by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Customer Service on the island of Nevis is not where it should be, and according to the Minister responsible for Labour, Spencer Brand, the use of cellphones is one of the prime reasons for the display of unprofessionalism in the workplace.
During his appearance on the Tuesday, July 11 edition of “Talk that Get Results” on VON Radio, Minister Brand informed that Customer Service was one of the topics discussed during the Nevis Career Fair 2023.
The Career Fair was held over a period of two days, Monday, July 10 and Tuesday, July 11, an initiative spearheaded by the Department of Labour on Nevis.
“The Nevis Labour Department held a Career Fair over the last two days, and one of the areas was Customer Service, and that area was highlighted because, based on the interaction and feedback from the Nevis Labour Department, the customer service on the island of Nevis is not where it should be. It can be a lot better… They have expressed that, for better customer service, the various businesses and Government departments [and] service providers, really have to step up their game.”
The use of mobile phones was identified as a contributing factor to the quality of customer service in Nevis.
“You see this thing that we call the cellphone, this piece of gadget that we call the cellphone, it is creating some issues as it regards the quality of Customer Service on the island of Nevis…People seem to be very much distracted in their work environment with the phone. That was highlighted, and the high level of attention that one really should be giving their customer is oftentimes, sadly, distracted by the cellphone.”
The Minister of Labour added, “The desire to give of one’s very best, I think someone highlighted that there is this kind of lackadaisical attitude and approach to work in general, and I think also that that creates a kind of diminished quality of service.”
According to Brand, the session on Customer Service was facilitated by a Representative from the Bank of Nevis.
“We solicited the advice and expert presentation from the Customer rep from the Bank of the Nevis, and he would have outlined to these young people what are some of the areas and what are some of the tenants of good customer service.”
Minister Spencer Brand is hopeful that the discussions from the Career Fair will spread throughout the island and help to raise the standard of customer service in Nevis.
“I am hoping that, based on what would have happened yesterday (Monday, July 10) at that Career Fair, that we can get the message out to our people that the level of service that we offer can make a world of difference to an individual. They may not necessarily get the answer that they want. They may not necessarily get the result that they were looking for, but I believe that the level of professionalism and the quality of the customer service can make a world of difference. I think that- that is something that, as a developing island, as an island that is in my mind is a service-oriented island, that we really have to take a good look at it, we really have to take a hard look at it and see how best we can improve it.”
A caller to “Talk That Get Results” agreed that cellphones have affected professionalism in the country. She posed some questions that she believes the whole society should pay attention to.
“This is a very interesting topic and a very timely topic that, in my estimation, should have happened a long, long time ago. As I listened to Mr Brand, I am wondering. He is right; the cellphone is a big issue, but “What are the rules in the workplace? Aren’t the employees supposed to put away their cell phones once their shift starts? Why do they have their cellphone on in the first place? Is the cellphone one of the instruments that they use for work? Who is supervising?”
The caller added, ” The other thing is, “What happens when a person is employed at a business place?” because it seems to me when an employee comes onboard, in a lot of instances, they are just thrown in. They are not trained. They are not talked to about inspections… and they may be coming from an environment where they had no experience. So, “Where are we starting? What do we do?” It would seem to me that some of these things can be taught in the schools. Some of them can be taught in the home. I learnt to answer the phone in my home. My parents taught me how to answer a phone and sound professional. I didn’t learn that on the job. When I got to the job, the job dictated to me what I should say, but not how to say it because I already knew how to say it. Those are some of the things that we have to pay close attention to.”
Career Fair 2023 was held under the Theme
“Shape Your Future- Career Fair and Training Expo.”
Other areas covered at the Career include Resume & Cover Letter Writing, Financial Literacy and TVET & AVEC.