New paradigm shift in GWI service coming – Managing Director

─ concessions coming soon for pensioners, indigent homes, orphanages

─ customer relations training for field staff

DPI, Guyana, Monday August 26, 2019

“A much-improved service for Guyana Water Incorporated customers” is at the forefront of a drive by the agency. This was one of several issues disclosed by Managing Director Dr. Richard Van West-Charles during a Department of Public Information (DPI), ‘One on One’ interview.

Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Managing Director Dr. Richard Van West-Charles.

Part of this new service will see the rolling out of a concession plan for pensioners, indigent homes and orphanages. This has already been discussed at the GWI’s board level, the Managing Director explained. We are trying to see how we could reduce the cost and at the same time trying to ensure that water is used in a most efficiently,” he explained.

Addressing, “those who are reluctant to pay their bills” Dr. Van West-Charles reminded that local rates are far below what obtains regionally. He stated, “we have to bite the bullet and be tough with some of these customers. People need to know that it is a criminal offence to tamper with GWI’s network. When you tamper with it, you put lives in danger, because leaks occur. Contamination occurs. Therefore, the water quality becomes an issue so we are in the position where there is zero-tolerance for nonpayment and we want to ensure that we can respond, in a faster manner.”

Acknowledging that there is the issue of how staff interact with customers, Dr. Van West-Charles said that preparations are underway for the training of the field staff, in particular, who regularly interact with customers. “We are changing the whole paradigm of how they see the customer. From my vantage point, I’m trying to have a paradigm shift where they see the customer at the centre. Just communicating with the customer, saying thank you; apologizing when things go wrong. We are trying to get the managers to the point where it is part of their daily routine,” Dr. Van West-Charles explained.

The GWI Managing Director urged customers to pay for the services provided. “We have to pay our staff, water has to be produced, chemicals to treat the water purchased, motors bought,” he explained. Adding, we are seeking to move to where we have a better service for our customer base.”

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