Focusing on Customer Service

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Customer service is a powerful tool that helps managers focus their services on what customers, or clients, want and need. Family planning programs, like commercial businesses, have found that offering their clients courteous, efficient, high-quality services, and a mix of services that their clients want, not only benefits the clients but also greatly benefits the program.

In the family planning context, good customer service is crucial at the service delivery site. The customer service concept maintains that by understanding and meeting the needs of clients and potential clients, a clinic can improve the quality of its services, increase demand for services, and build its reputation—all of which contribute significantly to the sustainability of the program.

This first issue of Volume V of The Family Planning Manager discusses the benefits derived from providing good customer service and proposes specific actions that clinic managers and staff can take to initiate and maintain a customer service focus. The issue provides guidelines for training staff in customer service and using valuable client feedback to support service improvements. Above all, it emphasizes the need for managers and clinic staff to work together to guarantee client-oriented services.