EDITORIAL: Service excellence for success
THERE CAN BE no disputing the importance of service excellence to Barbados regardless of the sector under consideration. The findings of constant research done by many agencies across both the private and public sectors have highlighted the critical nature of service excellence.
Even without the scientific data, we know by simply listening to the feedback from those around us how they feel about this issue. Only the best is good enough.
Barbados has been fortunate to have established a National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE), which has clearly made a positive impact in this matter of focusing on the need for service excellence. The Week Of Excellence, which we are currently observing, ensures national attention to this important initiative, but despite all that has been said and done, there is clearly still a lot more to do.
Unfortunately, we mistakenly believe that the provision of good service is equivalent to good customer satisfaction. But we need to recognize that excellence
in customer service is about creating customer loyalty, and this is a critical point we need to know and appreciate. This becomes a key factor, for both the public and private sectors, if we are to be successful in the prevailing economic recession and want to develop a significant advantage and performance differentiator.
The type of service delivery for which we should always aim can bring us positive benefits, particularly in terms of repeat business and higher levels of productivity. But it can be achieved only if at a national level the tripartite entities – Government, private sector and workers – do certain basic things: hire the right people, motivate and empower them; and understand customer differences.
Central Bank of Barbados Governor Dr Delisle Worrell is right when he suggests that we do the following: cultivate the individual customer; aim to exceed expectations every time; always ensure that the customer has the service or product they need or ensure they can get what they need; give excellent value for money; and deal patiently, courteously and fully with all customers, including the difficult ones.
This is why while the Week Of Excellence is a worthy undertaking, we need to do more to ensure that it is truly effective. We must be careful that the message is not limited to audiences that may already be sold on the importance of service excellence. The message must reach those who matter most, the worker in each and every sector across this landscape.
As Barbados is a nation-state that must earn foreign exchange or certainly save where it can, we must always be consistent with every interaction when it comes to service excellence. There cannot be starts and stops in our attempt to achieve this goal.