Monday, April 15, 2013

Three Reasons For Poor Customer Service in T&T

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.

5 comments:

  1. Well put, all three points are spot on. At http://doittrini.com we are hoping to address all three in T&T.

    We are also seeking permission to highlight this post on our fb page @ http://www.facebook.com/doittrini.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Do It Trini,

      The site is Open Source please feel free to post or reference.

      Cheers,

      Delete
  2. I don't necessarily believe that it is a factor of government programs, because these programs are not designed to sustain a lifestyle.
    I believe it is poor human resource management and lack of training.
    Once poor customer service is identified, the organization has a duty to train staff. If after training and the behavior is still evident, performance management and then constructive dismissal.

    Organizations should have standards.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't necessarily believe that it is a factor of government programs, because these programs are not designed to sustain a lifestyle.
    I believe it is poor human resource management and lack of training.
    Once poor customer service is identified, the organization has a duty to train staff. If after training and the behavior is still evident, performance management and then constructive dismissal.

    Organizations should have standards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caron, appreciate your comments.

      I believe it is important to properly analyse the disease or the genesis of problem and not the symptoms and potential remedies.

      What you speak of is a potential treatment to a cultural problem that has been propagated over many years by what was alluded to above.

      Rational individuals respond to penalties and incentives which discourage or encourage a certain behaviour.

      Consider also that even though you mentioned that these programs are not designed to sustain life they are very powerful incentives - because the recipient must give up free govt support and leisure when entering the work force with the associated working costs including - paying taxes, having to commute, working clothes, being punctual, paying for day care, being accountable to their employer etc.

      Consequently working becomes less appealing and remaining on the govt program is more attractive.

      Delete

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