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Inniss: Customer service providers must do better

Barbadians are being warned that delivering poor customer service has the potential to drive away much needed investment and tourism business from these shores.

That caution has come from Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, who also warned that bad customer service could have a significant negative impact on businesses’ bottom lines.

“I hope that as a nation we all appreciate the importance of the provision of excellent service, at all times, under all circumstances . . . . We must not settle for mediocrity in our standards in this society,” advised Inniss.

“Visitors and investors may not call the call-in programmes and complain about awful service at a bar or restaurant or with a taxi driver or front line officer; investors will not write a letter to the editors in the local newspapers about bad service levels in some departments, but they will quickly exercise their right to take their holiday or investment elsewhere.”

Inniss was addressing a national seminar on standards, organized by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, under the theme Standards Build Trust.

Among other aims, the seminar was designed to educate participants about the importance of and ways of meeting international standards.

“When products conform to international standards, consumers can have confidence that they are safe, reliable and of good quality,” he told the room of private and public sector representatives.

He suggested that, through improved systems and processes, companies would experience a reduction in their operational costs, as well as an increase in customer satisfaction.

“Businesses also benefit from taking part in the standard development process with the Barbados National Standard Institution [BNSI],” he added.

The minister said Government was committed to modernizing the BNSI and the entire standards system on the island.

He pointed out that while some organizations were helping to develop standards for the services sector, “it is the responsibility of each company, big or small, public or private, and each citizen, to offer the highest quality of service at all times”.

“Our island needs to really foster a culture of service excellence as a matter of urgency, if we are to truly wrestle our social and economic challenges to the ground and to develop and sustain vibrancy and growth in our economy,” stressed Inniss, as he encouraged staff of the BNSI and other stakeholders to “think outside of the box” as they engaged the public, to ensure consistently high standards.

Making a short presentation, director of the BNSI Hayden Rhynd said it was critical for local businesses to create a clear strategy for their development, which included high standards.

“What I want you to be mindful of in your organizations, in your own businesses, [is] how are we going to develop strategies to better enable our competitiveness and innovation,” he said.

7 Responses to Inniss: Customer service providers must do better

  1. Jus Breezy
    Jus Breezy November 9, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Government too!

    Reply
  2. Mansa Musa
    Mansa Musa November 9, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Agreed

    Reply
  3. Dale Griffith
    Dale Griffith November 9, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Let’s start with those Imigration officers at the airport nuff of them need to be replace

    Reply
  4. Ras Small
    Ras Small November 9, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Politicians and government employees must do a whole lot better on behalf of ppl who wunna looking tah celebrate de 50th wid.

    Reply
  5. Bobmac November 9, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I am a long time visitor to Barbados, so many Bajans mistake service with servitude. I was in the service industry for over 30 years, nothing made me feel better then a satisfied customer, I felt good the customer felt good. Be a professional, I say to those in the service industry, sure there are some bad customers, but if you are professional you will see less and less of them.
    Professional service is not only good for you it is good for the Bajan economy.

    Reply
  6. Mac November 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Let us start with the politicians and those who hold high office.
    Start with being honest and straight forward with answers to pertinent questions. Stop using phrases like, as soon as possible, will be completed shortly.as soon as I get the report and as far as I know.
    Remember the hotel project that we were told was to resume shortly.
    The contractor who would be paid as soon as a document reached a desk to be signed.
    Politicians who denied reports by saying as far as I know.

    Let us give dates for completion of simple tasks instead asking to call back later.

    Reply
  7. Euralene November 9, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I agree totally, immigration should be looked at straight away
    The staff with their vex faces put you off
    Why are companies not offering their staff some kind of trainin
    On how to perform excellent customer service
    I would be willing to come and train staff on how to get the best from people therefore creating productivity in all aspects
    Visit the Hilton hotel and see customer service at its best, I constantly go back there because you are made to feel welcome

    Reply

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