Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC)’s asking price in the local property market is very mismatched from the buyer’s offer price, a situation that could be a result of the Corporation’s failure to generate market data on its customer needs, wants and concerns. It could be said that BHC did not have enough information to tailor its housing developments to the specific needs of the buyer, which include among other things affordability.
When interrogated about this issue, BHC has on many occasions argued that its prices were directly influenced by the cost of building. Hopefully, with extensive and up-to-date information on customer needs, BHC might be able to provide affordable housing. And so it was that on Friday the Corporation launched its customer care charter, an innovative social contract that will enable it to engage in and maintain a consistent level of service with both its existing and prospective customers. This customer-centric product is a further enhancement to products that currently exist to serve customers. A customer care unit was established in 2008, which incorporated a 24/7 call centre to respond timely to queries and complaints. BHC commits through its customer care charter to take the customer experience to the next level.
“This charter reaffirms our commitment to our customers and it describes how they may exercise their right to superior service,” read the BHC customer care charter booklet.
The charter is based on six clearly defined commitments which include accessibility and proactive communication, continuous performance improvement and consultation. For example, consultation involves tenant meetings, customer days and corporate briefings as well as customer satisfaction and post occupation surveys on an ongoing basis so that the corporation can garner intimate knowledge on customers and hence improve its service delivery.
The charter has also incorporated service standards which outlines the different service areas that BHC is involved in. The service standards indicate among other things the different processes of a specific service area and their turnaround times. The six service standards include property development, lease/property management and property sales to mention but a few. Along with the standards, the complaints and appeals procedure was included in the charter. This will respond to customer queries and/or complaints in a timely and professional manner.