Thursday, October 30, 2008

Inaugural post

Welcome to this new blog about all things "service" as experienced by an ordinary Kenyan trying to go about the business of going about his business. 

Many times I have complained about various aspects of what I consider to be poor service. I have heard friends, relatives and acquaintances do the same. Often I give feedback (when I feel I receive poor service) but very rarely do I feel like the feedback is received, taken seriously or acted upon. Infact, complaints resolution often seems to be based on the principle of "get this person out of here as fast as possible".  The process of giving feedback/making complaints about poor service often ends up being even more frustrating than the bad service itself. 

So... as someone who feels rather strongly about the need for good service, I had two choices...pick up my shot gun and become some sort of good service vigilante or find some forum to air my grievances. Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be), I was born in Nairobi not South Carolina (therefore I neither own nor know how to operate a shotgun) so the first option was pretty much out of the question. Therefore I present Huduma Bora. 

As Kenyans will know that is the first half of our Government's service delivery mantra, 'Huduma Bora ni Haki Yako', which translates to Good Service is Your Right. Better minds than me can go over the merits of having that as a mantra (is that the correct term anyway?), but good service really, genuinely is every citizens right..because put simply;...bad service takes money out of your pocket. Whether in form of lost time, opportunity costs or simply having to pay to 'grease the wheels' (bribe) so as not to incur bigger losses due to enduring poor service. 

I think that good, efficient service is absolutely vital if this country is ever going to move forward. Good, efficient service is like the oil that lubricates the productivity engine. Without it, everything grinds to a halt...literally. 

I will basically be posting any thoughts I have on any aspects of service...from public sector to private sector, seemingly important to seemingly insignificant. I will try to be concise, objective and offer up suggestions for solutions. I will try to ask questions and I hope that others will see this blog, take an interest, comment on posts and post their own experiences. Who knows..maybe this grows into something that positively affects the service that we Kenyans recieve. I hope that a few people who deal with service delivery will see this blog and will be able to offer us insight into why things may be the way they are from within. Whether all that happens or not..this is my small step.

If you read anything that you relate to or that you agree or disagree with, please leave comments. 


Mystery Shopper


  1. I am really surprised to see your blog. I had resigned myself to believing that Kenyans (Nairobians, in particular) don't know what good service is. haha. From the person I buy roasted maize all the way up to the finance department of Safaricom Corporate Offices, I am appalled by the terrible service I receive. Our NGO spends a lot of money and many times we just have to grit our teeth and hand over the money to incompetent business people because we so desperately need these services to operate. I have a good feeling that as competition increases (ie. Orange Telkom vs. Zain vs. Safaricom) the wananchi will be the winners in the form of market driven prices and real life good service.

  2. Many times we jump on the "complaint bandwagon" and make no visible effort to change the status quo. Glad you're willing to jump out, come up front and wave the bandwagon towards the right direction! :)

  3. Anon: I do think that there is definitely an element of lack of awareness of what exactly constitutes good service both amongst service providers and customers. As you say, competition should help but consumer awareness also needs to radically increase so that people stop putting up with poor services.
    Thanks for the encouragement. It was either this or an early coronary...such is the frustration I feel sometimes.

  4. Additionally, I don't think that many people have quite started associating poor service directly with cost. Both in terms of lost earnings as well as opportunity costs. Once Njoro Public realizes that he's having money almost literally taken out of his pocket by inefficiency and poor service, there will be a big change in the general public attitude.