An assessment of customer care services in the public sector - a study of the Government Institutions Pension Fund in Namibia

Kurtz, Erna Irene (2019-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : This thesis examines the quality of service from the perspective of customers’ expectations of the quality of service compared to actual service delivery in the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF). The main goal of the public sector is to render services to the public; hence, it is essential that those services are of good quality and delivered equitably. Seventy-five (75) walk-in members/clients of the GIPF (respondents) from various ministries and government agencies were interviewed. The public sector represents roughly more workforce in the economy compared to the private sector. Therefore, improving productivity in the public sector has a tremendous impact on a country’s economic growth and development. Consequently, improved public sector productivity leads to a higher standard of living for the citizens. The service sector is in a state of rapid change, reflecting a variety of factors from regulatory changes to globalisation and use of new technologies. The net effect is increased competition. A clear understanding of the distinctive characteristics of service management is needed if service businesses are to succeed. Trade liberalisation as well as structural adjustment programmes brought about a lot of changes to the Namibian economy. All sectors were forced to change their business strategies as a way of accommodating these changes. The service sector was not spared either. In actual fact, it is the most affected of all. The public sector saw itself opening up the market to new entrants. The number of pension fund administrators in the market increased to ten from a total of three before these developments took place. More players in the market meant more competition, as they would be servicing the same market that, in this instance, had not really changed in size. With all this tug of war, most public offices came up with ways to improve their customer services, such as setting up a customer care department. However, members of the GIPF feel that there are a number of issues its current customer care service needs to address which is summarised as follows: - Long waiting time in queues for service - Ignoring customers at point of service - Speeding up enquiries into customer queries - Setting up of convenient working hours. The above refer to the most crucial findings of the study based on data captured by means of members’ responses to the research questionnaire. Members of the fund generally acknowledged that the GIPF needs to operate in line with technological development and in the customers’ best interests, as no service organisation is complete today if it lacks knowledge and experience of customer care service. These aspects are discussed in more details in the thesis.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie proefskrif ondersoek die gehalte van diens vanuit die perspektief van kliënte se verwagtinge van die gehalte van diens in vergelyking met die werklike dienslewering in die Regeringsinstellings se Pensioenfonds. Die hoofdoel van die openbare sektor is om dienste aan die publiek te lewer. Daarom is dit noodsaaklik dat die dienste van goeie gehalte is en regverdig gelewer word. Onderhoude is met vyf-en-sewentig inloop-lede / kliënte van die fonds (respondente) van verskeie ministeries en regeringsagentskappe gevoer. Die openbare sektor verteenwoordig na raming meer werkers in die ekonomie as die private sektor. Daarom het die verbetering van produktiwiteit in die openbare sektor 'n betekenisvolle impak op die land se ekonomiese groei en ontwikkeling gehad. Gevolglik lei die verbetering van die openbare sektor se produktiwiteit tot 'n hoër lewenstandaard vir die landsburgers. Die dienstesektor is in 'n staat van vinnige verandering wat 'n verskeidenheid faktore weerspieël van regulatoriese veranderinge tot globalisering en die gebruik van nuwe tegnologie. Die netto effek is verhoogde kompetisie. 'n Duidelike begrip van die kenmerkende eienskappe van diensbestuur is nodig indien diensbesighede suksesvol wil wees. Handelsliberalisering sowel as strukturele aanpassingsprogramme het baie veranderinge in die Namibiese ekonomie tot gevolg gehad. Alle sektore is gedwing om hul besigheidstrategieë te verander as 'n manier om hierdie veranderinge te akkommodeer. Die dienstesektor het ook nie vrygespring nie. Inderwaarheid is dit die sektor wat die meeste geraak is van almal. Die openbare sektor het self die mark vir nuwe toetreders toeganklik gemaak. Die aantal pensioenfondsadministrateurs in die mark het tot tien toegeneem van 'n totaal van drie voordat hierdie ontwikkelings plaasgevind het. Meer spelers in die mark het meer mededinging beteken, aangesien hulle dieselfde mark sou bedien, wat in hierdie geval nie regtig verander het wat sy grootte betref nie. Met al hierdie toutrekkers het die meeste openbare kantore maniere gevind om hul kliëntediens te verbeter, soos die daarstel van 'n kliëntediensafdeling. Die lede van die Staats Instituut Aftree Fonds (SIAF) voel egter dat daar 'n aantal probleme is wat sy huidige kliëntesorgdiens moet aanspreek, wat soos volg opgesom kan word: - Lang wagtyd in toue voor diens - Kliënte word by dienspunt geïgnoreer - Versnelde navrae in kliënte-navrae - Opstel van gerieflike werksure. Bogenoemde verwys na die mees belangrike bevindings van die studie gebaseer op data wat opgeneem is deur middel van lede se antwoorde op die navorsingsvraelys. Lede van die fonds erken gewoonlik dat die Staats Instituut Aftree Fonds (SIAF) in ooreenstemming met tegnologiese ontwikkeling en in die beste belang van kliënte moet funksioneer, aangesien geen diensorganisasie vandag behoorlik kan funksioneer nie, indien dit oor gebrekkige kennis en ervaring beskik wat betref kliëntesorgdiens. Hierdie aspekte word in meer besonderhede in die tesis bespreek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107301
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