Service excellence goes a long way

In these tough times, as marketers are losing sleep over the waning attention span of consumers, experts believe the only way out is to offer them excellent and not just good service. Echoing the same sentiments were speakers at the “Competing on Service Excellence” breakfast event today, organised by Microsoft and guest hosted by Marketing.

Over 170 participants gathered for the talk on service excellence, which touched on key issues in the service sector such as client differentiation, technology upgrades and the ingredients of a successful service programme.

The underlying issue that was raised was that of keeping the consumer satisfied enough to be loyal.

Addressing the conference, keynote speaker Bob Fleming, adjunct associate professor at the National University of Singapore, emphasised the need to synchronise technology and marketing skills in order to offer premium services. “It is not about technology alone. Technology is only an enabler, you need much more,” he said.

Andrew Flack, VP of sales and marketing for APAC at Hilton Hotels, who believes the way we are brought up is very individualistic, spoke of how vital it is to have that special touch. “Its all about making individual customer feel special,” he said.

Flack touched upon key factors that help put service in the centre of any business – an essential pre-requisite to customer satifaction. These included consistent personnel training, creating service icons and service stories, and measuring and rewarding service excellence.

In the three-hour-long conference, five panelists engaged in a discussion on the possible ways to strengthen service offerings such as data management, building a culture in the organization that is empathetic towards consumers’ needs and demands.

Other speakers included Sarah Froggatt, VP for customer experience management at StarHub; Brandon Teo, GM for marketing, retail and sales at Nature’s Farm and Whye Mun Sun, director at Microsoft Singapore.

A full coverage of today’s event will be published in the September edition of Marketing magazine.

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