Worldwide, public-run agencies have not been making it to the list of the most favourite service renders among the citizenry.
The public has used words such as unfriendly, inefficient, corrupt while referring to these agencies.
In his article, The changing face of the public sector, Tommy Tonkins notes that the public sector has been perceived as being resistant to change, one of the aspects that have made the sector to be rated low in terms of service delivery. He, however, notes that the trend is changing as more public-run organisations endeavour to align to the conventionally accepted best practices.
According to numerous studies conducted, the image of the public sector has been dented by the monopolised nature of services offered. This has meant that the public have no alternative but to contend with whatever services and treatment they are subjected to so long as they get the service they are seeking. Unfortunately, it had reached to the levels of bora huduma.
On the other hand, the private sector is more developed in terms of service delivery hence more efficiency. Unlike the monopolistic nature of public sector services, the clientele of the private sector has a wide range of options before they can decide which one to settle on. This sets in competition whose ripple effect is a strive to enhance delivery with a view to outdo other competitors.
But the public?s expectations are changing, and they are demanding improved and effective services. The Kenya Revenue Authority is alive to this fact and has been revolutionising its mode of service delivery through various initiatives and measures.
Technology has been one of the tools that has enhanced the agency?s mode of service delivery. For example, Customer Relationship Management System Solution (CRMS) is one of the technologies that have substantively changed the way KRA interacts and handles customer issues. This has seen KRA?s customer experience improve from a satisfaction index of 65 per cent in the 2013/2014 financial year to 71.9 per cent in the 2016/2017 financial year. This significant improvement was released in a span of less than five years.
KRA believes that a person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected. It is for this reason that over the years, KRA has been dedicating an entire month to celebrate compliance among taxpayers in a fete dubbed the ?Taxpayers? Month? held every October. The month-long fete is characterised by a series of activities ranging from visiting various taxpayers at their places of work, a tax summit to corporate social responsibility initiatives among others. The culmination of the taxpayers? month is marked by a presidential award ceremony organised in the honour of distinguished taxpayers. This year?s Taxpayers? Month kicked off on 1st October, while the Presidential Award ceremony is slated for 31st October.
Additionally, every year, KRA joins corporate bodies world over to mark the Customer Service Week, a week-long initiative dedicated to strengthening and cementing the essentials of customer experience. This year?s theme, ?Excellence happens here?, aptly resonates with the changing face of the service delivery in the public sector.
With such activities tailored to celebrate service delivery, the future of service delivery within the public sector is without a doubt very rosy. Bora huduma is now changing to Huduma bora.
Phillip Kotler, a renowned American marketing author and consultant, once said that the best advertising is done by satisfied customers. Although the saying was primarily coined with profit-making entities in mind, the public sector has notably been borrowing a leaf from this saying.
I therefore foresee a situation in the near future where service seekers shall not be able to draw a line between service delivery at a State-run organisation and a privately-run company. The future of service delivery in the public sector is very rosy.
The writer is the Head of Marketing and Communication at Kenya Revenue Authority.