Speaking at the NIS Customers Appreciation day on Thursday 5th January, chairman of the National Insurance Board Lenox Bowman said, as a standard service based organisation the NIS places considerable value on both its internal and external customers.
The Chairman said, “ this is embedded in our values which include among things, to serve the Vincentian public with professionalism and efficiency, to treat all persons fairly and with respect, openness, and honesty, and to satisfy our customers needs”.
Bowman noted that this is done even in times of disaster, ” even in times of disaster, Prime Minister would tell you when there are difficulties, NIS is one of the first organisation to call and offer assistance, both in monetary terms and regarding our staff springing into action”.
Bowman said these are among the reasons why we chose specifically the theme this year “ Financially Sound and Customer Friendly As NIS turns 30”.
“While we want to remain financially sustainable, we also try to make a deliberate effort to include you our stakeholders in our plans.”
“ since assuming the Chairmanship of the NIB, we have been organising the customer’s appreciation day biannually, so that our pensioners came come to socialise and interact with us. This year we have expanded the celebration to include all categories of stakeholders”.
Bowman said the NIS has also organised occupational safety and health exercises to assist employers and employees in upgrading their health and security policy allowing them to make preventative measures for their good being.
“ we have already undertaken two customer survey on how best we can improve our processes and better satisfy our customer’s needs, currently NIS is in the course of conducting another customer review so that we can remain relevant to our costumers”.
“ We have a very particular board, a board that goes beyond just seeing finances and figures, but one that speaks to social conscience.”
The Chairman noted that the NIS have among its staff some of the best minds in St Vincent and the Grenadines, courteous and well informed, and the institution because of this in the board’s opinion are achieving its goals.
“ However we are cognizant of the need for greater public dissemination of information on making claims, so that there would be less rejected claims, and that processing would also be improved”.
“ As we move forward, we would reinstitute a suggestion box to give feedback from our customers on the quality of our services, and we would also have such online”.
Bowman said a pivotal part of the institution’s customer service agenda includes appearances from management and senior staff on national radio, to share not only the NIS program but also to allow stakeholders to share their views.
Recently, Bowman said they partnered with the Ministry of Health and plans are on the way to hold a similar program with the Teachers Union to share information on public reform initiatives.
“ we have been doing a lot of education, but still we find that there are a lot of questions to be asked, so we are going to make ourselves more accessible, not just online and by information in the office, but certainly a lot of one on one”.
The chairman said in an attempt to improve the quality process; they have adjusted the organisational structure to include, the customer services division which has prime responsibility for ensuring top customer service quality. Bowman, however, noted that overall quality rest with Executive Management.
By Ernesto Cooke