More than 2,500 retail professionals honoured for excellent service

More than 2,500 retail professionals were honoured for their quality service standards at the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) Service Excellence Awards 2013 presentation ceremony on Thursday morning.

The top award, the Service SuperStar, went to Ms Sivajothi Elangovan, 27, who works as a customer service executive at City Square Mall.

She was recognised for going out of her way to assist customers with their queries and complaints despite a hearing impairment caused by an illness when she was young.

At the ceremony held at the Kallang Theatre, SRA president Jannie Chan said in her speech: "Within Singapore, (retailers) grapple with the high cost of operations, small market size, discerning consumers who are among the most well-travelled people in the world, international online retailers and an extremely tight labour market."

But she noted that retailers have been resilient and it is their staff "who provide the service that can make or break our businesses".

She also revealed that an SRA programme, which sends mystery shoppers to retail outlets to assess the outlets' service standards, found that overall service levels have improved from 63.78 per cent in 2006 - when the programme first started - to 73.02 per cent today.