Clearly, the global pandemic caused by the spread of the new corona virus (COVID-19) already has an impact on the world economy and the broader market. No industry or economy has been spared by the devastating effects of the pandemic. But the service sector has naturally taken the impact much harder than others due to its nature of function. Each business in the service sector is experiencing its own set of challenges that threaten to undermine the once-thriving entities. Since the physical interaction of the service provider and customer was not possible during lockdown, the service providers were severally ravaged and faced unprecedented disruptions in their businesses.
Even if this crisis comes to an end, no one can assure that contingencies of the same nature — or even worse — will not occur in the future. At any time, the same epidemic may return in a particular market, and being prepared is all that the service sector industries can do. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to fuel your businesses with innovative strategies to move forward with confidence. On a positive note, some of the service providers such as health and emergency services, education institutes, and the financial service sector have already embraced the New Normal and adapted their business models accordingly, and are sanguine about the future operations.
Some of the real time examples include, the introduction of audio consultation where the doctor could be consulted over the phone by the patient in the health service industry. The education sector has stepped up their service through online platforms, which includes online lecturing, online examination and online assignment submission. All other service sectors continue to look for ways to adhere to social distancing and other health disciplines while maintaining their service delivery. However some service industries like travel and tourism in Sri Lanka are critically affected and need national boost and strategy to restart the industries with greater support.
The Certificate in Services Marketing (CSM) offered by SLIM, the National Body for Marketing is the only professional qualification in Sri Lanka designed to introduce the dynamic nature of services marketing environment, concepts and strategies unique to the services and sharpen the skillset to manage services to ensure customer satisfaction. CSM is ideal for those who are working in or managing service-oriented organisations, and those who are directly interacting with customers in any form of business. This three-month programme is a balanced blend of academic and professional orientation, along with insightful case studies. CSM consists of three modules — Introduction to Services Marketing, Building Services Strategy, and Uplifting the Services Culture. Students who enroll in this program can complete the course at SLIM Business School in Colombo and Kandy.
Commenting on the importance of service excellence in the backdrop of the prevailing pandemic, Roshan Fernando, President, SLIM stated, “The world is adjusting to face the New Normal created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the service industry should also think of new ways to move forward. SLIM has already initiated a new campaign themed ‘Restart Sri Lanka’ under the guidance of the Prime Minister’s Office to reengineer the struggling Businesses and SMEs, including service-orient businesses. We aim to contribute to the economy with positivity, and support the Businesses and SMEs with the guidance of industry experts. Thus SLIM is continuing its national mission. The programme CSM is the education product we launched in 2018 as a result of understanding the importance of service in today’s world.
Under the Restart Sri Lanka national initiative, SLIM launched the ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ project in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Inventors Association (SLIC) where many inventors understand the need of service delivery problems and invented many new inventions and presented to the Made in Sri Lanka platform to restart the nation with positive vibes.
Nuwan Gamage, Vice President- Education, SLIM said, “As the National Body for Marketing, we are keen on reshaping the service economy of the country. As an educational service provider, we are also using novel methods such as online live lecturing, online student support systems, online payment processing, and online registrations systems to deliver our services more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, we have conducted a series of online webinars during the lockdown to quench the thirst of our knowledge-seeking audience. Therefore, service excellence is in our DNA and this tailor-made programme is to groom future marketers to excel in the service sector.”
“CSM is a professional qualification targeted at service marketing professionals and organisations. We believe that service excellence is the key to success and the only way of differentiating from the competition. CSM gives you the necessary knowledge and equips you with the relevant competencies to achieve service excellence. Our students are offered the opportunity to study under a well-qualified resource panel with years of experience in various fields”, added Sanath Senanayake, Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director, SLIM.
SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970. SLIM is ISO 9001:2015 certified in recognition of its superior quality management system and ISO 29990:2010 certified for Learning Service Provider (LSP), providing non-formal education and training services.