For 2013 more business operators were expressing an interest in the training of their staff in the area of customer service as they sought to improve their operations.
Kim Tudor, chief executive officer of the National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE), said that organization saw an increase in the number of companies that wanted to take advantage of the various workshops and seminars. This, she said, was a good sign.
Looking back at the year that was, Tudor told Barbados TODAY more companies recognized the importance of service excellence to their operations.
“I would say this year started out very, very positive. A lot of organizations made New Year’s resolutions just like people did because we wrote more training proposals in the first quarter than we wrote for the rest of the year,” said Tudor.
“Persons were determined this year to ensure they did the requisite training and I saw this as an indication that persons were embracing service excellence and recognizing the value of it to their organizations. This is a recession and people are watching how they spend their money and want value for their money and want good service. Lots of organizations recognize that and hence we say an increase in the proposals. This is proposal for us to do in-house training for them,” added Tudor.
She said: “On the other hand we also saw an increase in the open enrollment for the workshops that we run monthly. We were over subscribe for every workshop and actually had to add some.”
Tudor said all industries were represented, including various Government departments.
“I was very encouraged that not one industry was missing . . . So I think I saw an increase in the demand for our services this year, and that is due to the fact that people are recognizing that service excellence is a competitive advantage,” she said.
She said the organization had also done more work in the region and there were plans to do even more in 2014 in order to earn more money since Government subsidy was cut in the second half of this year.
Tudor’s recommendation is that the Government and the private sector place more emphasis on growth in the economy.
“We have been presented with some circumstances that we can’t change but we can address the problems that arise from these circumstances. So I think there needs to be focus on growth. I am pleased that the bill for alternative energy has been put through parliament and I would like to see exponential growth in that industry because I think that can go a long way in helping us,” she said, adding that electricity bills for some industries could be as much as 40 per cent of their operating expenses.
Saying that Barbados boasted of a robust education system, Tudor suggested that greater emphasis be placed on making the island a destination for learning the English Language.
Tudor also recommended that more people “branch out” into various kinds of farming including hydroponics and organic farming.
“Certainly, the private sector is the agent for growth so I see Government as facilitating the growth opportunities that can take place in the private sector. So piloting the bills and making sure people have opportunities are things that government could do,” said Tudor.
“I think there is a need to focus on innovation and creativity,” she added. (MM)