A common complaint by Trinbagonians is the persistent lack of customer service. Yet it is spoken of like a plague that has afflicted T&T from another realm when upon closer observation we can easily pin point from where the predicament emanates.
1. Limited Competition
In the recently released The Global Information Technology Report 2013 T&T ranked 88th out of 144 countries in Intensity of Local Competition. Moreover T&T was ranked 126th in the number of days to start a business at 41 days. This lack of competition limits consumer options for the provisions of good and services and constrains the consumer's ability to discipline errant service providers.
Read: Why Banking Service Levels in Trinidad & Tobago are So Poor
2. Large Social Safety Net / Welfare
Over the years government have fostered a entitlement culture along with a dependency syndrome through the provision of extensive welfare and make work programmes. Employees therefore feel confident that in the event they are retrenched or quit they can rely on some form of government support. There is therefore less incentive to put in the effort to serve the customer, since there is often no dire consequence of poor service.
3. Pervasive Government Employee Culture
Government expenditure in T&T amounts to approximately 50% of GDP therefore close to the majority of the working population works directly or indirectly for the government. In this setting employees, managers etc. are not subject to the stark reality of the bottom line or strict deliverables. Therefore; even if you under-perform or do not serve the customer you do not go out of business or lose your job.
Moreover, because of political implications it has become extremely difficult and unpopular to lay off workers (voters) who now consequently have further incentive to not operate in a customer oriented fashion. This culture has unfortunately permeated throughout the wider society making poor customer service so pervasive.