JM | Mar 1, 2023

Businesses urged to create standards to improve customer service

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Businesses and organisations in Jamaica are being urged to be more committed to improving customer service, creating standards for frontline workers that can be measured and assessed by senior management staff.

Customer service in Jamaica has long been a sore point, with many citizens having horrific experiences at restaurants, hospitals and various business places across the island.

But good service is essential to the sustainability of any business and should always be practised.

In an effort nip the trend of bad customer service in the bud, the United States has designated the first Wednesday in March, which is today (March 1), to be observed as ‘No Bad Service Day’.

In an interview with Our Today, Maurice Henry, managing director and trainer at the Customer Service Academy of Jamaica (CSAJ), shared that, in his view, customer service has been on the decline in Jamaica and developing standards for employees is essential for its improvement.

Maurice Henry, managing director and trainer at the Customer Service Academy of Jamaica (CSAJ). (Photo: CSAJ)

“Whether on the phone or face to face, there needs to be standards for each job description that can be measured… . All staff members need to know the standards for the three phases of the interaction with the customer,” said Henry.

The three phases of interaction include the greeting phase, service phase and goodbye phase.

Henry shared that a common standard used during the greeting phase is the IGO technique. During the greeting phase, employees are expected to Introduce the company, Greet the customer and Offer assistance.

Other standards suggested were to answer phone calls within three rings, and use the customer’s name throughout the service process.

He added that similar standards like the IGO technique should be created by organisations for every phase of service, depending on the needs of the customer. But commitment from management is also needed.

“The supervisor needs to be aware [of the standards] because the supervisor is going to be the one that is making sure that the front line are adhering to these standards. The supervisor role will always be crucial. What I notice with the Jamaican companies are that senior managers don’t champion good customer service.

“You will find them calling you to come and do a training session and when you look, its mainly the front line persons. They don’t come there and show their faces a lot of time to show that this commitment from management is there,” he added.

In addition to developing standards and training employees, Henry said that businesses should also ensure that they have the proper resources to create an atmosphere of good customer service.

“If a customer comes into a place and there are all smiles but there is no technology there to speed up their wait time, it’s nothing more than a friendly zoo. The atmosphere is friendly but it would appear that they don’t know what they are doing… especially if they’re making mistakes,” he explained.

As such, in addition to the creation and measuring of standards, employees should be equipped with the necessary tools to operate efficiently.

The CSAJ is a customer service consultancy in Jamaica that provides customer service and related training solutions for its clients. Its main aim is to support the development, nationally and regionally, of best practices in customer service.

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