Expert teaches customer service

Customs employees are learning to be firm but friendly.

Peter E. Tarlow, an expert specializing in tourism and economic development, recently hosted a four-day customer service workshop at Customs airport offices.

The training was for all levels of Customs workers: porters, warehouse workers, staff and higher management.

The training targeted problem solving; understanding the principles of why tourists operate the way they do; the role of Customs; how to think outside the box and how to deal with angry customers, passengers and even residents returning home.

‘Customs staff work real hard. They understand part of their job is a revenue generating organisation with law enforcement responsibilities,’ said Mr. Tarlow.

Staff also learned that the best law enforcement is having good public relations. ‘That is a very important lesson,’ he said.

‘You must feel good about yourself to offer good customer service. Good customer service is not something you learn and regurgitate. It means being fast on your feet and have the public appreciative of what you are doing.’

Mr. Tarlow was invited to the Cayman Islands by Collector of Customs Carlon Powery after hearing him speak in Bermuda at a Caribbean conference on security, in which Mr. Tarlow was the keynote speaker.

Mr. Tarlow was born in New York City but now lives in College Station, Texas. He teaches philosophy and advises governments all over the world on issues of tourism safety security, economic development and the impact of crime and terrorism on the industry.

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