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CUSTOMER FIRST: Customer service will be increasingly important in the post-COVID economy, a TAFE NSW Wollongong teacher says.
Wollongong businesses must pivot to embrace a new style of customer service in the post-COVID economy, a TAFE NSW Wollongong business administration teacher has said.
Kim Dufty, who has three decades of customer service experience across a host of industries, said with more transactions likely to take place online in the coming years, it was critical frontline staff were armed with written, as well as face-to-face, customer service skills.
It comes as more than half the students in Ms Dufty’s recently completed Certificate III in Business Administration class at TAFE NSW Wollongong secured jobs before graduating.
Ms Dufty said this was testament to the growing demand for job-ready business administration professionals but also to the course’s emphasis on customer service skills.
According to the Labour Market Information Portal, business administration roles are expected to grow by more than 12 per cent nationally in the next five years.
“You can have the best product in the world, but unless it’s underpinned by good customer service it won’t succeed,” Ms Dufty said. “With less face-to-face business likely to be the norm post-COVID, those written word skills – in emails, on social media – are going to become even more important.
“Building trust and relationships with customers will take a different type of approach and that’s why written customer service has such a strong emphasis in the TAFE NSW course.”
The course’s focus on customer service skills has earned high praise from management of the 2019 winner of the Illawarra Business Customer Service Award, Symbio Wildlife Park.
“The role of customer service in business has changed massively in recent years,” Symbio Wildlife Park Marketing Manager Kevin Fallon said. “It’s critical businesses learn the fundamental skills of conversing with a broad range of customers in both face-to-face and written forms.
“This will be increasingly valued by businesses into the future and it’s great to see TAFE NSW arming the workforce of the future with these skills.”
Dapto woman Kasey Atkins, 18, is one of a number of students to land a job before even completing the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Business Administration this year. She said the course gave her the practical skills she needed to hit the ground running in her job with Heard McEwan Legal.
“I was unsure what I wanted to do when I left school and I saw this TAFE NSW course come up and thought it would help me get a job,” Ms Atkins said. “I absolutely loved the course; it really built my customer service and computer skills, and also my confidence.
“I wouldn’t have the job I have now without doing it.”
For more information about enrolling for semester two at TAFE NSW, call 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, (02) 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428