By Hafsat Lawal (PM[LGR] & NCC SERVICOM Nodal Officer)
SERVICOM is about service: “doing what we’re employed to do, Service is what we offer ourselves for, and service is what the people are entitled to expect from us.” Public service is the only contact that most people have with Government SERVICOM focuses on the quality of that contact or the lack of it.
The primary purpose of Government is to improve quality of life of citizens, to do this Ministries Departments and Agencies are established to provide services to the people. For the citizen, public institutions have a social obligation to render service and therefore have a legitimate expectation to be provided with good services without a commercial motive. Often, because of the nature of services they are meant to provide, public institutions have no real competition and the citizen has no choice but to use government services.
PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES ON SERVICOM
Government recognised that no reform process will be credible or sustainable without demonstrable service delivery. Service delivery is the object and subject of all reform effort “Public offices are the shopping floor for government business. Regrettably, Nigerians have for too long been short-changed by the quality of public service delivery by which decisions are not made without undue outside influence, and files do not move without being pushed with inducements Our public offices have for too long been showcases for the combined evils of inefficiency and corruption, whilst being impediments to effective implementation of government policies. Nigerians deserve better. And we will ensure they get what is better!” Consequently,
In December 2003, a team of experts was commissioned to:
- Review the state of service delivery in Nigeria,
- Examine institutional environment for service delivery,
- Reflect on people’s views and experiences and
- Draw a road map for service delivery programme.
The Diagnostic Audit team submitted its report titled ‘Service Delivery in Nigeria: A Roadmap’. The report, which was published in February 2004 contains the following conclusions:
- Services are not serving people, they are inaccessible, poor in quality and indifferent to customers’ needs.
- Public confidence is poor, inequality high, and institutional arrangement confusing and wasteful.
- There is need for a far reaching transformation of Nigerian society through a service delivery programme as a step in the process of moving to a government that is more in touch with the people Following this, in March 2004, a special Presidential retreat deliberated on the report and ended with a conclusion of entering into a 'Service Compact With All Nigerians.'
On the 21st of March 2004, SERVICOM, machinery for institutionalizing effective public service delivery machinery in Nigeria, was born.
The Objectives of SERVICOM are:
- Learn the principles, ideals and tenets of Service Delivery in Government Establishments.
- Develop mechanism for collating all complaints, both internal and external.
- Institute a framework for resolving and escalating all unresolved complaints, including obtaining feedbacks from the complainants.
- Assist the Staff to understand the need for Service Excellence.
- Assist staff to take personal responsibility for customer satisfaction.
The main functions of the SERVICOM Office are to:
- Co-ordinate the formulation and operation of SERVICOM Charters and Service Improvement Plans in MDA’s
- Monitor and report progress and performance of MDA’s under SERVICOM obligations through Compliance Evaluations using the SERVICOM Index
- Carry out surveys of services and customers’ satisfaction
- Publicize charters and sensitize the citizenry to demand quality service as a right at all times
SERVICOM is hinged on four main principles:
- Affirmation of commitment to the service of the Nigerian nation
- Conviction that Nigeria can only realize her full potential if citizens receive prompt and efficient services from the state
- Consideration for the needs and rights of all Nigerians to enjoy social and economic advancement
- Dedication to deliver services to which citizens are entitled, timely, fairly, honestly, effectively and transparently
Customer Expectation: The SERVICOM Index- Every customer that requests services from any MDA has a right to expect;
- To be treated with courtesy, respect, honesty and professionalism.
- That the staff attending to them will listen to their request or question, ask for clarification if necessary and provide complete, accurate and precise information
- That the staff attending to them will ensure that they receive services related to the functions of the establishment, fairly, efficiently and promptly
- To be told in advance, how much the service will cost, what standard of service to expect and how long it will take to be served
- Accurate financial transactions with a receipt or verification of the transaction
- To be told how to obtain redress for poor service, especially where the standards of service are not met
- To receive appropriate directions, via signs, notices or other means, on how to obtain service or information
- A timely and courteous acknowledgement of their presence when they arrive at a staffed information point
THE SERVICOM INDEX: Customer Satisfaction
SERVICOM determined that customers will be satisfied if government establishments pay attention to:
- Service delivery - willingness to help customers and to provide promised service
- Timeliness –delivering prompt service
- Professionalism – people prefer to be served by knowledgeable, courteous, and confidence-inspiring staff
- Information – Customers like to be told where, how, when and how long it will take for service to be delivered
- Staff attitude – customers like to be valued and want caring, individualized attention. They also notice the physical (non-verbal) communication that indicates that the staff is happy to give service
THE SERVICOM ROADMAP
A customer service pledge, which is referred to as “The Compact” states that:
We dedicate ourselves to providing the basic services to which each citizen is entitled in a timely, fair, honest, effective and transparent manner ...The implication of the compact is that every Ministry, Department and Agency is required to produce a service charter derived from their mission statements, create a SERVICOM Unit, and appoint a Nodal Officer to head the unit with a complement of 3 other staff to drive service delivery and improvements in the MDA. Service Charters are to be displayed at conspicuous places in the Commission and the Zonal Offices, especially, at Service Windows where the customers could easily read and know their rights to good service. Servicom is expected to drive this service excellence in the Commission.
MOMENT OF TRUTH, SERVICE MONITORING & SANCTIONS
- The Servicom National Coordinator usually monitor the performance of MDAs/MDUs in the Country
- Conducts Regular Evaluation and Ratings of Service Delivery Level to measure excellence
- Relative Sanctions and Penalties are usually imposed on MDAs/MDUs found wanting in this regard
- The Servicom Team of Inspectors may pose like a regular or unusual customer
- Sometimes to provoke your reaction and test your patience.
- Conducts Spot Checks on Security gatemen /Receptions and how polite/courteous they are.
- ... But always remember ... Customers has the right to be served right!
THE SERVICOM GOLDEN RULE - "Serve others as you would like to be served!"
ESTABLISHMENT OF SERVICOM IN NCC
The Commission therefore established SERVICOM Networking Standing Committee in November 2008. The membership comprises representatives from various Departments in the Commission and the Zonal offices.
THE NCC SERVICOM MILESTONE
- Establishment of Servicom Networking Standing Committee in the Commission
- Approval of Servicom Work Plan for 2009 and 2010
- Display of Service Charter at various Service Windows in the Commission
- Submission of Integrated Service Charter to the National Servicom Coordinator
- Construction of PVC Roll on Banners of Servicom at the NCC Reception
- Construction of Podium Stand for the Commission
MSU/PSU Organizational Structure
To crown the customer, satisfy him/her.
The Customer has the right to be served right!
The Customers are now enlightened to Stand up for their rights: Reject service failure anytime, anywhere!