This week the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel and Tourism Association hosted a two-day Quality Customer Service Workshop.

During the workshop, participants eagerly took part in exercises and role-playing activities arranged by the facilitator, Mrs. Delcia Bradley-King. There were waitresses, hotel staff, immigration officers, postal workers, office staff, secretaries and persons employed in various tourism related areas present at the workshop. The participants said that they found the presentations interesting and they planned to make use of the training received.

Good customer service in the Federation hardly exists. People have noticed this in the banks, super markets, bakeries and particularly in the restaurants.

People have complained of snobbish attitudes, mean glares and even hostility from employees of those establishments.

One lady complained that she had to wait 15 minutes for a waiter to finish his conversation with a friend of his, before he served her.

There are instances where employees actually feel as if they are in the right to ignore paying customers.

As a business owner, you never want to make your customers feel as if they are disrespected or even not welcomed. Employees must be made to understand that the better you satisfy a customer the more likely he would return to spend his money and even recommend the business to other people.

With the end of the sugar industry, and the rising importance of the tourism, good customers service will become a vital factor for businesses to strive in a tourism driven economy. Particularly since the government is encouraging entrepreneurship among the youth.

It is no longer an excuse that Kittitians and Nevisians just naturally give bad customer service. That is not the kind of reputation we want in the Caribbean.

It is up to the employers to ensure that their employees know that it is their job to be courteous to customers, and it their job to ensure that the customer leaves the business fully satisfied with no complaints.