Service Leaders workshop

Tobago Tourism Agency Launches Customer Service Training Programme

Posted Nov 21, 2022

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) in collaboration with the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (THTI) and international award-winning customer service leader, Uplifting Service, recently officially launched the Tourism Industry Customer Service Training (TICST) programme by hosting a Customer Service Leaders Forum which took place from November 12th – 18th 2022. 

This three (3) year bespoke programme aims to  improve the quality of customer service delivered at all key contact points in Tobago to a standard equivalent to those experienced in sophisticated markets, destinations and facilities globally, thereby improving the life of Tobagonians and adding value to the tourism product and enhancing the visitors experience, which is expected to be achieved through the training of both public and private front-line staff, their supervisors and managers in customer service delivery and customer service management respectively.  

In this regard, key local influencers and service industry leaders with leadership capabilities were identified and trained to comprise the “Service Leaders Cohort”. This trained cohort will then work in collaboration with THTI and Uplifting Service to facilitate training throughout the island, through the TICST – Service Leaders Forum.  The workshop was successfully delivered over a three-day period catering to CEO`S, Management level and Supervisors.  

Delivering the feature address at the launch ceremony which took place on November 13, 2022 at the Pigeon Point Pavilion, Chief Secretary The Hon. Farley Augustine reminded Tobagonians that customer service is naturally inside of them.

“We Tobagonians have customer service innate in us. You see it at each village harvest, you see it amongst us at community events, churches, when we smile and when we embrace each other with warm hugs – it exists in our natural way of living. However there seems to be a disconnect between which we know with that which we share with the tourist. We have to reeducate our people and let them know that there is no strange science in good customer service, we have it already inside of us and how do we now transfer it to the visitor. There is a need for this training because there is always a need for us to re-tool. Things that you knew all your lives sometimes we do forget, so this training serves as a reminder about who we are as a people and how lovely and beautiful we are,” Chief Secretary Augustine noted.

Councillor Tashia Burris, Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation, in her remarks at the launch reiterated the importance of customer service training and development.

“This Service Leaders forum is representative of the fact that we are well aware of the need on our Island to enhance capacity among our people. Further it is testimony that we are committed to robust and continuous mechanisms that will positively transform our industry through our service providers, tourism workers and all those directly and indirectly impact our sector," she stated.

“We cannot deny the fact that tourism remains a mainstay in our development and economic framework and as such we must always enhance our competitive edge through training and development.”

The Service Leaders Forum was facilitated by Master Trainer Mr. Robert MacPhee of Uplifting Service. Since 2015, Mr. MacPhee has been working with Uplifting Service and alongside international companies to deliver service excellence and service leadership workshops for clients across a range of industries. Robert helps organizations improve productivity, profitability, and customer and employee satisfaction.

The Service Leaders Forum was designed to: 
•    To use the proven “Building Blocks” principles of the TISCT programme to engage leaders as active sponsors of transformation within their organizations.  
•    Recognize the importance of long-term organizational relationships with customers based on customer loyalty and effective customer service processes.   
•    Identify their own strengths and areas for development for skills in customer service.   
•    Recognize and choose appropriate communication methods for specific customer service situations.    

Culminating the Service Leaders Forum on November 18th 2022, TTAL and THTI was able to exceed its 150 target and successfully trained over 200 Service Leaders. 
At the end of this three (3) year programme, TTAL and THTI is aiming to train over twelve (12) thousand personnel within various sectors and industries in Tobago that is directly and indirectly related to customer service.

The TICST programme requires that the entire sector, both direct and in-direct, participate meaningfully in the training workshops by simulating tourist service experiences which starts and ends, with each customer`s touchpoints.  It is critically important that this signature programme is diligently and extensively executed as Tobago seeks to fulfil the brand promise of beyond exceptional customer service.

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited remains committed to working alongside its key partners and stakeholders to ensure that the Agency’s mandates are implemented and achieved to raise the bar of Brand Tobago.