Sharon Bandfield-Bovell, tourism consultant
Sharon Bandfield-Bovell, tourism consultant

Hospitality training programme teaches key steps to excellence


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Sharon Banfield-Bovell, regional human resource development consultant at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said that the third Hospitality Assured Certification Assessors Training programme held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre Feb.  26-March 2 highlighted nine key steps in reaching the goal of customer satisfaction.

While appearing on the government’s weekly programme “Working for You” Feb. 28, she explained that the programme was designed to promote business and service excellence in customer service and that the certification course identified the nine key steps as customer research, customer service promise, business leadership and planning, operational planning and standards of performance, resources, training and development, service delivery, service recovery and customer satisfaction improvement.

“All allow for a business to look at its operations in a holistic manner. said Banfield-Bovell, while noting that in order for the nine steps to be implemented and be successful, the company has to ensure that its employees are equipped with the necessary tools. “The programme is all about looking at customer service through the customer’s eyes. There are aspects that the organization has to ensure are in place in order for our service delivery to take place and to take place effectively.”

She emphasized that an important step is service recovery and explained that it is imperative to correct weaknesses in a timely manner and “seek to ensure that there is no recurrence.” Banfield-Bovell also stressed the importance of consistency in service-based jobs and customer promises, as well as leadership planning. She said that it is critical for organizations to evaluate their organizational structures, resources and procedures to ensure that the customers’ needs can be met.

“The focus is on the employee,” she said. “It is making sure we equip them with the tools and information necessary for them to be able to effectively do their jobs.”

The workshop was sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank’s Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services Network. The facilitation of the workshop was undertaken by Janice Smith-Kipps, lead facilitator, experienced HA (Hospitality Assured) assessor and trainer of HA assessors, and Banfield-Bovell, co-facilitator.

Participants numbered 21, coming from 13 countries in the region: Antigua, Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants were awarded a certificate jointly from the Caribbean Tourism Organization, headquartered in Barbados, and the Institute of Hospitality, based in the United Kingdom.

Hospitality Assured was created by the Institute of Hospitality (U.K) specifically for the tourism and hospitality sector. The Caribbean Tourism Organization owns the license to operate the programme in the region. The programme promotes a culture of service and business excellence and was developed specifically for tourism and tourism-related businesses. It provides a framework for companies to look at their own operation from the customer perspective, the employee perspective and the organizational perspective to see where improvements should be made to enhance the customer experience and to strengthen overall business performance.