NISE Leadership (Part 2 of 2): Getting accustomed to Customs, why manners count – Iceberg Principle

The National Initiative on Service Excellence (NISE) truly went all out to make sure participants from their Leadership seminar got their money’s worth and I have just the perfect client for their next workshop – G4S and Barbados Customs!

No wonder Customs don’t want you taking any pictures – they do not wish to be identified if any complaints emerge from travellers who felt enough is enough!

The airport is a crucial area for Barbados’ economy in the sense it is where foreigners get their first and last impression of this island, so why make it a nightmare under the guise of rules over common sense? Does Barbados become another arm of the TSA? So much regulations and little, if any, consideration for the consumer who makes these jobs necessary because if nobody wants to fly? As far as I’m concerned? Terrorists have won without much of an assault…

You’ll recall I recently was in Port Of Spain for a Journalism workshop, but I almost missed my flight! There are those long and complicated forms where they ask what money you have and ask if you have bombs or guns (that is true, so of course I would love to see those who so admit), and the Customs agent snarls I filled out the wrong one and orders me to the back of the line, you know why? It was the end of their shift and they wanted another officer to take over!

If Customs Officers in Piarco can work for longer yet still maintain a charm & professionalism, what does it take to spur their Barbadian colleagues?

It gets better, LOL -The security detail provided by G4S were annoyed my laptop was not under the correct scanning procedure and made me remove the unit from the case and re-scan both, so there I am re-looping my belt and slipping on my shoes and suddenly blaring over the loudspeakers is an emergency final call with MY name?

Mind you I was not due to check in with Immigration until 6:50 am but my Spider Sense said move at 6:30, can you imagine what would have transpired if I ignored that call? I had to run with loose shoes and an undone belt, pulling my hamstring behind my right knee from which I am only now returning to normal! Most of the Conference I was hobbling!

On departure, you can bet I made sure to move even earlier – then I had fun of musical Gates with CAL from 9 to 10 and back to 9 (In TT, Gates 9 and 10 are NOT next door to each other, it’s almost like one end of Piarco to the next)… Will you/won’t you, as chimed in Alice In Wonderland.

Mr Bingham suggests if the damage is already done the following steps need to be implemented ASAP – Offer a sincere apology; involve the customer & let them propose a solution…

Quite honestly, I’d rather not have so many hurdles and take my chances with Box Cutters, I personally cannot see a Caribbean flight suborned by psychos of any religious persuasion as Jamaicans, Trinis, Guyanese or Bajans would put paid to the perpetrators before the flight attendants roll out the drinks cart!

Now this is a West Indian moving through the region, how would it be for an overseas guest who is not even familiar with Caribbean idiosyncrasies? As for Trinidad, they’re not so bad since their shifts are longer and yet they’re more polite! The customs officer who checks me in was on a Graveyard shift from 9:00 pm to 8:00 am while the kitchen staff at Hyatt Regency work from 4:00 am to 1:00 pm – and they still smile? Why can’t we, who work shorter??

I am not the only person who considers Service excellence, at the same NISE workshop there were 2 other speakers who have that as their mantra. One built his own company on the premise, while the lady answers directly to the CEO of Nationwide (yup {SUNG} is on your side!) and handles only matters where Customer Service go astray.

Curtis Bingham went into great detail about what happened with himself and his son when he promised his boy a new cell for good school-work -his ire at poor service from the AT&T booth led to the Manager of the Eastern Seaboard calling Mr Bingham over the weekend to rectify the situation.

Many top personnel from leading companies were at Hilton Barbados that day, they heard how a Musician lost his guitar thanks to United Airlines employees breaking his instrument and refusing to compensate his loss – so he did a Music Video and put in on Youtube, which quickly went viral and did heavy damage to united’s reputation!

He went on to explain how 34 promoters or folk who praise your company is what’s needed (in the USA) to generate profits of $1 million plus, while it’s only 18 detractors or negative & viral angry customers to cost the group losses of the same $1 million!

One unhappy customer can make your company a nightmare these days, to prove it, Bingham broke down a detailed mathematical equation for the audience {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

One disappointed customer reaches 764 people with all of the gory details where the organisation fell down and created a negative instead of making a positive bond…

This figure escalates when you factor in Social Media {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

82% of customers who face a bad experience usually decide to simply leave and have nothing more to do with your product or service, even if you conservatise the figures? If that’s $16,000 in losses per single customer when negative press by word of mouth emerges and transmits to eventually 1,375 people altogether.

Jasmine Green is Chief Customer Advocate for Nationwide, and when her CEO handed her complaint forms it was the genesis of a System which led to insurance agents across their network being able to pinpoint concerns down to which county in America has a preference and why {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

(N.B. – Language) She was visiting the CEO after her promotion to Chief Customer Advocate, when he handed her a sheaf of complaints, instead of getting annoyed; she created a grid of real-time report which was fine tuned over 4 years – it is known as the Top Five Report which allows managers at all levels to assess and improve on any given lack which hinder effective operations.

In her near three decades with the insurer she learned it’s engaging with staff to ensure customers are happy plus she keeps reminding staff to consider how, what, where or when you speak before you open your mouth!

Jamsine Green – Chief Customer Advocate & Vice President: Nationwide Insurance advising business leaders and supervisors at Hilton Barbados recently

Like I say, NISE needs to approach both Customs & Immigration of Barbados as well as G4S security for their next workshop, since they both desperately need it!

2 Responses

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  1. I’m not going to pretend to have a different angle, but you mean to say after all your travels (see you were on REDjet a lot) that you en’t figure out how to file the correct form? Idiot. You’re truly well-informed – NOT. You know what we have to go through with so many passengers every day? Try working a day with us before you open your stinking mouth again!

  2. Explain your Trini counterparts who have longer hours and better manners?


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