Customer service in the USVI is a topic we all enjoy discussing. How we treat each other matters as much as where and who we invest our money in. In the Virgin Islands, money is mainly kept within the family. The family business is a well-known venture within the territory. Owning a business is seen as an indicator of status–to some, it symbolizes that you are accountable, consistent, reliable, etc. Having a business within the family means generational stability and that’s a peace of mind we all would like to have, which in turn makes a business profitable.
Family businesses, by definition, combine the personal lives and the business affairs of the people who run them. When they hire their own family members, they sometimes encounter challenges stemming from the aforementioned combination. The hire and fire policy becomes less enforceable in these instances. Therefore, family members become comfortable in their position and it is exemplified through customer service/work ethics. This is a big concern in the Virgin Islands. Employees are able to pick and choose whether or not they use good customer service skills and with whom they use said skills. With the relative lack of options in many business arenas in the territory, we’re forced to patronize these same businesses which put little effort in to treat their customers well. No matter how wonderful the venue, how pleasant the ambiance is, or how consistent the advertisement is, customer service is still a big part of running a business.
The family business must never forget about the people. It is an important, persistent part of our islands and it is imperative that we make it a wonderful experience for everyone, every time. Every customer should be valued, always.