In a recent customer service research conducted by Red Scout in Malaysia and across Asia, some notable issues highlighted were customers feeling ignored, sales staff not knowing their products well and customers not finding the solutions they are looking for among other issues. In the retail business, customer service is naturally expected when consumers shop as this added value service plays a vital role in enriching a customer’s shopping experience. The question is: Do we settle for mediocre, passable customer service or do we expect superb customer service? Parkson acknowledged the need to provide quality customer service through the Parkson Star Service eLearning Course, a specially developed 7-Step Online Module. Beginning in July 2012, Parkson is committed to equip all its sales staff with the Parkson Star Service eLearning Course. Parkson Star Service eLearning Course is a special online learning service program developed exclusively for Parkson by Red Scout (Red Scout is the Asia-Pacific region’s leading provider of interactive online training and recruitment opportunities for motivated individuals who want to start or advance their career in the beauty industry). Learning this content online is a revolutionary way of training, and it has been endorsed by major retailers in the industry. The e-learning service program is the first to be initiated in Asia Pacific. Enrolled sales staff are required to complete a program that includes seven steps for great service – Ready for Service, Acknowledge and Greet, Identify Customer’s Needs, Advise Solution, Plus Selling, Close the Sale and Post Sales Service. These steps allow each sales person to provide each customer with a consistent and thorough level of service. Parkson’s own existing staff is featured in the customized program to further personalize it and to also foster trust and confidence in the learner while on training. Upon completion of the e-learning program, each participating staff is given a STAR Service badge and once they have demonstrated the skills taught, they will be awarded a certificate. Stressing the need to have trained sales staff on the selling floor to cater to a consumer market that is more discerning and service-oriented, Mr Raymond Teo, COO of Parkson says, “What customers take away with them when they leave our store is not merely the quality goods that we offer but also an enriching shopping experience filled with warmth, hospitality and attentive service which will make them want to return.” Ms Visakha Wong, Parkson Human Resource Manager adds, “We have 10,000 staff who enrolled in this program (7,000 indirect staff, 3,000 direct staff) as of now and we’re hoping to achieve 80% of all vendor staff to participate by June 2013.” The e-learning program will continue to be implemented across all Parkson stores in Asia Pacific. This commitment is one of the ways Parkson is paving its way to realize its vision to be Asia’s leading department store – by recognising and prioritizing the most important factor in retail business: Customers.