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Kevin Ramsoobhag, online learning support supervisor, University of the West Indies (UWI), has taken to social media to carry out a fight against what he sees as the perennial problem of poor customer service in T&T.
He launched the Web site, doittrini.com in February 2012 to give customers and businesses the chance to express grievances about the level of customer service in the country.
He spoke to the Business Guardian last Thursday at the Guardian’s office on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.
“You can use facebook and twitter to interact with the site. So you are getting bad customer service and you can actually tweet it and users of the site see it. Customer service is a sore point. You go everywhere and you see bad customer service.”
Ramsoobhag got the idea to start it because he was tired of seeing customers getting treated badly, but had no way to vent it.
On the Web site, when a business sets up a profile, there is a five-star rating where people can rate how their experience if they have that particular service.
It is done for free as businesses do not have to pay, to be profiled on the Web site.
“Of course, these are anonymous ratings without anyone feeing victimised. This is real feedback. As a service provider, when you are rated, it is logged, you see how people rate.”
He said anyone who has a service to offer can go to doittrini.com and publish their service.
Currently, there are 130 published businesses.
Many small and medium businesses which do not have their own Web site are coming to doittrini.com to establish an online presence, including clothing, construction, finance.
“They are a mix of locals and some foreign businesses. These foreigners are people who see the benefit of getting their businesses advertised for free in T&T. Within six months, there was someone advertising financial services on the Web site and in six months, partnered with a company in Australia.”
He said there is a lot of external online traffic with foreigners looking to do business with T&T.
“I get a little under 400 hits a day. A quarter of those are new visitors.”
Bigger establishments are now beginning to use the Web site as the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business advertised its Distinguishing Leadership and Innovation Conference on doittrini.com.
Ramsoobhag said his research has shown that only one per cent of customers who get bad service actually complain to the owner of the business, the rest just never return to the establishment.
“This Web site is for the 99 per cent of customers who never complain and by putting it online, there is a true picture of what really goes on the floor of the business,” he said.
Republic Bank Ltd:
Three companies spoke to the Business Guardian about how important customer service is to their businesses.
In a statement on Tuesday, Republic Bank called customer service the “life blood” of its business.
“At Republic Bank, we have placed a focus on delivering quality customer service as a means of enhancing the Republic Bank brand and differentiating ourselves from the competition.”
“Significant effort is put into ensuring that all staff meet the required service competencies to deliver a satisfying and rewarding customer experience. This is done via ‘across the board’ workshops, newsletters, library facilities with traditional and contemporary learning methods.
“All service staff have completed the service excellence programme certified by the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC). Additionally, supervisors/managerial staff are presently being trained in a higher level programme called Service Excellence Management, also certified by the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC).”
Charles Pashley, chief executive officer, Prestige Holdings Ltd, told the Business Guardian at the opening of KFC's 55th restaurant in El Dorado last Friday that it’s improving their customer service by training employees.
The new restaurant, which cost $5 million, has been outfitted with changing areas, locker rooms and a space for employees for further education and training.
“Currently, our employees get one month’s training in a store before they are actually put in the system, and that encompasses product and customer service training. That is how we provide customer service training to our employees,” he said.
Accounts and ICT
Boalsa Caribbean Solutions Ltd, a start up that offers human resource services, accounting and Web site design, is one of the companies featured on doittrini.com.
Managing director Anna Sahadeo said it got new clients who saw their ads on the Web site and developed a partnership with Cotsys, a New Zealand ICT firm.
“Doittrini.com allows customers to rate services online. Potential clients will be looking at a company rating before they contact them. For us it is essential that we keep providing a good service. If a customer is not satisfied, they may put it online and, of course, it will affect future business. The site also enables us to keep up with the competition,” she said.