Customer relations must improve to deliver proper service – Min. Jordan

─ revolutionary change needed at almost all govt agencies

DPI, Guyana, Monday, October 1, 2018

As a service entity, the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) customer relations must be second to none. This advice was given by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, at the NIS’s 49th Anniversary General Assembly, on September 28 at its Brickdam Headquarters.

The minister said he had opportunities to observe the state of customer relations first hand as he conducted business at the NIS’s offices, long before taking up his portfolio.

“I use to come in here every two months and pay my voluntary contributions and I don’t recall a pleasant experience… You may be behind a desk today but 10 minutes after when you have to go and pay your bill at GPL, you are in front of a desk. Then you begin to grumble, to suck your teeth… not recognising that in that powerful position you are in, behind that desk, in NIS, you behave the same way or worse!”

The minister recalled how the elderly are often treated by staffers at their offices. “Impatient, don’t give a damn. Terrible behaviour in front of these people who would have served Guyana. This cannot be a situation that you yourself can countenance.”

Minister Jordan warned, “There is nothing wrong with a ‘good morning, how may I help you or Good morning ma’am, how may I help you? Ma’am, are you comfortable? What would these things take from you? Instead of, ‘Ma’am hold on and sit down. I don’t have time for you!” He added that he witnessed these reactions, “It cannot make you proud.”

The minister urged that as staffers celebrate another milestone, they should spare a thought for tomorrow when they return to their posts and resume dealing with the public.

“They’re the reason you are behind that desk. If they weren’t making contributions, then you would have no need to be behind that desk. Spare a thought for us, do customer relations, and remove ourselves from these robotic, disengaged, disrespectful and unprofessional approach to our work. We need a revolutionary change in our attitudes! Not only at NIS, but also at every other agency under our remit, and certainly almost all that are not under my remit.”

He praised staffers who displayed a positive and friendly attitude to the public and urged them to “pull up” the others who do not. 

Paul Mc Adam.

Image: Akeem Peters.

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