February 23, 2007
Make yourself and your country proud


Business rendezvous for February 2007

In a few weeks’ time, it is expected that St. Vincent and the Grenadines would be flooded by many visitors coming to our shores to enjoy cricket. It is anticipated that persons will travel to this country from many different cultures. As Vincentians whether we are engaged directly in the event or not, one thing is certain, is that all of us should strive to ensure that everyone who comes to these shores receives the highest level of customer service we can provide. This must be seen as an event where not only the game of cricket is the product but the entire country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s an opportunity for each of us to make ourselves and our country proud by embracing quality customer service.{{more}}

Therefore, regardless of our occupation be it in government or the private sector; taxi or mini-bus driver; hotel, restaurant worker or street vendor, store clerk or supermarket employee; health or media worker, the responsibility is for all of us to ensure that each visitor is provided with a good quality product. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

1. Some of these visitors would come from business environments where a lot of emphasis is placed on sophistication and where customers demand and expect to a greater degree, than some of us do here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, quality for their dollar. Coming to a small country is not going to change their demands and expectations.

2. The business environment in which we operate is one that is very competitive and driven by quality, therefore, down to the smallest details must be seen as important. Don’t take anything for granted, perhaps hoping that it would not be noticed.

3. This is not the time for trial and error, so provide the best quality service from the very beginning.

4. Make the provision of quality customer service an integral part of the philosophy of how your business functions.

5. Customers do not have to complain if they are not satisfied with the service they get from your business. Some customers may prefer to exercise their right to buy elsewhere. In our case this may mean finding other destinations to visit. The worse case scenario is they can pass information of an unpleasant experience on to their friends or relatives, the international media or the internet.

6. Remember that it is easier to implement high quality standards for your business if you have high personal standards. If you don’t have a business, stick to high personal standards of being courteous and showing respect for others, etc.

7. Remember that quality can always be improved, so never give in to complacency. When you are complimented on a job well done see how you can make that better the next time.

8. Don’t expect all customers from the same culture or country to behave in the same manner. Try not to be prejudiced against persons from any particular country or racial group, etc.

9. If you have not done so already identify some quality customer service goals that you would like to achieve during this period.

10. Start or continue talking regularly to your employees about quality customer service. Make sure that all employees know what your quality customer service goals are and how these will be achieved.

11. It’s not too late to have a suggestion box or ask customers how they feel about the service you are providing at present.

12. Provide quality customer service training for employees. You still have some time!

13. Never take comfort in the fact that others provide a worse service than you do.

14. Always remember that your commitment and competence is a major part of the provision of quality customer service.

15. This is an opportunity to make yourself and your country PROUD. Don’t Miss Out!

For more information and training on quality customer service, contact us at the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc.

Submitted by the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. (CED) a non-profit company that provides business development services to the local private sector.

We are located on the 1st Floor, Methodist Building, Granby Street. Kingstown. Telephone 784-451-2235/6. Email [email protected] or [email protected]