Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship – What are your thoughts on Bajan customer service? (BTFL)

Customer service providers have been reminded of the importance of treating consumers the way they themselves want to be treated.

This reminder came from Learning and Development Consultant and BTFL’s Customer Service Instructor, Shawn Callender, who was a panellist on the Barbados Trust Fund Limited’s Let Talk Entrepreneurship online discussion on Tuesday night, which focused on Bajan Customer Service.

Mr. Callender told his audience: “If we treat everybody the way we want to be treated, then service will become a lot easier. It’s also not only about identifying the need of the individual, but exceeding that need.…  [It is] not just giving people what they expect, but going beyond their expectations to delight them.”

He is of the view that those providing customer service should anticipate the needs of customers and meet them. He suggested that being proactive was necessary for customer service providers.

“We…have an idea of what service is all about, and we kind of talk a lot about service. But I think it’s time that we in Barbados start doing it; start putting it in place… for our customers,” he opined.

Mr. Callender proffered the view that persons should be hired for attitude and not just qualifications. He noted that some customer service providers profiled people when they entered the business places, and decide what type of treatment would be given based on how a person looked.

“So if you look like you will spend $5, then you get $5 treatment. If you look like you will spend $1,000, you get $1,000 treatment, and that’s why I say it’s attitude. … If you know how to treat the man with $1,000 in his pocket, then you don’t have a problem with service, you have a problem with attitude, because if it was training that you needed, then you would treat everybody the same way.

“But the fact that you differentiate to suit how you profile people, tells me that it is not a training issue, it is an attitude issue.  And that is something we need to change,” he insisted.

Mr. Callender stressed the importance of internal relations, explaining that if the business’ internal relations were broken, then it could affect the external relationships.

“Sometimes, we neglect the internal relationship and we focus a lot on the external customer, but we forget that the internal customer may be unhappy, and the environment that they’re working in would also then impact [how they treat the customer],” he said.

Those on the programme included Customer Service Advocate, Mark Anthony, who is also with Duty Free Caribbean, and co-hosts Toni Thorne and Stephanie Chase.

The Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship Talk Series & Online Forum, is held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

The next programme will be held on Tuesday, April 19.  It is streamed live via YouTube and Facebook on Trust Loans Barbados, and Instagram@barbadostrustfundltd.  Persons may also WhatsApp their questions to 228-3275.


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