Airtel Networks Zambia plc, the leading innovative telecommunications company has donated equipment worth K30, 000 towards the establishment of the Ministry of Labour National National Call Center.
Speaking during the handover event held at the Ministry of Labour offices, Mr. Peter Corriea, Airtel Zambia Managing Director, said the donation of a PABX (Private Automated Branch Exchange) system and 3 computers was in line with Airtel’s drive to advance information and communication technology in Zambia.
Mr. Corriea said his company is committed to providing its many customers and clients telecommunication solutions that will not only change their lives for the better but also increase efficiency in the delivery of services and reduce the cost of doing business.
“It is our sincere hope that this donation will also help government realize some of its Sixth National Development Plan objectives of promoting ICT access and establishing e-government online services,” Mr. Correia said, adding that “We understand that every positive interaction a customer has with a company or in this case the Ministry, can turn them into a loyal customer and evangelist. It is our understanding that well-trained call centre agents should maintain a level of professionalism throughout the entire conversation as they are the face of the organization, so they should have adequate training and should be monitored for adherence to quality standards.”
Airtel will also train Ministry of Labour personnel in Call Centre etiquette. At the event, Honourable Fackson Shamenda who is Minister of Labour on receiving the donation said his Ministry was grateful to Airtel for responding positively and accepting to partner with government in the establishment of the National Call Centre.
Mr Shamenda said, “My Ministry approached a number of companies for assistance, but Airtel through the Managing Director’s office saw the importance of this service and agreed to donate the equipment we are receiving today which is worth a lot of money. Currently, the level of interaction is such that clients have to access us either physically by visiting the nearest labour office or through the landlines. However, the challenge with this arrangement is that our labour offices are not found in all the districts in the country and this often frustrates people seeking our services. Landlines on the other hand, are often congested and people simply give up, hence, the numerous complaints that we are failing to meet our mandate. I understand their frustrations and that is why, one of the undertakings I embarked on since my appointment as Minister is to see how best we could improve on our service delivery to the people by setting up a Call Centre and I am glad that we are now moving towards actualizing this idea.”
The Minister further said the Call Centre would act as a channel to get feedback from the people on the Ministry’s performance and also receive information immediately on happenings in the labour market, pledging that all callers will be treated with the utmost respect and have their calls responded to in a fair way. This will be done by ensuring that complaints are addressed immediately and that customers’ advice is taken on board. The Zambia Information Communication and Technology Authority (ZICTA) has already allocated the Ministry of Labour a short code for the Call Centre which is 7010.
We know all about the poor call centre etiquette most businesses have, or jthe fact that issues clients have may not even be sorted out, forcing the consumers to have to go to the physical location of a firm to have their problem sorted. We hope there is more vigorous training on customer service in all areas of businesses that have that have call centre departments.
We also hope that the information received will actually be used to make it far much easier to communicate with the Ministry of Labour on services or issues that the population may be happy or highly displeased about.