Congratulations to our 34 EXSA Service Award Winners!
By Dominic Gabriel
December 20, 2018
All 9 Star Award winners receiving their awards with Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Operations) of SAFRA, Ms Kris Ho
Congratulations to all our 2018 Excellent Service Award (EXSA) winners! SAFRA bagged a total of 34 EXSA awards for the Hospitality sector- 9 Star, 10 Gold and 15 Silver awards at the annual Singapore Hotel Association (SHA)’s award ceremony this year. We are proud of our staff in their commitment to excellent service at a level that is recognised by the industry.
EXSA is a national level award that recognises and celebrates the efforts of individuals who have gone the extra mile to provide excellent service.
The presentation ceremony for the EXSA Star Award winners of the Hospitality Sector took place on 26 November 2018 at the University Cultural Centre. This year’s award presentation ceremony was graced by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Sim Ann. In her speech, Ms Sim Ann reflected: “This year has been a very exciting year for Singapore in terms of hospitality... I think it is the concerted effort of each and every one of you that makes it possible for Singapore to continue to maintain a reputation for being a great place for people to meet, to do business and a great place to return to.”
We caught up with 3 of our SAFRA EXSA Star Award winners, including one of them who was also nominated for the prestigious SHA Outstanding Star Award.
Mr Lim Cheow Hoe Mark, Senior Lifeguard, SAFRA Tampines receiving his trophy from Ms Sim Ann for being nominated for the 2018
SHA Outstanding Star Award
Lim Cheow Hoe Mark, a Senior Lifeguard at SAFRA Tampines not only received the EXSA Star award, he was also one of the nominees for the Outstanding Star Award – the highest commendation by EXSA. Mark displayed extraordinary service and courage when he saved a member’s life when the latter collapsed during a game of badminton at SAFRA Tampines.
When Mark heard that someone had collapsed at the badminton court, his professional training kicked in and immediately rushed to provide first aid. Mark attempted to resuscitate the member by using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) while his colleague performed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Fortunately, the member regained consciousness, and was subsequently sent to the hospital.
Mark quipped: “I’m happy that I won the Star Award, but I’m happier that saved somebody’s life. After 3 months from the incident, the SAFRA member even sent me a note to thank me personally for saving him. I’m just thankful that he is alive and well."
When asked what advice he has for providing great customer service, Mark said: “We should do our job with a smile and be polite. Some customers may seem demanding at times but very often they face genuine problems. We should try to see things from their point of view and help them with a smile.”
From top left: Mr Lim Cheow Hoe Mark (Senior Lifeguard, SAFRA Tampines), Mr Ronald Lim (Assistant Director, Customer Experience & Innovation), Mr Lee Yi Ping (Fitness Trainer, SAFRA Mount Faber, E1 Gym), Ms G Pieris Somayasodara (Customer Services Officer, SAFRA Mount Faber), Ms Kris Ho (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Operations), Mr Lim Chun Heng Kevin (Senior Lifeguard, SAFRA Yishun), Ms Suppiah Banumathi (Customer Services Officer, SAFRA Yishun), Ms Mathinah Baham D/O Samsudeen (Senior Customer Services Officer, SAFRA Tampines), Ms Sri Murni Binte Moonshi Nasiruddin (Senior Customer Services Officer, SAFRA Jurong), Mr Hussein Bin Saini (Senior Lifeguard, SAFRA Yishun), Ms Leong Kah Foong Cecilia (Customer Services Officer, SAFRA Jurong)
Next, meet Suppiah Banumathi, Customer Services Officer from SAFRA Yishun, one of our winners for the EXSA Star Awards. Banumathi, or more affectionately known as Banu amongst her colleagues, had her most memorable experience in customer service 2 years ago. A SAFRA member came to rock climb at the SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre at SAFRA Yishun but was not able to climb as she forgot to bring her track shoes. Knowing the member would be disappointed with a wasted trip, Banu lent the member her own track shoes on her feet. Banu related: “I actually walked barefooted for about 4 hours in the club and it was pretty cold with the air-conditioning in the club. But it was worth it because I made my customer’s day. She was so thankful at the end of her climb and gave me a good feedback.”
This is Banumathi’s 4th EXSA award. When asked what motivates her to consistently provide great customer service, Banu shared: "I love my job. Being recognised by SAFRA and EXSA has motivated me to go further. As a believer in lifelong learning, I sign up for new customer service courses that I think will provide me with newer and more relevant skills to serve my customers. We should constantly seek to improve ourselves because the sky is the limit.”
Finally, meet EXSA Star Award winner Hussein Bin Saini, Senior Lifeguard at SAFRA Yishun. Hussein said: “I feel proud when I help others. One of my patrons at the SAFRA Yishun swimming pool is a person with disability. I make it a point to ensure that he feels comfortable and included whenever he swims. Besides helping him to enter and exit the pool, I also ensure the handicapped toilet is reserved for him when he visits.”
Hussein even goes the extra mile to speak to our member with disability to understand how SAFRA can further help. He recounted: “Due to his condition, he is only able to swim on his back to the water. I try to get other swimmers to give way to him as he cannot see in front of him. My customer was very touched because I made his pool experience safe. He has become one of our regular swimmers and now comes twice a week.”
Besides ensuring that a constant standard of service is provided to customers, Hussein feels that friendly competition between SAFRA clubs helps too. He proudly shared: “I always strive to make SAFRA Yishun the best pool as compared to the pools in the other clubs. We should always take the initiative, go the extra mile and do better than we did yesterday.”
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of SAFRA’s EXSA Award winners, nominees and service staff at SAFRA for their dedication and commitment to make our customers feel at home at our clubs!