Some 160 persons attended the first Customer Service Training Workshop for the My Grand Bahama Customer Service Campaign hosted by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) on Tuesday, February 21 at the Pelican Bay Hotel.
Glendia Sweeting, GBPA Business Development Officer and Campaign Coordinator told this daily that the organizers had originally prepared for 130 persons, but the turnout was larger than expected.
Sweeting added that she was pleased to see such a diverse representation of individuals, organizations and businesses attending the workshop.
She recognized them while making welcoming remarks at the event’s opening. According to Sweeting, representatives from the GBPA, the Grand Bahama Airport Company, the Grand Bahama Power Company, the Ministry for Grand Bahama, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of the Public Service, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Bahamasair, Flamingo Air, Pelican Bay and the Port Lucaya Marketplace were present among others.
Sweeting commented that the campaign has taken off to a positive and promising start,
“Because each of you have joined us in our efforts to improve the delivery of customer service on our island,” she said.
Sweeting noted that this Training Workshop is the first in a series of initiatives that will be delivered to equip the public with the tools to “rethink, review and reevaluate” what good customer service is.
“What it’s about is equipping each of you with transferrable skills,” she said.
Sweeting explained that she hoped attendees would take these skills along with them in their careers.
“We want you to leave here with a stronger set of marketable skills that your current and even future employers would identify as necessary for organizational development,” she said.
Sweeting thanked the attendees for their participation and encouraged them to challenge themselves to engage in the workshop, commit to positive changes for better results, and to have fun.
Betty Bethel, Director of the Ministry of Tourism Grand Bahama noted that the workshop was very timely.
“It’s in keeping with the Ministry of Tourism’s repositioning of the destination at this time. We know that it’s customer service that is going to be instrumental in full restoration of our destination,” she said.
Bethel stated that the Ministry’s Training Department has been working with the GBPA to give input from a tourism perspective on the campaign.
She revealed that about 23 ministry employees were attending the workshop, because every part of tourism is on the front line.
“Our guests can go anywhere, but it is really customer service that dictates whether they will come back,” she said.
According to Bethel, this is why it is important to put emphasis on good customer service and it is something the destination needed to work on since before Hurricane Matthew devastated the island in October 2016.
“While we’re rebuilding it’s best to start with a foundational issue, which is definitively customer services for our island,” she said.
Workshop facilitator, Valdez K. Russell, principal of VKR Insights said that the workshop was an exciting time for everyone.
Russell shared that the exercises in the workshop were designed to help participants spread the message of the importance of good customer service and how it is delivered at their respective jobs.
Russell revealed that he began working with the GBPA in September 2016, to begin the process of identifying ways to address customer service issues on the island.
“We facilitated focus groups, we also had one-on-one interviews and the feedback that we got from individuals we then designed an initiative or a program to address customer service on the island,” he said.
Russell added that with this initiative individuals would have the opportunity, “to feel good about their role in contributing to Grand Bahama, so that we can invest, explore and experience the island.”
He revealed that moving forward with the campaign would entail interacting with small businesses, organizations, which have already requested presentations with them. He hopes to work with schools as well.
Russell finally stated that this initiative would help achieve synergy to have economic sustainability on the island and commitment to serving one another.
The My Grand Bahama Campaign was launched on Wednesday, February 15.
The mission of the GBPA is “To better the lives of the Grand Bahama community and by extension The Bahamas, through the unique features offered by our island.”
This was why the campaign was created.
The organization is committed to improving the culture of customer service throughout the island to ensure that as, “we create opportunities for development, we deliver the best levels of customer service to Bahamians, investors, and visitors.”
Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017