has befallen service delivery is that it appears to be dead in the public service: our ministries, departments and government agencies. Perhaps because of their monopoly status, these agencies know that anyone who comes to them for a service has no other choice. So these people should be ready to be treated anyway.
Have you had the experience when the person looking after you in a public service gives the impression that you are an intruder at best? In some cases, many of the officials you meet feel like they are doing you a real favor.
Interestingly, when the public health care nurse shuns great service, she complains that the police are not protecting her family. When the police officer comes to the secretariat for his land title, he complains that he is being treated unfairly, just as the lady in the secretariat believes that public school teachers are not doing things right. So who is to blame?
Like most Nigerian leaders, many officials beg to accept the post, only to turn around and become tin gods on their desks once offered the post. Some would relate sad experiences that if these officials do not receive a tip, nothing gets done and the so-called officials become lords in their offices, collecting royalties for doing the work they are paid to do.
Some simply give up work and go back to their personal affairs. These include doctors employed in public hospitals who set up private practices, only to refer them to their private hospitals or laboratories, where you can be better served to their advantage.
It is a fact that civil servants in certain sectors are more qualified and better paid than those in the private sector, at least in sectors such as health and education. Yet we have a situation where private hospitals and schools replace public ones. Why is this so?
Many private schools employ school certificate holders, NCE and OND graduates. Check out their products and you will find that they are the best in any state in Nigeria, far ahead of students in public schools where you have graduates, masters and even doctorates. incumbents as teachers and school leaders.
Why on earth would the product of teachers who earn between N20,000 and N50,000 per month as a salary be better than that of schools, where their teachers earn multiples of these amounts? People would say it’s the management but I would say it’s the people because these schools have principals and are actually overseen by ministries. If private schools spend half of what the government spends on education, I bet you Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Mack Jå and the world’s best innovators would have been Nigerians.
There is a federal government high school that, in a healthy climate, should have been closed or all management and staff dissolved. This is if the institution is run as a center of excellence that will produce the future champions who will uplift this nation. This is probably not the case, given the attitude of the teachers. By all standards, a lot of the people who teach in this school are anything but teachers. However, the school remains.
Gone are the days when people said teacher rewards are in heaven. Teachers today want it now. There is nothing wrong with being adequately rewarded for service, but how many public servants today deserve the reward they are currently earning. Like politicians, like officials. They fight to finish at each meeting, not necessarily to serve but for the winnings.
Far from the education sector, a mess is everywhere, from the offices of governors to the judiciary that is said to be the last hope of the common man. Judges would sit immediately and issue injunctions on political issues, but on issues involving businesses that would create jobs and generate jobs, they adjourn for years. On the issue of injustice, they look away.
It is easy to get a man who has stolen a goat sentenced to two years in prison and a refund of the goat or the monetary equivalent but we have seen cases of thieves of billions hanging around for several years, even when the The accused does not deny the booty and perhaps even when it is obvious to the blind that there is a booty.
No wonder some have said that the law in Nigeria is to punish the weak and reward the strong… like in a jungle. Even animals may be beginning to apply a certain sense of justice and fairness.