NHT Executive Lauds Public Sector Customer Service Competition

Photo: Donald Delahaye Senior General Manager, Customer Relations, at the National Housing Trust (NHT), Dr. Lanie-Marie Oakley Williams, makes a point while speaking at a Jamaica Information Service ‘Think Thank’ on September 2.

Story Highlights

  • Senior General Manager, Customer Relations, at the National Housing Trust (NHT), Dr. Lanie-Marie Oakley Williams, has lauded the Public Sector Customer Service Competition for helping the NHT to improve its service delivery.
  • The NHT is one of six organisations that have been short-listed in the 2015 competition, a biennial event coordinated by the Cabinet Office, through the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme.
  • The NHT has won several awards, including the Prime Minister’s Trophy, at the last two competitions held in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013.

Senior General Manager, Customer Relations, at the National Housing Trust (NHT), Dr. Lanie-Marie Oakley Williams, has lauded the Public Sector Customer Service Competition for helping the NHT to improve its service delivery.

The NHT is one of six organisations that have been short-listed in the 2015 competition, a biennial event coordinated by the Cabinet Office, through the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme.

The other entities are: National Health Fund, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, the Firearm Licensing Authority, National Land Agency and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.

“The competition has helped us not only to satisfy our customers, but to exceed our customers’ satisfaction,” Dr. Oakley Williams said, while speaking at a Jamaica Information Service ‘Think Tank’ on September 2.

She attributed the successes of the organization to the committed and hardworking staff  at the Trust, adding that several strategies have been implemented to ensure that employees of the NHT remain fully committed and motivated throughout the competition.

Apart from sending out customer service tips via emails to staff members, she said that ‘Star Customer Service Agents’ who had performed well and exceeded customer satisfaction were asked to re-energise other customer service officers at various NHT branches.

“NHT customer service is everyone’s business, from the security staff, from the ancillary staff to officers at the front desk and the management team. Every one of us is aware that it is in fact a team effort,” Dr. Oakley Williams pointed out.

“The challenges will always be there but once the staff is fully committed, and we do have fully committed staff at the NHT, then we are able to get them energized around this competition,” she added.

Turning to efforts by the entity to improve customer service, Dr. Oakley Williams said that some 600 staff members were exposed to customer service training over the past two years.

“We have been training our staff very intensely over the last two years. They have  gone through intensive customer service training and this is helping to equip our team, so that they are in a better position to manage the expectations of our customers,” she said.

The Senior General Manager  noted that customer service ambassadors are appointed at each branch to ensure that other persons at the various locations “buy-in to the concept of customer service.”

She said that the NHT has also invested in Information Technology and Product Review to make it easier for customers to do business.

“We believe that obtaining services from the NHT should be easy and that it should be convenient, so you should be able to be at the beach and do business with the National Housing Trust,” she added.

Dr. Oakley Williams said that initiatives, such as the setting up of a call centre and web chat, have allowed persons to go online and ask questions and get a response from a customer service agent.

She also mentioned the NHT’s mobile service, which now serves 24 communities across the island. “We have visited over 50 communities and we have seen thousands of customers,”  she added.

In addition, Dr. Oakley Williams  said the NHT has introduced an online payment facility, where persons can use their credit cards to make payments on the NHT’s website. Persons with access to the Internet can also pay through their banks, she added.

With the recent introduction of  Electronic Mail, Dr. Oakley Williams said that customers are now able to get their electronic loan statements and other information from the NHT via email. “This is a more convenient way for persons to access information and allows for timely communication,” she pointed out,

The Senior General Manager said the initiatives are being introduced to make it more convenient for the customer, reduce the number of customers coming into the location and reduce waiting time.

The NHT has won several awards, including the Prime Minister’s Trophy, at the last two competitions held in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013. In 2010/2011, the agency dominated the individual awards categories, with Compliance Clerk in the Clarendon Branch Office, Dennis Simpson, winning the title of Best Public Sector Customer Service Officer.

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