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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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TT fails in customer service

‘Make smiling at counter fashionable again’

Dawn Richards
Dawn Richards

In this country citizens are blessed when it comes to sand, sea, sun but the country has fallen in customer service, said Dawn Richards, president of the Customer Service Experience Professionals Group (CuSPTT).

Speaking at the launch of a CuSPTT campaign to transform the customer experience in TT yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s, Richards said people are wonderfully talented in this country and TT’s Carnival is known across the world.

However, while the country has all sort of beautiful, fabulously well-executed cultural events and also wonderful in business, it doesn’t seem to get customer experience branding right. She said there is a need to get citizens back to a place where they cared for each other.

“CuSTT is not just about service but there is a wider impact that we want to make. CuSPTT strategic sub-committees will include customer experience branding and innovation, membership growth and outreach, service standards development, standardisation and certification, member engagement, training, development and networking, technology enablement and social media engagement and affiliations, partnerships and stakeholder relations.”

Richards said CuSPTT wants to make TT a better place.

She said the journey has to start with people being able to walk up to a counter and be greeted firstly with eye contact.

“As we approach the counter, we can meet someone who has a pleasant facial expression and will be happy to see us. Because we understand that whether we are spending $1 or $100, that money is contributing to their salary. We need to make smiling at the counter
fashionable again.

“We are going to be executing a number of initiatives. We are going beyond the business aspect of service delivery and customer experience to bring back the care that our society needs.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry Francis Seignoret said exceptional service delivery and customer service are critical factors for business success.

Seignoret said many firms, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises, have recognised delighting customers through service excellence is one of the best ways to generate growth and have regularly exceeded client expectations, through which such companies are better able to weather economic storms.

She said delivering exceptional customer service assists in building stronger brands and customer loyalty, which are both necessary for generating profits and developing a sustainable competitive advantage when trading.

“Locally, customers of Republic Bank Ltd have consistently noted the bank’s strength in customer service as the main reason for customer retention.

“According to the Bankers Association of TT, RBL has focused on creating customer loyalty through positive and memorable experiences for which it continues to be recognised locally, regionally and internationally.”

Seignoret said the ministry has developed a series of policies and reforms, including the National Quality Policy, the National Consumer Policy, the National e-Commerce Strategy, and, in collaboration with other ministries, a series on doing business reforms to enhance the Doing Business Index.

Additionally, she said the ministry undertook the initiative to include in its strategic plan for 2016 to 2020 a change management strategy which features customer service training for staff.

“This is an area which has also been promoted by the Ministry of Public Administration. In the wider public service, the Office of the President has collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote and reward service excellence and innovation in the public sector.” She added, “The Ministry of Trade and Industry’s TTBizlink team members were proud runners-up in this inaugural award.”

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