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Heritage, Access banks, others shine at Customer Service award

New Telegraph Newspaper: October 26, 2014

By: Yekeen Nurudeen

It was all applause for some firms when they were recently rewarded for effective service delivery and customer satisfaction. At an elaborate event held at Ibeto Hotel, Abuja, Heritage Bank, Access Bank, Etisalat and 34 other companies were awarded the prestigious Nigeria Customer Service Excellence Award.

The award categories cut across 27 sectors of the economy, including Banking and Finance, Telecommunications, Media, Hospitality, Transport, Real Estate, Oil and Gas and others.

The second edition of the event saw Heritage Bank emerging as the Most Supportive Customer Service Company, while Access Bank and Etisalat won Best Customer Service Company in Banking Service and Best Customer Service Company in Telecommunications. Other winners at the event included Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company, DHL, DANA Air, Daily Trust, KIA Motors, NNPC, Channels Television, Julius Berger, Lona and Halogen Security.

Speaking at the event, NSCA Coordinator, Dr. Aliyu Ilias, said the award was instituted to celebrate outstanding service excellence across all sectors in the country. “I want to seize this opportunity to congratulate the winners in this year’s edition. You have served Nigerians efficiently based on the data gathered from your service consumers and we hope this award will propel and motivate you to improve in the area of Customer Service,” he said.

He explained that the Customer Service Awards is celebrated during the International Customer Service Week every year, adding that its sole objective is to raise the standard of customer service in Nigeria by encouraging companies to go beyond providing token service. “We have already set a mechanism in motion that will gather data, process them and then developed into a report.

This will form an assessment for companies and also rate them from time to time,” he said. He explained that the selection of winners follows basic steps which include nomination of the winners by Nigerians.

The next step, according to him, is an interaction with the nominated company by mystery shoppers to verify claims that such nominees escaped the attention of the Nigerian Customer Service Awards. “While relating with a company upon nomination, we review the staff and management process in the areas of customer service. We also rely on feedbacks from the company’s customers, including indirect service users, and make our deductions.

We send out questionnaires and use other forms of research to determine the winners of the wards,” Ilias said. He said the awards do not encourage com-panies to compete against each other but to strive to be unique and better their own products and services. The coordinator said, “We also preach that dealing fairly with the customer is both rewarding to the organisation as it is to the customer.

This is why we promote and project such hard working organisations that excel in the business of fulfilling customer service satisfaction.” In his address, chairman of the event, Senator Dahir Umar, who is also the chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, emphasised the need for the federal government and Nigerians to repackage themselves to meet up with global standard.

“Nigerians need to repackage themselves, we need the best in terms of service delivery in the service sector and dividends of democracy as it is called in the government parlance,” he said.

Group Head, Heritage Bank, Abuja, Lekan Busari, said the bank supported NCSA because of its commitment to excellent service delivery even as he urged other companies to do same. The next edition of the award is scheduled to hold in Lagos in 2015.

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