In Search of Excellence in Customer Service
February 1, 2011

It is not uncommon today that clients/customers have difficulty dealing with frontline services in offices, institutions, and even in stores that purport to have excellent customer relations.

For this reason, at least 30 masters students of the College of Public Administration and Development Studies (CPADS) were given a refresher course on frontline services on January 30 at a local hotel and restaurant. They are currently enrolled in any of the following subjects: PA 219 – Administrative Communication, PA 205 – Organization and Management and PA 223 – Human Resource Development. Some of them are frontliners in their own organizations while others are managers of various levels in government as well as private corporations.

The seminar was conducted by Dr. Socorro Rebecca Felonia, a faculty member of CPADS. Dr. Felonia stressed on two important aspects of customer service which are the way frontliners treat their clients/customers and the organizational systems and procedures that clients follow to obtain what they need. Based on this paradigm, she classified the kinds of service organizations into four.

The friendly zoo, according to her, is the office which treats the customer well but is wanting in its procedures/systems, thereby delaying transactions. The office which is classified as a factory, on the other hand, is one that has good systems and procedures but low in people relations. The freezer is low in both, while the excellent customer service office is high in both systems and people orientation making it a sure winner in customer services. The crux of the matter is for organizations to provide their clientele services at the shortest time possible in a most accommodating and friendly manner.

According to Dr. Felonia, dealing effectively with difficult clients is a challenge to frontliners. A good grasp of transactional analysis would help, she said. A dose of prayer at the start of the day would mean a lot too, she advised.

Dr. Ederlinda Fernandez, CPADS dean, encouraged the students, especially those who are enrolled in PA 299 – Methods of Research, to make the customer service of their organizations as the topic for their research requirement. Results of their study could help improve their organization’s service delivery, she explained. (Evelyn C. LuceƱo)