I chanced upon this article by Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, the Chief Secretary to the Malaysian Government where he talks about service:
Make good service a way of life
Keeping the customer satisfied should be the most important consideration for any service provider – be it in the public or private sector.
A COUPLE of days ago I received an e-mail from a service provider. They gave me three options to activate my service; do it via e-mail, SMS or by telephone.
I chose to confirm by e-mail, as that would have been the most convenient given my job demands. Lo and behold, I get back an e-mail message asking me to confirm my confirmation via SMS and telephone.
On another occasion, now as an internal customer, I was invited to a meeting via e-mail only to be told that I had to confirm my attendance in the attached form that was to be faxed back to the organisers.
Whether an internal or external customer, I found the complete absurdity of bureaucracy in full action in both instances.
Service must make sense. To read the full article, click here: Make good service a way of life
In this article he cited the Immigration Department (ID) as an example. I agree, in the last 5 years or so, ID has greatly improved their service and turnaround time. Where it used to take two weeks, brand new passport applications are processed, approved and issued within the same day; passport renewal takes literally all of 5 minutes with the introduction of the automatic passport renewal booth (you get your new passport after an hour, just enough time for a cup of coffee and sponge cake).
I also want to commend the PUSPAL-KEKKWA staff and management. I got in touch with them to get information and assistance on how to bring in foreign musicians into the country for a concert. The frontline staff was helpful and courteous, and I like the fact that PUSPAL-KEKKWA acts as the centralized agency – no more running around to 20 different government offices or local authorities. All you need to do is prepare the appropriate dossiers, drop them off at PUSPAL-KEKKWA and they will manage the inter-agency approvals (including Income Tax, Royal Police, Immigration Department, Local Municipal councils, Censorship Board etc). Approvals take a maximum of two (2) weeks to be issued. Finally, a service that makes sense! It will be even nicer if all the forms are in digital format and available online, but this centralized service is a huge relief and time-saver for promoters. But what makes the PUSPAL-KEKKWA staff outstanding was that they also reviewed my case and then advised me on various funding options available to me and how I could be eligible and apply for these.
Whether you want to be cynical about good service in the public sector or not, I am of the opinion that them having recognizing the problem and wanting to change the way they work and service the people is a healthy start. Why smirk at good intentions? I have seen positive changes. And bad customer service is not unique to just the public sector, go through my old posts and you will find many actual incidences of bad customer service perpertuated by the private sector.
I have been called naieve everytime I put up posts like this. That’s okay. I’m not ashamed or demotivated for being the cheerleader of good service and change.