- Customer Service Manager at the Passport, Immigration, and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Stephanie Gordon, has been devoted to excellence in public service delivery since entering the sector in 2002.
- She was initially a Customer Service Officer at the agency, known then as the Immigration Citizenship and Passport Division, and over the years, worked up the ranks to her current position.
- The civil servant says she is proud and honoured that PICA continues to be recognized for the high quality its customer service delivery.
Customer Service Manager at the Passport, Immigration, and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Stephanie Gordon, has been devoted to excellence in public service delivery since entering the sector in 2002.
She was initially a Customer Service Officer at the agency, known then as the Immigration Citizenship and Passport Division, and over the years, worked up the ranks to her current position through which she continues to ensure that clients are given first class service.
“People come, they take their time from work to do business with you, they expect quick service, they expect efficient service, and they expect friendly service; nobody wants to go somewhere where it’s unpleasant. So regardless of whether or not the person has another option, you still want to ensure that they get good service,” Ms. Gordon says.
A graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI), where she obtained a Master of Science (M.Sc.) Degree in Human Resource Development, Ms. Gordon currently supervises a staff complement of over 30 persons.
Her duties include deploying personnel within PICA’s Customer Service Unit, as the need arises, for optimum service delivery. Through the Unit’s efforts, PICA has been recognized in many public sector customer service competitions.
“We have been entering the public sector customer service competition and even though we have not taken the top prize, we continue to do very well in being recognized as an agency that continues to improve. So, for example, in 2010/11 competition, we came away with the prize for most improved customer service entity. In the 2012/13 competition, we were the first runner-up (and were recognized) for (being) the most improved entity as well,” she states.
The civil servant says she is proud and honoured that PICA continues to be recognized for the high quality its customer service delivery.
“The perception of public sector entities is (to some extent) not (positive) in terms of customer service, and to see that we had come to that place where others were recognizing our efforts and giving us that award as the most improved entity, it was something special,” she adds.
Ms. Gordon cites the drafting of a Citizens Charter for PICA as one of the achievements highlighting her career.
“This establishes a reference point, for both customers and staff, as to what our ideals are, what it is that we stand for, and what the customer can expect; it is almost contractual. We are obligated to do it and we are giving you the information, so (that) you (will) know you have some recourse if we don’t honour our word,” she states.
Commenting on the nature of her job, Ms. Gordon outlines that she has to ensure there is a balance between efficient customer service delivery and maintaining PICA’s obligation to safeguarding the nation’s borders.
“We make sure that the national security mandate is carried out by ensuring we are issuing passports to the right persons and checking the documents to make sure everything is okay,” she explains.
Ms. Gordon contends that the public servants’ role is important as it is they who primarily execute whatever policies the Government earmarks for implementation.
“If we are not on board, if we do not buy into it, if we don’t say ‘this is what is going to make my country go forward’, then we are not going to achieve (the targeted goals); each individual has a responsibility to do their part,” she says.
Ms. Gordon assures that she will continue to do her part in ensuring that persons coming into contact with PICA are satisfied with the level of customer service the agency delivers.
“I love my work because it keeps me in touch with people and there is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you make somebody’s life easier,” she says.
For his part, PICA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Operations, Garth Williams, commends Ms. Gordon on her all-round inputs and efforts to enhance the agency’s customer service delivery process.
“One of the things Stephanie has been instrumental in helping us to establish and continue to do, is our passport mobile service which we take into communities in the rural areas as well as in companies in the Corporate Area,” he informs.
He advises that the agency has been offering this service at least 12 times for the year, since embarking on it in 2009.
Mr. Williams also commends Ms. Gordon for her hands-on approach in carrying out her duties and for being a team player.
“She is a model in terms of service above self, who anyone can emulate. She stands on the shoulders of a great team here at PICA (drawn from) the Customer Service Unit… Passport Unit…Immigration Unit and the Citizenship Unit. They provide the kind of support that will make her stand out as head of a team that leads the charge,” Mr. Williams states.