WHAT'S in a smile?
Well, it lightens the countenance of the one who bears it and those who witness it as well.
A smile is critical to effective customer service in whatever industry. It reflects a cheerful heart and it imbibes a positive vibe.
A smile, well donned and shared at the start of one’s morning could impact the outcome of a day.
In Clark, where I usually start my working day, a lady guard named Silla Pon would greet me good morning with much gusto, conveying the sincerity in her heart.
At one time, I failed to respond well as I was early in deep thoughts for the burden of the day’s work ahead. She asked politely “ay sir ok lang po kayo?”. I apologized in return after realizing I might have returned her usual morning greeting with a frown.
Hence, I learned my lesson and since then would quip back to her that familiar Ryza Mae Dizon line “bawal ang sad”.
Encountering gloomy, long-faced, stubborn and discourteous fellow could ruin a day. This, perhaps, one reason why we hear people say “sira na ang araw ko.”
There are some people who would don smiles so naturally and there are those who just do that for a living. There are also who start with it in a training and eventually end up experts not just in smiles but also in customer service.
Quite a few of them, I get to encounter or talk to on a regular basis. These people have not only perfected the art of smiling but have also redefined good public relations.
At shopping malls for example, Venus Manalang and Rain Cervantes of SM City Clark and Pampamnga, respectively, just know their jobs almost perfectly well. Venus, for one, is a cheerful lady who could crack some good jokes even if she has some pressing concerns at her own home. She also responds on time to text and calls she gets – which is essential to good PR.
At SM City Olongapo where me and my media colleagues have been to over the weekend, I was impressed at how Assistant Mall Manager Bong Garcia made his presence felt, together with PR lady Nenet Mortel who joined us to lunch with some of their co-officers.
Bong was not just there for the sake of being there as a duty. He was there with some good plans and policies toward handling floods and natural disasters. Remember how Subic and Olongapo got into deluge due to incessant monsoon rains last year? I am personally glad to hear of a policy where the mall’s parking lot could now be turned into an evacuation center at the slightest sign of an impending flood. Such arrangement has also been made known by LGU officials concerned.
Extra ordinary customer service is also personified in an ordinary Comclark employee named Dhang Panlilio who knows too well that she is an extension of top honcho Dennis Uy, who himself exudes outstanding PR and managerial excellence.
I only met this frontliner once or twice but her text messages, calls and emails are already numerous, showing how she makes herself available to some concerns of customer or subscribers like me.
Not only that she is courteous in her dealings but she also does not forget to give feedbacks on whatever her company’s or her bosses’ decision on some requests made. Her handling and feedbacks are communicated through text, calls, emails and whatever channel she has to make use of just to get the message across.
Not to be outdone, of course, are those who are big in their PR performances which are as huge as their corporate entities.
Topping the list is Jose “Wo” Rosete of Smart’s External Affairs office. Wo is not just an excellent PR man but has also become a friend to a lot of media practitioners in Pampanga. I could assume that the same has also been attained in other provinces and capital cities.
There is something in this man that makes him stand above the rest of PR practitioners I have met. His outstanding qualities transcends mere accommodations – understanding, kind heartedness, sincerity, belonging, judiciousness, friendship. Such virtues.
For those who do not know it yet, it is Wo who brings Pampanga media to fellow Cabalen Manny V. Pangilinan in exclusive round table discussions with him in a Makati five star hotel every year. Access we Capampangan media could not have to MVP understandably due to his hectic schedule, Wo creates for us. That’s just one of his many significant feats he accomplishes.
Wo’s PR skill is very natural like a beach to an ocean, water to a fish, bee to a flower, etc. With such quality, I am not surprised that his staff like Penny Po and Vicky Sambilay have learned from his masterful strokes.
Outstanding is perhaps an understatement to describe these people. They belong to rare breed of PR practitioners where they do things not because they are paid to do so but because it is their nature.
See, these people just don't live to earn. They earn to live and live it with significance and impact.