A culture of service excellence is a must for any economy in the world



ByKelvin Esiasa

Customer service continues to be the most talked corporate activity. Different organizations have developed various packages just to ensure that customers have a good customer experience.

Richwell Siamunene Deputy Minister of Commerce and Trade recently sprinkled showers of wisdom on customer service and call centre management to customer service staffs and corporate executives in Zambia.

More than 100 companies  recently gathered at Taj Pamodzi to witness the launch of Zambian Institute of Customer Management key among them included Airtel, MTN, Barclays Bank, Zesco, Iconnect, Multchoice, Ecobank, and Lusaka water, ZNBC, Prime TV, Finance Bank, Zambia Daily Mail, Standard Chartered and Cavmont Bank.

Below is an extract from Siamunene speech at the launch of the Zambian Institute for Customer Management. I am pleased and honored to be here today to witness the launch of the Zambian Institute of Customer Management, the first of its kind. I hope this institute will indeed be a partner to government in promoting good and prudent customer service and call centre management practices and fostering   excellent service delivery of this country.

In many instances, we leaders and indeed policy makers, we preoccupy ourselves with economic programmes that are contained in our party manifestos, forgetting the management aspect of it, which includes: a culture of serving, the attitudes and mind-sets that people need to have individually and collectively if our country is to realise its full potential.  A culture of service excellence is now a must for any economy in the world and as such Zambia should embrace it as well.
I am reliably informed that the institute aims to develop the call center industry, promote a culture of service excellence and uphold customer service standards and values which are key ingredients for economic and social development of our beloved country. Government welcomes such services to this country. As you may be aware, the services sector is growing not only in Zambia but the world at large.
In this regard, I would like to urge the private sector to also seriously invest in the services sector. I wish to indicate that, under the SADC-EAC- COMESA tripartite negotiations; the services sector is one of the most sectors that has attracted a lot of importance and consideration. In this regard, it is important that as country we position ourselves in that direction.

Service delivery and employment creation should be a major objective of any government and should be a major objective of our country and Africa as whole. Let’s embrace the customer relationship management and call center technology to improve customer delivery. The call center industry has created over thousands of jobs globally.

To date, as you may be aware, the in-house call centers are only in the telecoms, banking and insurance sectors. The in-house call centers   are employing over hundreds of people, which is a clear indication, of the potential of this sub sector. It is this sub-sector which can create employment for the vast majority of our people, especially the youths. That is why we support this initiative as it will also contribute to employment creation.

The PF government feels excited each time there are initiatives and programmes that translate in employment creation for our people. Therefore government attaches great importance to the launch of the Zambian Institute for Customer Management.

I would like to congratulate the vibrant ZICMA team who has taken this initiative to reality. I am so excited to be part of this event and I look forward to see the progress that will be out of this important institution. To the corporate world, I urge you to offer professional service excellence which will in turn pay handsome dividends.

Therefore, I formally launch the Zambian Institute of Customer Management.

Mr. Kelvin Esiasa – President Zambian Society for Public Administration