Airport greeters should realise first impressions count
This week I’m addressing the topic of how people are received at the L F Wade International Airport. Most people seem disgusted and unimpressed with the manner, tone, lack of friendliness and poor customer service exhibited by persons working there. The general view is that the staff are unfriendly, unwelcoming, they don’t smile, they’re not polite, they don’t appear to understand or embrace the need to deliver a high standard of customer service. Now I know that the staff themselves, upon reading this, will disagree, as will the management. If this is the case, then the critics are most likely right. More on this after we look at the top 20.Soaring to #1 is one of the hottest anthems on the planet Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock. This monster dance hit combines a big beat with catchy lyrics and keyboards that create loads of energy. You hear this one at concerts, at sporting events, it’s the kind of track you would hear played at a professional basketball match or something exciting. Tumbling to #2, is Motivation by Kelly Rowland featuring L’il Wayne.Holding at #3 is Give Me Everything by Pitbull, Neo, AfroJack & Nayer. DJLT played at a wedding last weekend and the bride and groom even requested it. That was cool. Yup, that was my first gig in my second go-around as a professional DJ. It was a total blast.So it’s official DJLT is officially out of retirement and back on the DJ circuit. I prefer weddings but will do a party or nightclub work if pushed or if someone is in a bind, as a fill-in. Holla at a (music) playa if you need him. He has a rather eclectic repertoire and will play everything from rock, to reggae to R&B; from dance to decadent. It’s all about whatever the customer wants. After all, the customer is paying right? That’s how it should be with all service providers in Bermuda right?Flying up to #4 is Last Friday (TGIF) by Katy Perry. What in Heaven’s name was she wearing on her head at the Video Music Awards show earlier this week? She shouldn’t bother trying to test Lady Gaga on the outrageous meter! She will lose every time! Improving to #5 is Rolling In The Deep by Adelle. I definitely prefer the dance mix, which rocks and is far easier to mix/blend with other dance tracks.Slipping to #6 is Enrique Iglesias’ current hit Tonight I’m Loving You, a huge dance hit that is getting it done all over the world. Up to #7 is I’m Into You by Jennifer Lopez featuring L’il Wayne. Tumbling to #8 is Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce.Fighting its way up into the #9 spot this week is Beautiful People by Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi. Tumbling to #10 is Just Can’t Get Enough by the Black Eyed Peas. Down to #1 is Judas by Lady Gaga.Improving to #12 is the Latin/soca hit Danza Kuduro, by Don Omar; the Cuban-American star Pit Bull; Lucenzo; DJ Laz and Qwote. Tumbling to #13 is 6 Foot 7 Foot by L’il Wayne featuring Cory Gunz.Up to #14 is the new one from Chris Brown, entitled She Ain’t You, a sweet, smooth R&B hit that is almost a love song. Walking, by Mary Mary, falls to #15.Up to #16 is I Wanna Go, the latest single by comeback artist of the moment, Britney Spears.Slipping to #17 is Born This Way by Lady Gaga. Down to #18 is Rihanna’s current hit, S&M.Now the new hits! New at #19 is Put Your Hands Up (If You…) by Kylie Minogue, this week’s essential new tune. In at #20 is Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce, who shocked the world at the Video Music Awards earlier this week by announcing that she is with child. Good for her, congratulations to her and Jay Z for keeping this a secret and announcing it on their terms, not the media’s.Now back to this week’s topic the need for an attitude adjustment in the greeters at the LF Wade International Airport. I promise you Bermuda that I don’t make this stuff up. I share below sentiments shared by persons who recently came through our airport. Customers don’t lie. Here’s one person’s view of their experience.“I felt like I was dealing with the Gestapo. I’ve never seen Immigration people look more miserable than the folks here. They are not professional and look like they hate their lives and yours. Is this the best we can do? Tourists must think that Bermudians have a genetic defect. And these are front-line people. You only get one chance to make a first impression. These people are ambassadors for Bermuda? Someone needs to teach them how they can still do their jobs and also smile while doing so. Morale must be real low in that department cause it’s showing.“Here’s another:“All I can think of is what do the poor tourists think who spend their hard-earned money to take a vacation here in Bermuda. Yes, Immigration folk have to do their job but do they have to be so nasty in the way they go about it? A lot of that crew down the airport look like they never have a good day and they seem to get jollies out of pushing their little weight around with stern faces, barked orders.”It is good to do things in threes, so here’s one more“The vibe upon arrival in Bermuda was depressing. A female Immigration officer was shouting at people to stay in the correct line … all gruff and loud. I was like, oh dear.”These sentiments, expressed shortly after having the pleasure of travelling to Bermuda are indicative of a need for a shift in attitude. Many people in this Country just don’t get it. I don’t want to blame the leadership at Immigration and Customs but I have nowhere else to go to find the person or persons who are ultimately to blame.Of course the unions have to assume part ownership of this problem, because by defending bad behaviour and not supporting harsh disciplinary measures that may have been attempted by management in the past; the unions have bred a culture of malaise in some of their members. It has now reached the stage of an unpleasant, unwelcoming and unapproachable attitude displayed by some of these persons.It needs to change. Will somebody please tell these people that Bermuda is still trying to be in the Tourism Industry and that even locals returning are customers and deserve to be treated with respect, cordiality and a pleasant attitude which is based on an ethos of providing a high standard of customer service. This isn’t supposed to be so hard! Why can’t we get this right? This is the easy stuff that we should be able to conquer.If we can’t fix the simple challenges like this we don’t have a chance at reducing crime, growing our economy, creating new jobs, developing our tourism and international business! God help us!I will admit, to be fair, that every once in a while someone receives excellent customer service at LFW, but the problem is that this should be the consistent standard delivered. It should be the rule, not the exception. Until it becomes the norm and the number of complaints and the general view of the staff improves, we cannot say that we are serious about competing for tourist and international business dollars. They can go somewhere else and, based on our declining numbers in both sectors, they already are! Peace.…..DJLT!