Firms, staff lauded as service champs

Innovations improve service, as workers go the extra mile for customers

Firms, staff lauded as service champs

(From left) Wing Tai Clothing's shop manager Herdawati Mansor, Mount Alvernia Hospital's nursing officer Agnes Dass, Brother International's deputy general manager Milton Toh and WRS chief exec Lee Meng Tat. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Got feedback for the Singapore Zoo?

Rest assured, it will now be addressed without fail, thanks to a new system that helped Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) to bag the top prize at the Singapore Service Excellence Medallion award ceremony yesterday.

Installed at the start of the month, the system involves keying in the feedback received, then routing it to the relevant department heads. They will then acknowledge receiving the feedback, before logging in later to record how it was dealt with.

"In the past, feedback is sent out, but we don't really know what happens after that. We just hoped action was taken," Mr Lee Meng Tat, chief executive of WRS, told The Straits Times before accepting the Organisation Medallion Award. "Now we can track feedback, respond faster and guarantee that each case will be addressed."

Brother International's deputy general manager, Mr Milton Toh, 37, was named Service Champion for, among other things, a $260,000 system he helped develop two years ago. It lets the company remotely control computers and printers installed in customers' homes, and fix problems without having service personnel leave the office.

"This means cost savings. Before, we had to go down physically to their homes each time," he said, adding that his company remotely fixes problems for about 400 customers each month now.

Such innovations were encouraged by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the event yesterday at The Fullerton Hotel.

The biennial awards, first given out in 2011, are organised by the agencies of the national Go the Extra Mile for Service movement - Spring Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Workforce Development Agency, National Trades Union Congress and the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University (SMU).

The chairman of the Medallion Governing Council, Professor Cham Tao Soon, pointed out that there were 50 nominations for the latest edition, up from about 30. Companies pay a fee of $3,000 to $5,000 to cover the cost of assessment, which includes mystery shopping audits and research, and for a report of the results.

The chancellor and chairman of SIM University's board of trustees said: "There is an urgency to improve service in the light of the labour crunch."

Wing Tai Clothing's shop manager, Ms Herdawati Mansor, 33, and Mount Alvernia Hospital's nursing officer Agnes Dass, 48, also clinched Service Professional Awards yesterday for going the extra mile for customers.

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