Fateha has had more than 10 years of experience in the service industry, and has been with Frasers Property for six years.
Behind the malls of Frasers Property, we have a group of dedicated individuals working tirelessly to bring our shoppers the best experience. As part of our People Story series, we bring to light some interesting insights and anecdotes from the individuals behind the scenes, speaking to them to find out more about their jobs and interests outside of work.
This month, we spoke to Fateha Mary, Customer Service Officer at Changi City Point. In this article, she shares with us the ins and outs of the service industry, and her passions.
How did you get into the service industry?
I really enjoy interacting with others which is why I entered the service industry. I started working part time in the service industry since I was young and landed a job as a retail assistant when I came to Singapore in 2011. I later became as a Customer Service Officer at Changi City Point and have been in this role for close to six years.
I also like to develop and improve my negotiation and problem-solving skills, and working as a customer service officer has allowed me to do so. Furthermore, I find the job to be a meaningful one as it allows me to help others.
What does a day in the life of a Customer Service Officer look like?
On an average workday, I start my shift by planning my tasks for the day. I check my emails and the Frasers Experience website to keep up to date with anything that is of note such as new promotions or deals happening at the mall. I also review the status of some pending jobs and follow up with them accordingly.
Starting my shift in this manner allows me to set up my priorities and keep everything organised. In this role, we encounter different kinds of people that have different concerns. Having a clear mind and staying organised ensures that I will be able to serve our shoppers with the best customer service that I can offer.
What does customer service mean to you?
To me, customer service is servicing shoppers with sincerity and integrity. Customer service forms the first impression a person has of the organisation. Therefore, it is important that we as customer service officers are friendly, organised, knowledgeable, and professional when dealing with shoppers, be it in person or over the phone.
As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In customer service, you will never get a second chance to make a new first impression, so it is important to practice customer service from the heart and provide excellent customer service to shoppers.
What are some memorable moments you have had at work?
In my six years at Changi City Point, I have gotten close to my colleagues at Changi City Point and even made friends with most of the regular shoppers who frequent the mall. They are like a second family to me. It has gotten to the point where the regular shoppers can recognise me outside of working hours, even when I am out of uniform and not near the mall. It is moments like these that made me realise the impact that my work has on them.
Fateha (left), celebrating a colleague’s birthday with the team at Changi City Point.
(Photo taken pre-COIVD-19)
It brings me joy to know that my efforts are appreciated and recognised, especially when shoppers compliment me, be it in person or through feedback channels. I feel glad that I am able to provide the shoppers with a high level of service that they deserve, and be able to contribute to growing loyal customer base by improving the customer’s satisfaction [that will encourage them to visit the mall more frequently].
What are some important skills a customer service office should have?
Having patience and empathy are probably the two most important skills needed when working in the service industry. In this line, you meet with different people with different temperaments and needs. It is important that we treat shoppers with respect, even in the most challenging situations.
When dealing with shoppers, I always keep a calm mind no matter how difficult or frustrating the situation is. I listen to the shoppers and try to empathise with them to understand their issues better and help them to the best of my ability.
What keeps you motivated in performing the best at your job?
Seeing shoppers have a positive experience at our mall keeps me motivated. I always strive to provide excellent customer service to each shopper whom I interact with. I believe in putting your heart into whatever you do. That way, the person on the receiving end can feel your sincerity, and I feel very touched whenever shoppers complimented me.
I also constantly strive to improve my customer service skills so that our shoppers will have a pleasant experience at the mall. I proactively seek out training opportunities to improve my language and communication skills. One course that I particularly enjoyed was the interpersonal skills course by Marketing Institute of Singapore. The course was attended by people from varying roles and industries, and it was a great opportunity to learn from them.
What are some of your hobbies?
I really enjoy cooking and I cook a lot! While I do cook dishes from varying cuisines, my favourite dish would have to be sinigang. It is a savoury Filipino stew that is similar to tom yum but is not spicy. I usually make it using sinigang seasoning mix which can be difficult to find at the local supermarket. While I am able to find substitutes to make the dish, the taste is just not the same. So, I always make it a point to drop by Lucky Plaza to get ingredients from The Philippines if I am in town.
What are you passionate about?
In both my professional and personal life, I am passionate about self-development and self-improvement. I am always looking to challenge myself and learn new things. That is why I enjoy working in customer service. This role has taught me great communication, listening and problem-solving skills that has not only helped me in my day-today work, but also in my personal life.