The event was opened by Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, and Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo.
The two-day conference, held under the theme, ‘Expecting Better: Delivering More,’ reflects a growing movement on the continent that aims to bridge the gap between suppliers and consumers.
The Rector of the Poly, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, in his welcoming remarks said that the importance of this new movement was the impetus it gave to a new culture of excellent customer service to be embedded in Namibia’s daily business culture. “We are still creating a movement. By improving customer service delivery in Namibia, we are doing more than hosting an event; we are changing the way people think and do things,” Tjivikua said.
Dr Ndjoze-Ojo announced that her Ministry had made plans for improved service delivery and has commenced with working within set goals. “We have a responsibility as educators to instil customer service in all our educational activities and curricula. A large percentage of employment opportunities in this country require customer service. I therefore, implore all training and tertiary institutions to make this connection,” she said.
Minister Iivula-Ithana related how her Ministry had met the challenges of excellent customer service over the past two years. She said the turnaround strategy is working and has yielded tangible results across the Ministry’s offices countrywide.
“We can now say with confidence that the strategy has turned our operations into greater efficiency at every level with faster turnaround times, more effective systems, shorter queues, efficient offices and improved customer service,” she said.
Prof Grafton Whyte, Director of the HP-GSB, said he is pleased by the responsiveness of the public sector toward improved customer service this year. “The support of the public sector is essential in creating a catalyst for change,” he said.
The Customer Service Management Africa Awardsand Conference is a Namibian initiative first organisedin 2014. This year several speakers from Africa contributed to the pool of research with the aim of creating an Africa-wide movement.