Article – Profiling the Health Sector
Every motorist knows the feeling of receiving a call from the garage where your car is in for service. It is never going to be good news. In the same way no one goes to a hospital for coffee or a quiet chat with friends. Hospitals are where we go to get bad news. In fact if they don’t have bad news for you, they make you feel as if you’re wasting their time! For all but a few exceptions our visits to hospitals are filled with anxiety and tension. Therefore, it is all the more important that hospital staff are sensitised to this fact when dealing with customers or patients. According to this first ever, multi-industry nationwide customer service survey the picture among hospitals is decidedly mixed. This survey collected over 7000 responses on customer service in Namibia, covering 12 industry sectors from Health Services to Post Offices, making it the most comprehensive survey on customer service in Namibia and probably Africa.
The survey undertaken by the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business in the Polytechnic of Namibia collected 638 responses on hospitals and clinics across the country. The analytical process reduced the number of institutions down to eight (8) and it is these finalists that will be represented at the Awards ceremony on the 5th November at the Polytechnic’s new Health & Applied Sciences Building in Windhoek. Competing for the Health Service Customer Service Excellence Award will be Katutura State Hospital, Oshakati Hospital, Rhino Park Hospital, Robert Mugabe Clinic, Roman Catholic Hospital, Rundu Hospital, Swakopmund State Hospital and Windhoek Central Hospital.
Main service drivers for the industry are in first place credibility of the service meaning the extent to which the company is trustworthy and honest, competence of staff to deliver the service expertly and efficiently, the ability of the service to recover from failures, responsiveness of the service to the needs to the customer and courtesy the degree to which staff are polite and respectful. Identifying these service drivers provides energy companies with insight into what customers are looking for from their service encounter. It guides them where to spend time and resources in training to obtain the maximum return on their investment. A customer’s perception of service quality may vary for many reasons, but the factors that shape those perceptions will remain remarkably constant.
Drilling-down on key service drivers credibility tops the list, here Rhino Park heads the group with a performance rating of 89% with customers noting it for its excellent reputation and for operating with honesty and integrity. Roman Catholic Hospital headed the group for competence with a score of 84% and customers noting the company for its competent and capable managers. Recovery is the next most important service driver a fact which stands to reason given that when the service fails it can have serious effects on the patient. Here most of the suppliers struggled to perform well with Robert Mugabe Clinic posting a just moderate performance of 66%. For responsiveness, Oshakati posted a very moderate performance of 63% and for courtesy Windhoek Central Hospital posted a performance of 66%. Clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement!
Which company will walk away with the award for best customer service in this industry? To find out you will have to attend the awards ceremony on the 5th November. Tickets can be bought by contacting Conference Link on (061 251 014) or through the website www.csmafrica.org.
To book seats for the first Namibian Customer Service Conference, Awards or Master Class or to purchase a Customer Service Industry Report call or email Conference Link on (061 251 014) or email@example.com or register through our website at www.csmafrica.org.
Professor Grafton Whyte
Director – Harold Pupkewitz GSB