Samsung's return to HK creates vacancies

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 December, 2007, 12:00am

It is one of the most annoying things in the world when you ring the customer service hotline to fix a problem with one of your digital gadgets and all you get is an answering machine, or have to wait forever for the call to be answered.

As after-sales service is becoming more significant to the business of the telecommunication and digital appliances industry, Samsung Electronics Hong Kong moved its customer care centre, which used to be situated in Guangzhou, back to Hong Kong this year to improve the quality of service.

In line with the development of the centre, which has relocated to Kwai Chung, the South Korean brand, the No4 mobile phone manufacturer in the world, is hiring more customer service officers and senior level staff.

'Since our product portfolio and our sales are increasing, the demand for our after-sales service is getting higher,' said customer service manager Derek Cheung Man-shing. He said it was easier for the company to carry out a range of staff training and collaborate with other departments in Hong Kong, rather than in Guangzhou.

'Hong Kong people want quality service,' he said. 'The service needs to be quick and intimate, with long service hours. By moving our centre back to Hong Kong, we can provide the most ideal service to our customers and respond quickly to them.'

The company hopes to expand its customer care team, now comprising 30 staff, to 35. It handles inquiries related to products and maintenance, and provides technical support and services. Out-bound calls will also be made for conducting customer surveys for marketing purposes.

Mr Cheung said with more manpower, he could be more flexible organising shifts for staff, while also maintaining the service of the hotline centre, which is operational for 10 hours from Monday to Saturday, and ensuring growth in future services.

Sherry Yeung Hoi-yee, senior manager corporate marketing, said the company also hoped to be a good corporate citizen by creating more jobs in Hong Kong.

Candidates must have at least two years experience in the customer service field. 'Our hotline mainly focuses on customer service,' Mr Cheung said.

'Our staff need to be patient and customer-oriented with good communication skills. The most important thing is you must have [an] interest in customer service.'

He said it was not necessary for candidates to have worked in the telecommunication and electronic appliance industry before. To ensure staff had sufficient product knowledge, the company regularly arranges product training and holds experience-sharing meetings to update staff on the latest product launches and other relevant information.

An online training system has been developed at the company's Korean headquarters to equip staff with the skills required to do their jobs using videos and case studies. For instance, there is content about customer service skills such as how to handle different customers and situations in which the customer service team might find itself. An online test will determine whether employees have learned the appropriate skills and knowledge.

Mr Cheung said raising the quality of customer service had become important to the industry. Because of this, recruiting the right calibre of staff for the customer service centre had presented a challenge. To attract and retain staff, the company is striving to create an ideal workplace through the Great Workplace campaign. The programme features an annual review system to enhance the mutual trust between staff and management and activities such as monthly get-togethers, sports days and charity work.

'Employees today are not just concerned about their wages, but whether they find happiness from their jobs,' Ms Yeung said. 'We want our staff to grow not just on their career paths, but also as people. We don't encourage staff to work overtime. We hope they can enjoy a healthy work-life balance and have more time to spend with their families.'

Key points

Samsung Electronics Hong Kong is hiring staff for its customer service hotline centre which returned to the city from Guangzhou this year

Candidates need to have experience in the customer service field and be customer-focused. Those possessing good communication skills are preferred

Quality customer service is playing a more crucial role in the telecommunication and digital appliance industry

Besides salary and benefits, the company tries to provide an ideal working environment through the Great Workplace campaign