CUSTOMER SERVICE Supervisor, Andrea Patterson (right) interacting with a member of the public at the SVBLA Membership Lounge
July 22, 2022
Building and Loan embracing change for the benefit of customers

THE ST Vincent Building and Loan Association (SVBLA) is progressive, innovative and embracing change for the benefit of its members and customers.

SAMUEL TOKA, violinist and Founder of Toks Violin Music LLC, providing LIVE music

Last Friday, July 15, at the SVBLA’s annual Customer Appreciation Day, scores of Vincentians seeking information and services were welcomed to the Association’s Halifax Street headquarters.

Marketing Officer Candice Sealey said the Customer Appreciation Day is a celebration of the SVBLA’s customers and another means through which they interact with clients and potential clients.

“What we have been doing over the past few months is working on highlighting what makes Building and Loan so different.What we have been doing … is really opening up our lines of communication, and also embracing technology to communicate with our customers and potential customers.

“So we have definitely increased our social media presence particularly on Facebook and Instagram at the moment.There are plans to increase that presence also onYouTube,” Sealey said.

Long standing employee Andrea Patterson, who was stationed at the ‘Membership Lounge’ for the day, told SEARCHLIGHT that the aim of the day was to allow customers and potential customers to come in and deal with issues in a manner that they would not normally do.

“The purpose of the ‘Membership Lounge’ is for members, and also non-members to feel comfortable coming in, sitting down face to face with a rep to ask any membership related question.

Persons who are not members can find out about the benefits of being a member of the Association.”

Patterson, who has been employed with the SVBLA for 33 years, said that it is always a joy interacting with customers who give ideas on how to improve service, while learning about the products and services offered by the Association.

She said one thing that surprised some business owners is that a business plan is not needed to open an account.

“So that was news to them.

And they really embrace that. It was also an opportunity for persons to find out a lot more about the insurance that is offered at Building and Loan.”

Loans Manager Sean Cato, who has also been employed with the SVBLA for almost three decades, said that as an indigenous financial institution, “once the product you are offering customers is a genuine product, with customers’ interest at heart, eventually, everyone will catch on. Based on what is happening today in the market, Building and Loan will

always offer to its customers and potential customers, the best package.”

Sealey said the SVBLA is supportive of a thriving business community in SVG and as such provided a platform to five small businesses (Vincy Fresh, Emmanie’s Homemade Condiments, Oh So! Homemade products, Jazzy’s All Natural Products and JR Biz Services) to showcase their products.

The Association also offered tokens of appreciation to randomly selected Loans and Savings customers, a lucky customer celebrating their birthday, as well as offered rewards to first time customers. Existing customers also received SVBLA branded merchandise.

The event also featured a Wellness zone for persons to have their vitals signs checked and live music by violinist Samuel Toka.

Customer Appreciation Day and other initiatives are being undertaken by the 81-year-old institution to benefit customers, the Marketing Officer said.

“What we are seeing is that more and more people are comfortable reaching out to make enquiries through WhatsApp and other online channels, from the comfort of their home, workplace or anywhere….What that has done is start to change the perception and the image of Building and Loan into one that is progressive, and innovative, and also embracing change.”