Batswana were urged to develop a culture of excellent service in all sectors of the economy in order to attract investors and to also compete effectively for tourists.
Speaking at a seminar held at the Phakalane Golf Estate on Tuesday, Thembo Lebang, the Executive Director of the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC), said that one of the problematic areas for doing business in Botswana, as reported in the 2006/2007 Global Competitiveness report, is ?a poor work ethic? in the national economy. A study carried out by BIDPA in 2004 and published as the FIAS report, indicated that one of the top five major obstacles to business operations and growth includes labour productivity.
?This seminar is meant to demonstrate that customer service is a strategic imperative for Botswana,? Lebang said. ?The intension is to show the value of creating consciousness of service excellence at a high level.?
He said one of the BNPC?s key objectives in this area is to design and develop service quality solutions for implementation in Botswana. In this regard, he said the BNPC had entered into a strategic relationship with Service Quality Institute (SQI) of the United States of America to be a distributor of their customer service products.
The BNPC is aiming to address the issue of service delivery to enhance the country?s competitiveness so that it can attract Foreign Direct Investment to diversify the economy.
Speaking at the same occasion, Time and Entrepreneur Magazine? customer service guru, John Tschohl, said, ?Batswana should think big and take risks?.
He urged them to benchmark themselves against world class businesses which are doing pretty well. He said employers ought to spend money on training and developing their employees.
?Always provide new and better training materials so as to improve their service. After training, evaluate them and act on their results,? said Tschohl.
?Your thoughts are your seeds and the harvest you reap will always depend on the seeds that you sow.?
Tschohl encouraged the use of the Internet saying that it increases the speed of work and reduces the cost of the company.
?If you are not on the Internet, you are not participating in the accumulation of creativity on the planet ever,? he stated.
What he had realized, he said, is that there is lack of candor, and this permeates almost every expect of businesses. He said that with candor, everything operated easier and faster. He, however, encouraged employers to learn to cultivate the strong and to cull the weak.
?Identify people with potential and move them up while cultivating them,? he said.
Turning to Botswana, Tschohl said his observations are that businesses in Botswana still lacked skills on how to reduce costs. He said most businesses have extra people and do not care that much about quality.
?Do not hire employees who hate customers, and always remember that quality is part of you. This means it can only be reflected in your behavior and in everything that you do.?
He said customer motivation was still lacking in Botswana. ?Businesses still don?t know how to motivate their customers. Make each customer feel special and keep their promise. Customers are addicted to customer service, therefore, learn to think like them,? he said.