JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has said that he will be working with private sector groups to focus on the training of workers at all levels within the workplace.
“We adapt so easily, we are the most easily trained people in the world. That is why the Government, working with the private sector, will be focusing so much attention on strengthening the most important asset that we possess – our human capital. There is simply no substitute for a well trained population,” Mr. Samuda stated.
He was speaking at the opening of the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s (JaCSA) 6th annual conference at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on November 11 under the theme: ‘Celebrating Gold! Ignite a National Spirit of Service’.
The Industry Minister pointed out that more than 70 per cent of the country’s workforce have received no vocational training at all but noted that the number was trending down. “It is coming down ever so slowly.if one is expected to deliver service one must be properly trained in the techniques. It’s not just a question of saying you’re a receptionist or you’re a sales person or you’re even a doctor…it’s a question of (whether) you have been exposed to the techniques that will improve the quality of service that you deliver,” he stated.
Turning to the importance of service to the success of a business, Mr. Samuda said: “It is the quality of the service that you deliver, the consistency, coupled with the price, with the quality, that will determine the success of any enterprise. It is the collection of these successes within each enterprise that will eventually lead to the development of the country.”
“There is simply nothing that will deter the economic and social development of our country than a sour-faced, intolerant, impatient deliverer of service,” he added, noting that, “too often, what we are finding is that people are not paying enough attention to preparing persons who interact with the public, whether in the private or public sector, training them as to what are the best techniques to be used to give the person who is receiving the service a good feeling that they will want to return and do more business with you.”
Mr. Samuda argued that the delivery of good service applied from the “top of the stream to the lowest level of the workforce. He said that suggestion boxes were an indispensable part of the delivery of good service, where persons at all levels within the establishment can make recommendations for the improvement of service delivery.
Corporate Psychologist and Managing Director of Development Associates International in the United States, Dr. Donna Goldstein, who was the keynote speaker at the conference, said that emotional intelligence, which is the ability to relate to people on a one-to-one basis, to understand, connect, and empathise with them, is the most critical factor in job performance and advancement and essential to “igniting world class service excellence.”
She pointed out that employees with emotional intelligence would be best able to deal with an upset customer, as they would be able to establish a rapport with the customer, could help them calm down, and would try to understand why they are unhappy.
The two-day conference, which ended yesterday (Nov. 12) featured round table discussions, presentations, and workshops on customer service excellence.
Established in 2001, the JaCSA aims to promote the development and awareness of customer service excellence through research, education, training and networking.
The body works with schools, colleges and other organisations to enrich the training of future customer service professionals. JaCSA also provides interventions for organisations in public and private sectors.