A smile is infectious, especially when it is shared with the customers who visit our malls every day. This certainly rings true for Sumi'ati Bte Rohani, a Customer Service Officer at Valley Point, flashing her mega-watt smile as she greets us, dissipating away any notion of awkwardness. Having received an accolade at the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) Excellent Service Awards 2017, the affable Sumiati discusses what motivates her to continually strive for exemplary service and how she puts our customers at the heart of what she does.
Sumi’ati all smiles at the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) Excellent Service Awards 2017
A typical day at work
“As a Customer Service Officer, I handle queries from shoppers as well as tenants, and provide information about the mall where needed. I started off in a similar role over at Alexandra Point back in 1994, but most of the tenants there are offices. In Valley Point, there is a good mix of retail shops and offices, and my approach to the people around the mall has changed slightly.
Part of Sumi'ati's daily role includes handling queries from shoppers and tenants
There are more opportunities for interaction with customers. Through these exchanges, I listen and gather feedback that I receive and pass them on to the relevant departments to improve our overall service. I also work closely with the maintenance and security teams here so that they can assess the issues affecting the tenants or shoppers and fine-tune their operations.”
Sumi’ati photographed at her first position at Alexandra Point
Sharing a special bond with customers
“Interacting with customers is always a joyful experience for me. Over time, I have also gotten to know the families of the regular customers in the building. One of our tenants at Valley Point is a Montessori childcare centre. Some mothers will approach me for a chat while they are waiting for their children. I have become friends with many of them and they would introduce me to their children, and even their family when they visit the mall.
Sometimes they even bring me food or gifts! Attending to customers alone during peak periods may be taxing at times, but I am extremely appreciative of the thoughtfulness and respect that I receive from them.”
Encouraged to do better
“I have been in the customer service line with Frasers Property Singapore for over 24 years now. Last year, I received the Silver Award at the SRA Service Excellence Awards for the first time and I was very excited about it since I have only been at Valley Point for three years. You can probably imagine my surprise when my office administrator informed me about this award!
Sumi’ati was one of the 19 winners of the SRA Service Excellence Awards 2017 representing Frasers Property Singapore
Receiving the award has definitely spurred me to learn new things and enhance my skills set. I have attended informative courses where I received hands-on training through role playing. For example, we would re-enact different customer-related scenarios and discuss on how to best deal with such situations.
I am also constantly understanding our customers more every day. Being able to see familiar faces every day gives me the most joy and motivation. Most of the customers here are regulars and I’ve become friends with them. Sometimes, they drop by just to have a chat or share something funny with me!
An inspirational source at the workplace
Apart from my family, my customers and my friends out of work, one person that I truly respect is my supervisor from Alexandra Point, Mr Robert Ng, who has since retired last year. As a facilities manager, he is a very jovial person and is always quick to offer words of encouragement or commendation when we receive good feedback. He respects our ideas, take note of our suggestions and helps us to follow through with them. He also makes the effort to greet all staff and this is something I have brought with me to Valley Point with my customers.
"My personal mantra or philosophy to happiness is to always think positive and be happy. Although I do work with my team occasionally, my work requires me to be independent as I am stationed at the customer service counter. At times, work can get very hectic, especially during the holiday period. I made it a point to manage my time wisely and stay calm especially in stressful situations.
A few things keep me positive - firstly, I pray during my breaks. I also enjoy listening and singing to songs until my break is over. In addition, as I love to cook a wide variety of food, I enjoy bringing my own packed lunches. Lastly, I volunteer at the mosque during my spare time and I spend most of my time with my family. My husband and I have three boys aged from 12- to 22, and we regularly bowl and sing karaoke together. My boys love to bowl, but not so much of karaoke because whenever we start singing, they just burst out laughing!”