To stay competitive and remain attuned to the latest developments in the workplace, 30 non-teaching personnel of Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI), underwent a Customer Service Excellence Workshop conducted by FIAT International Training and Development. Eyra Lourdes Umali and Paul Elson Umali facilitated the workshop. The activity was another affirmation of the new management’s support for employees to have meaningful careers in RCI.
FIAT facilitators Paul Elson Umali and Eyra Lourdes Umali explain the objectives of the workshop.
The institution’s non-teaching staff serve as front liners and backroom support for various transactions and they need to develop strong customer-service orientation and allied skills. The workshop was a venue to identify and address customer requirements; to recognize what excellent customer service is vis-a-vis the RCI vision, mission, and values; and to arrive at a shared understanding of best practices in customer service.
A working dictum in today’s business environment—”One can never go wrong if you start and end with the customer”—guided the workshop framework. Participants were shown how operationalizing this dictum requires everyone in a workplace to, first and foremost, take into consideration the effect of their actions on internal and external customers.
The framework for customer-service excellence highlights four important steps in winning over customers: transmit a positive attitude, identify customer needs, provide for the needs of customers, and make sure customers return (and they do when they are satisfied with the services provided them).
A discussion on change and transition management also gave participants a better understanding of the recent developments in RCI and suggested ways to adapt to these changes. Everyone agreed on the need to let go of ways of working that didn’t work in the past and take on and be receptive to new ways of learning and working.
Participants were highly appreciative of this professional development activity. They reported coming to many realizations on how to deal with school customers and the importance of knowing the target market to avoid making wrong assumptions about customers. They also recognized the significance of having a pleasing personality, patience, and focus.
“I also appreciate the value of teamwork in performing our duties,” said Rina Zamora, an accounting staff. Nina delas Armas, administration manager, added that “we should not let fear get in the way of building our skills and competence.” Marianne Tesoro of RCI Rodriguez mentioned that while learning from the different activities and exercises, they also had fun singing, dancing, and acting during the workshop.
Vice president for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata, in her message to the participants, pointed out the great amount of change that everyone has had to cope with in the past year. “There is much more change to come,” she added. “The RCI board of trustees set very high goals for our institution to reach and we can only do this if we work well together and help each other.” This is why, VP Virata stressed, that excellent customer service for internal customers is just as important as service for external customers.
The activity took place on April 19, 2017, at the RCI Cainta Audio-Visual Room. It employed a mix of training methodologies such as interactive lecturettes and role playing for application of learning.
RCI VP for academic affairs Gillian Joyce Virata stresses the need for teamwork in providing excellent customer service.
Group members take turns in sharing their output to the body.
Participants huddle in preparation for a fun workshop activity.