BAGUIO CITY – Aiming to better promote and provide service excellence to its clients, the staff members of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) underwent a Training on Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) on March 28, 2023, at the DA-CAR New Conference Hall, Guisad, Baguio City.
The FBSE is a national training being conducted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) which was conceptualized through a series of meetings, consultations, and workshops throughout the country. It is envisioned to “standardize everything that is good and positive about Filipino hospitality and service that can be used by all tourism stakeholders in dealing with domestic or international tourists.
Lara Jane Rosales, Master Trainer for Train the Trainer’s program for the FBSE and a tourism advocate served as the Subject Matter Expert. In her introduction, she presented the unified generic but unique greetings conceptualized for the Philippines which they started to promote in 2019. The chosen signature oral expression is ‘Mabuhay’ (long live) which, accordingly, means wishing a person to have a long life and embodying/representing everything good and positive in life.
This expression is said along with gesturing an open palm touching the heart. This, accordingly, represents the ‘generous’ and ‘openhanded’ nature of the Filipinos which show their willingness to share and serve others from the heart. In line with the Filipino branding, Rosales encourages the participants to practice the chosen Filipino gesture in the respective offices.
Under the training, the participants also learned about service excellence and the ‘7Ms’ of branded Filipino service, excellent service delivery through the G.U.E.S.T. technique, and the
DA-CAR Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Chief Dr. Aida Pagtan said that the FBSE is important and relevant to all sectors, not only those in the tourism industry. The DA-CAR, for one, deals with various stakeholders who are either partners or clients of its programs, projects, and activities.
Guided by the ‘7Ms’ of branded Filipino Service (Maka-Maylikha, Makatao, Maka-Kalikasan, Makabansa, Masayahin, May Bayanihan, May Pag-asa) which are all positive and unique values of Filipinos, the frontliners or service providers will be able to create a positive image, promote positive branding, and make successful transactions towards customer satisfaction.
Rosales emphasized that having the right values plus the right attitude is key to achieving service excellence. To properly deal with clients or guests, the G.U.E.S.T. technique was also discussed. This technique stands for the following: Greet and engage your guests, understand their needs, educate them and offer assistance, satisfy their needs, and thank the customer.
She, however, recognizes that there are situations when customer airs their complaints in varying degrees. Rosales then presented the H.E.A.R.T. Method to handle complaints as part of service recovery to convert the complainant into a satisfied customer. This method recommends that the service provider/staff should hear out the complaints of the guest without butting in or being defensive, empathizing with the complainant by taking things from their perspectives and recognizing their feelings, apologizing for the inconvenience caused with sincerity, resolving the concern, and finally, thanking the guest for raising the complaint while inviting them to visit again. Complaints are accordingly a means for the management to improve their services.
“Handling a complaint is always focused on the complaint, not on the person,” Rosales stressed. “Customers are not always right, but we should always make them feel right.”
Meanwhile, the participants expressed their gratitude to the DOT for the FBSE Training.
“It is a very timely training to be oriented on proper customer service considering that we are on the frontline. We should have a heart for our clients,” remarked Emily Afangka of the Field Operations Division.
In closing, Research Division Chief Dr. Luis Lang-oy challenged the participants to practice what they learn, and together aim for service excellence in the DA-CAR.
The training was facilitated by the DA-CAR’s Gender and Development Focal Point System in collaboration with the DOT-CAR. By JBAgrifino