Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Poor customer service the gateway to nat'l dysfunction

Published:Thursday | October 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: "Each public-sector worker, each employee, each church member, and each chief executive officer must be committed to acquiring high levels of service. Vision 2030 Jamaica, [which seeks to make Jamaica] the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business, is very achievable." Those were the words of the chairman of the Jamaica Customer Service Association (JaCSA), Dr Lanie Oakley-Williams.

Tax office, police station, hospital or courthouse. We wonder if Oakley-Williams had ever set foot in one of those organisations which is run by the Government of Jamaica?

This is a decades-old problem, where the service meted out by staff of those government organisations and some private-sector entities have been disgraceful and that, we feel, engenders hostility in the customers themselves.

We do agree that no amount of intervention by the JaCSA can correct the poor customer service and a discourteous attitude which are deeply entrenched into the psyche of public- and private-sector workers in Jamaica.

So deeply rooted is inefficiency and poor customer service in the courthouses, tax offices, hospitals and police stations that the Government has placed its stamp of approval on the disgraceful behaviour of its staff. This is clearly evident by its lack of initiative in extricating the staff members who make a total mockery of the phrase "customer service".


From one to all, public- and private-sector workers are a disgrace to Jamaicans when business is being conducted. It is a nightmare for customers to conduct business because some employees have no sense of integrity, discretion, or interest in serving.

There is virtually no courtesy, professionalism or respect from the service personnel, and managers and CEOs appear to be ardent followers because they fail to lead by example.

If the JaCSA does not show some relevance and make it mandatory for, especially, public-sector workers like nurses, doctors, court staff, tax collectors and the police to be certified in customer service before they are allowed to set foot into an organisation with the view to serving customers, then the theme should be changed to 'Exceptionally Poor Customer Experience: Gateway to National Dysfunction and Destruction'.

Acquiring high levels of service is impractical when it comes to government organisations and we believe that it is full time that individuals cease from using the slogan "the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business", because that is the last thing that any right-thinking person would want to do.

The JaCSA is clearly not doing a good job and its relevance to private- and public-sector organisations is questionable.


Citizens Advocacy Group International