Tourism training targets handling complaints, customer service

The Samoa Business Hub (S.B.H.) has stepped forward to assist the tourism industry improve customer service and respond to complaints from unhappy guests.

The training is among short courses for hotel workers offered by the S.B.H. in an attempt to help the struggling tourism industry overcome the negative impact of Covid19, as well as to prepare the workforce for when the borders reopen, although that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

“The reason there is such an emphasis on customer service is because it is a big part of our work," said Tapusia Sanele Tualaulelei.

"We train them on the right language to use, word usage and how to greet and serve their guests and their customers.

“We train the workers on how to use and operate a phone and other instruments when greeting and meeting their guests or tourists – and how to handle complaints. This is big part of training because it is a big part of the job – dealing with complaints or what to do when tourists complain.”

Trainees are also coached on their telephone voice, especially when talking to customers who they have not seen or met.

“Even with our local guests (who live in Samoa), they complain a lot,” Tapusoa said.

“Workers have to have the patience and knowledge to effectively serve their customers and guest, to appease and satisfy their hotel and restaurant guests.”

Trainees are coached on the correct word usage, when using English to serve their guests who are visiting Samoa as tourists.

“Especially when writing emails and texts…they have to use the proper language and they must be respectful like using the words sir and madam,” said Tapusoa.

Workers from all areas of the tourism sector, including rental car businesses, bars and restaurants are encouraged to enroll in the S.B.H. training.

“We have to prepare for when our borders open up again so we can be ready for our guests, our visitors,” Tapusoa said.

S.B.H. is offering three short courses: the three-day Information & Technology (28 September to 14 October); the three-day Business Essentials (28 September to 14 October) and the three-day Customer Service course (25 January to 10 February.)

Enrollment is limited to 20 per class. Priority is given to employees who were displaced from their jobs due to Covid-19.

The training is part of the $1 million tala Tourism and Hospitality Industry Free Training program launched Monday by the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) on Monday.

Employees of all tourism related businesses are eligible for the free training. Participants who complete the training receive a $100 allowance.

All inquiries may be directed to Sheena Ng-Lam at [email protected] or 63506 or Jade Eli-Sanerivi at [email protected] or 63535.

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