As a follow up to a post on launching out a career in customer service by Mrs. Adeyemi - Read Here [ Launching Your Career In The Service Industry ]
This post is to highlight a rewarding career in customer service in any sector (formal or informal) one may find his or herself. It’s also to encourage others to be diligent and keep at it passionately in whatever career calling one may find himself.
The age-long myth that customer service was more about welcoming clients and responding to their inquiries in person or over the phone and as such limited to the front desk reception in the banking or telecoms industry is now a discarded line. Customer service is a professional calling and you can start, grow and earn fulfillment, recognition, and a rewarding career as a service professional in any sector, field, or career calling one may find himself.
A classic case of a rewarding career reaching the full cycle in customer service is that of Mrs. Patricia Inyang - recently honored as a fellow of WAACSP. The first Nigerian from the health sector to be so accorded the body’s highest membership acclaim.
Starting off as a graduate of Human Physiology which is a basic medical science degree and as such destined for the health sector, Mrs. Inyang did indeed find her way to a community hospital in 2009 as a place of primary assignment in the country’s mandatory one-year post-graduation service. She, however, followed through her passion for service while at work as a Corp member at Obio community health center, recognizing the need to leverage on the initiative of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) using the center in its community development initiative, she carved a niche for herself, here’s her story;
“My basic medical degree certification gave me access into the health sector during my National Youth Service Corps in 2009, I came in contact with the Obi Cottage Hospital in 2009 as an NYSC member. At the time it was a Health Center called Obio Health Center, It was later upgraded, expanded, and renamed Obio Cottage Hospital in 2010 to cope with the increased workload anticipated as a result of the implementation of the Community Health Insurance Scheme conceived for the indigenous and non-indigenous of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) host communities. The scheme is the Corporate Social Responsibility of Shell.
When the hospital was a health center and at the inception of the scheme, it was not different from a typical Nigerian government hospital. There was no such thing as customer service culture or department. The service culture was very poor.
I never thought it was possible to have a Customer Service structure in a hospital setting because it was not what was common especially in a government health facility.
SPDC as a multinational company knows that Customer Handling and care is an essential part of the Patient care quality assurance program and also in order for them to have increased patronage for the scheme, had planned to engage the service of an NGO for a Customer Relations program for the hospital.
As an NYSC corp member, and for my personal community development project, I approached SPDC with the proposal to carry out a Patient Satisfaction survey to ascertain the level of satisfaction with the scheme and services rendered to them compared to the previous time.
SPDC gladly approved the proposal. The survey was carried out and findings were used to improve the quality of care and also it was seen in practical terms that it added real value to the overall patient experience and patients were so endeared to the service rendered.
When it was time for me to round up my NYSC, the board of trustees decided to retain me as the pioneer Customer Relationship and Business Improvement personnel.
This was how I began my Customer Service career and also contributed to the excellent service culture in the hospital till date which has set the hospital apart from others. The hospital is seen as a Customer-focused facility.”
So, armed with a medical sciences degree and working in a medical facility, Mrs. Inyang’s passion for service meant she found an opportunity to earn her spur in her career field and yet drive into a distinct career her passion drove her into. Now passion wasn’t only enough, she took up customer service courses local and international, in studying to show herself approved alongside the passion, Mrs. Inyang earned the following certifications in customer service:
1. Customer Service Masters Certificate Program - Customer Service Training Institute USA.
2. Patient-Centered Care Master Class Certificate Program - Healthcare Leadership Academy Lagos State Nigeria.
3. Customer Care Coach Leadership Program For Managers by Joanna Brandi USA
It is in recognition of these; contributions to the health sector in her community, humanity, and the service industry that she was accorded the honour of being a fellow of the West Africa Association of Customer Service professionals at the 2021 WAACSP induction held on March 27th.
Aside from this recent honour, she’s been greatly honored at Obio Cottage Hospital for her outstanding and long service years and several leadership awards. As WAACSP recognizes and celebrates service, dedication in the health sector, we use this to spur members of this association and non-members alike to see the larger picture in your career calling and know that customer service is a profession that can be practiced in any field be you a cab driver, accountant, security personnel, banker, nurse, etc...customer service is a rewarding career anywhere.
Congrats Mrs. Patricia Inyang as you inspire others.