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News : ‘Customer Service Hallmark of Hospitality Sector’
Ghana, April 3, 2015 -- Mr Caleb Kofie, Executive Director, Service Excellence Ambassadors Foundation (SEAF), has appealed to practitioners in the hospitality sector to make good customer service their hallmark.
"Much as we take pride in some achievement recorded within the tourism sector, the same cannot be said about the quality of service delivery provided within the industry", he said.
Mr Kofie said this during the launch of SEAF, which would serve as a customer service advocacy group, under the auspices of Ghana Tourism Federation.
He said SEAF was established in 2013 in order to help stakeholders improve on the quality of the current state of customer service delivery in the country.
He said SEAF would create an enabling environment and opportunity to transform the tourism or hospitality sector into a globally competitive destination of choice.
Mr Kofie said over the years the tourism had gradually emerged as a strategic tool for sustainable jobs creation, stimulating investor confidence, and accelerated economic growth within the West African Sub-Region.
"As we know, tourism in Ghana is currently ranked the fourth highest foreign exchange earner after gold, cocoa and other commodity remittances," he said.
He said a research conducted in 2014 showed that there was a high level of inconsistencies regarding service delivery levels within the hospitality sector, as well as a general culture of poor customer service from front line staff.
"Also no measures are put in place for customers to file their complaints after experiencing poor service delivery from service providers," he added.
He said the inability to provide consistent, excellent service in Ghana are exacerbated by issues, which include the general lack of service culture, inadequate job training, and lack of technical job skills.
He urged the media to continuously support and to promote domestic tourism and customer service excellence initiatives.
He said the vision of SEAF is to serve as a voice in continues advocacy for the total transformation of mediocre service delivery into a world class customer-focus service-oriented culture.
"We will also seek to create the needed national awareness regarding the strategic role of customer service excellence as a sustainable tourism brand, and to recognise the role of unique individuals and entities that continue to inspire, empower and drive positive customer service excellence within the industry," he said.
Mr Kofie cited national awareness creation campaigns such as continuous public awareness, supporting to provide strategic customer service excellence skills development training as some of the main activities of SEAF.
"Under the Ghana Tourism Federation, we will also organise the West African Tourism Service Excellence Ministers Summit in 2016, which we believe will be an annual affair," he added.
Mrs Margaret Techie Micah, Executive Director of Nest of Ideas Consulting Limited, which trains people in customer care, called on company owners to endeavour to invest in training their staff in customer care.
She advised service providers to endeavour to use words such as "please" and "thank you", when addressing their customers, maintain eye contact when addressing them as well as avoid lateness since these are some of the habits which does not augur well for good customer care.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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