January 2014 a Customer Service project was set up with the aim of leading the transformation in customer Service so as to capitalise on the opportunity for Namibia to become a Customer Service Centre of Excellence in Africa.

Namibia has excellent governance, a stable democracy and uses English; a language that facilitates business. However, Namibia seems not to be attracting a lot of business and contributing factors to this are:

  • The small population (2.3m potential customers)
  • The lack of customer service ethos

Seeing that countries such as Singapore, which is also a relatively small market place but enjoys huge international trade largely because of its reputation for excellent customer service, therefore Namibia too can lead in customer service in Africa.

It was agreed that this was an opportunity to make a positive contribution to Namibia and its economy by pushing the agenda of Customer Service. The HP-GSB and Conference Link set up the Customer Service Management Africa (CSMA) partnership in 2014, with the vision to promote customer service in Namibia by:

  • Starting a conversation about customer service
  • Raising awareness about the potential benefits therefrom, and
  • Creating a movement towards excellence

To date, we have achieved the following:

  • Conducted two National surveys on Customer Service (first of their kind in both Namibia and Africa) in 2014 and 15. There were approximately 7000+ responses in each survey.
  • Hosted two conferences as a follow-up to the surveys. There were academics from across the continent and expert speakers from the UK.
  • Held two Awards Ceremonies celebrating excellence in Customer Service.

CSAN was born out of these CSMA activities.
There are two arms of the CSAN

  • The professional forum – a community for sharing ideas, best practices and training in customer service.
  • The research forum – a community for initiating, supporting and sharing research in customer service delivery to identify practical solutions that can be implemented within member organisations.

In 2016, a research forum was held by CSAN, the workshop identified some of the key issues in customer service that organisations are dealing with. These issues were formed into topics and reported to the attendees. The next step is to initiate projects to investigate and come up with solutions to these problem areas. The preoccupation of the research forum is not only to change attitudes and mind-sets but to also create a culture of delivery that is customer-focused because customer service without service delivery is a waste of time.


The Research Forum that took place on the 24th of August 2016