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GBPA Customer Service Training Workshop a Success

The art of administering quality customer service was the topic of focus on April 15-16 as the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB) of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) hosted a Customer Service Training Workshop for its Licencees.

The two day event facilitated by Public Domain, a Market Research and Strategy company, educated nearly 200 Licencees in a number of key principles, which prove vital to customer service executed with a spirit of excellence.

Chief Financial Officer, Deann Seymour applauded the involvement of GBPA managers who interacted with the Licencees at the customer training workshop, noting that efforts like this can positively contribute to bridging the gap between the company and its customers. 

I think that it’s a good thing that GBPA managers interacted with our Licencees because it’s good for them to see that we’re real people.  A lot of times, people have this “Pink Building” phenomenon about us, which is a belief that we’re only about business… but we want them to know that we’re people who also have fun while we work,” she said.

 “I think that we need to continue to interact with our Licencees in this way, as well as educate them on important information that affects them.  For instance, the Hawksbill Creek Agreement,” Seymour added.  “I believe that some additional initiatives need to be put in place because it will assist us in bridging this gap with the perception vs. the reality that exists with us.”

Also weighing in on the effort, Senior Manager of Business Development, Derek Newbold noted that the workshop addressed an issue that has been problematic for some time within the nation.

“Unfortunately, customer service in The Bahamas is not where it should be and Grand Bahama is no exception. This workshop was very timely as we often underestimate the impact that good customer service can have on a business,” he said.

“We sought to first improve the service in house and then secondly extend the same level of training to our Licencees.  I thought that this initiative over the past two days was a very worthwhile effort on the part of GBPA and I believe that it was well received by our Licencees,” Newbold continued.

Pleased with the initiative’s overall turnout, GBPA Business Services Manager for the IGBSBB, LaShawn Dames said she believes that not only were Licencees able to take something away from the effort, but they are more inclined to practice what they’ve attained.

“The two day customer service training initiative went exceptionally well.  We were pleased with the turnout of Licencees, as well as their attention to the details presented. They were engaged throughout the day and actively participated in activities and conversations,” said Dames.

She added that GBPA was pleased to host this event and were even more excited to see how much the Licensees enjoyed it. “This initiative was indeed a “win, win” for everyone. Further, it demonstrated their commitment to building customer service throughout the business community,” she continued.

Revealing the subject that resonated amongst the majority of attendees, Dames said contact, context and content proved most memorable.

“Based on feedback received from Licencees, most of them said that they took away the contact, context and content aspect of the workshop. Contact: referring to how we meet and greet a customer. Context: referring to how we engage them and assess their needs, and lastly content: referring to our delivery and servicing of the needs of the customer,” she explained.

“And, our ability to effectively execute these components, essentially determines whether the customer will do business with us then or in the future; or they leave quietly and never return.”


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.



GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.



Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.