Samoa has long had a reputation for ‘poor customer service’ from banks to government departments to businesses in the private sector but a new and innovative marketing company is aiming to improve the standards of customer service in Samoa.
Director of Events, Marketing & Distribution (EMD) Kevin Schuster, 31, and his team want to dispel people’s negative perceptions of Samoas’ customer service standards – a perception he understands too well.
“Samoa has the worst customer service attitude in the world! This is fact. It’s the biggest double standard given we are known to be friendly and hospitable people. This welcoming reputation is true within homes and within families BUT somehow somewhere, it ends the minute you walk into a business where you would expect decent customer service.”
It’s these experiences and observations that motivated Kevin to do something about it and today his company EMD facilitate customer training service programs for businesses in the private sector. With a wealth of work and life experience and knowledge, together with his marketing degree, Kevin says he was driven to improve customer service across companies.
“Today EMD offers Customer Service training for all businesses, big, medium or small. It has been well received by businesses because it is ‘business specific.’ The results have been noticeable and there is an obvious trend in businesses wanting to improve their customer service and increase customer interest. Front desk employees are able to serve with ‘meaning’ whilst attracting more customers at the same time.
“We track these positive changes with our monitoring and auditing programs where we assess the services via telephone calls, in-house visits and also via emails. I can confidently say there has been a tremendous change in attitude and approach to customer service by businesses that have undergone our trainings. For us it’s about giving back and emphasising a sense of ownership and pride in the business and in the products that are sold while staying true to our Samoan way of serving people – by being friendly, respectful and welcoming.”
Training companies to improve on their customer service is only one aspect of his marketing business. EMD services have also been called in to assist well known businesses and events with their marketing goals – such as the successful Samoa Sinnet Fashion Show launch last year and partnering with reputable fashion outlet Eveni Carruthers to co-ordinate their fashion line for Samoa Fashion Week.
These events have inspired him to co-ordinate EMD’s own forthcoming event which he is super excited about.
“We will be hosting our first major business event at the beginning of June called the ‘Life-Con Explosion 2017’. It’s called LIFE-Con because it’s about celebration of life, revival, rebirth and recharge aimed at businesses in the private sector with an objective for these business to gain momentum for success.
“Most of the marketing services we offer are based on our innovative approach to sales, marketing and business as a whole and we have the experienced and qualified staff to make it happen.”
Kevin has travelled with his team to Australia and New Zealand to find markets for Samoan entrepreneurs and businesses who are wanting to launch their products in Samoa but not sure where to start. EMD are able to assist NZ & Australia businesses with sales and distribution of their products in Samoa.
As his company picks up more work and seals partnerships, Kevin reflects on the EMD journey and says it hasn’t been an easy one and that it actually took him a good three years for the company to get off the ground. But with the help and mentorship of some of Samoas’ established and well-known entrepreneurs, he is very optimistic about the future.
“I’ve had so much guidance and direction from brilliant minds in business that genuinely supported my journey like Alex Vaai, Kereti Ah Liki, Tiufea Meredith, Fiti Leung Wai, Tuiasau Leota Petaia, Vaimasenuu Zita Martel and many more.”
Today he has nine staff who share his passion and vision of providing effective marketing and better customer service for businesses in Samoa.
“I am so blessed to have the team I have. If I list the many obstacles that have come our way you will not believe that we are where we are today. But it’s about the will power to wake up every morning and say ‘I can’t change the challenges so I’ll just forget about it and focus on the success.’ Believe me a positive mentality and shift in attitude can do wonders!”
Give your company a competitive edge and contact Kevin on the EMD facebook page to book training!