Four of the best prove value of teamwork

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 December, 2008, 12:00am

Outstanding customer service comes from the sincere attitude of frontline staff, dedicated coaching of supervisors and ceaseless support of retailers, according to recipients of the Best Team Performance award.

In this winning team of four from Lane Crawford, Ming Lau Hoi-ming also won the award on a supervisory level in the department stores category.

'Our company vision is to be Asia's most innovative and regarded destination of style. It is the role of each team player to give customers an extraordinary shopping experience,' Ms Lau said.

'As a supervisor, I bear the role of working with my team to achieve work goals, maintain a good service standard and offer training.'

Whenever receiving new information on products and job instructions, Ms Lau said she might keep every member of her team informed by sharing and role play.

Ms Lau once had a colleague whose personality seemed unsuited to being a frontline retail worker.

She guided him all the way and gave demonstrations to him in person. Finally, her colleague was able to adapt.

The Best Team Performance category requires a frontline member of staff to be in the group.

At Lane Crawford, Kalin Wu Chun-yuen not only helped his team to snatch this award, but was also named the best at junior frontline level.

Besides a positive service attitude and a good understanding of products, Mr Wu sees it as important to appreciate different cultures and realise how these differences impact customer service.

'We have to adjust ourselves in meeting customers from different countries so that they are able to visit our shop comfortably,' Mr Wu said.

Now working in the cosmetics section, Mr Wu makes use of his previous study of image building and updates himself on fashion news by reading magazines and watching television programmes every week. 'I hope to offer all-round advisory service to customers with my [knowledge], which may not be found from other cosmetics retail people,' he said.

Also in the team are Bebe Shing Kit-ying and Amy Or Ka-yin. Although they have been with the company for only about 18 months, they have a lot of experience in serving customers.

On top of her retail role, Ms Shing is also a brand specialist who needs to have a good knowledge of the design concept of the brand and a sharp mind about the trend.

She admitted that sometimes she came across customers who let her know her service was not up to scratch, but she has learned to be philosophical. 'Every customer is unique, so we have to understand that expectations of us may always differ,' she said.

Ms Or works in the lingerie section. Being in charge of products which involve personal privacy, she thinks that winning the confidence of customers is important.

She also recalls a line in a book recommended by the instructor in preparation for this competition. 'We have to begin with the end in mind, which means we have to set a clear target for ourselves.'

While the four recipients were excited about winning the team award, they all agreed with the spirit of teamwork and, more importantly, the effectiveness of systematic training from the company.

As a training specialist, Ms Lau said that all staffers were able to receive comprehensive retail training on entry and supervisors were given extra coaching on understanding personalities.

But there is one thing that pleases these retail practitioners more than anything - smiles of content from their customers.