20 Feb 2012

Annual results of Link Award Ceremony and Mystery Shopper Programme

The Link REIT ("The Link") has launched its Mystery Shopper Programme, which aims to improve service quality at shopping centres and recognize frontline customer service staff. Under the programme, facilities management and customer service in the shopping centres are evaluated. The third-round and annual results of the programme were announced at The Link Award Ceremony on 17 February. (Please refer to the appendix for a detailed list of winners.)
 
According to the final scores in the three rounds of assessment throughout the year, the winner of the 2011/12 Best Managed Cluster Awards Gold Award was Cluster 15 (Sau Mau Ping, Lok Wah, Po Tat, Hiu Lai, Lok Nga Court, Shun Tin, Shun Lee, Shun On Shopping Centres). Shopping centres of the Cluster received the highest scores in terms of their facilities management and customer service. The award encourages management staff to allocate resources more efficiently and maintain a high standard of service to customers.
 
In the third-round assessment (conducted between September and December 2011), Cluster 8 (Tai Wo Hau, Shek Lei II, Shek Yam Shopping Centres) won the 2011/12 Best Managed Cluster Awards Gold Award. Cluster 8 shopping centres ranked 14th in the first round of assessment and climbed to 7th place in the second round. Over the past year, shopping centres under this Cluster saw great improvement in terms of facilities management and customer service, rising from around the bottom of the list to first place. The significant improvement revealed that the programme has helped management staff better understand their responsibilities and improve their service quality. The programme has also encouraged friendly competition among The Link shopping centres and motivated employees to improve service.
 
The Link conducted three rounds of assessment in 2011 with 48 shopping malls randomly selected by an independent organisation, the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, for each round. The selected shopping centres came under a three-month assessment with 300 separate inspections conducted during the period. Mystery shoppers evaluated shopping centres based on their hardware (environment, facilities and hygienic conditions) and software (service quality). The scope of the assessment, which are set with reference to similar programmes, is one of the most extensive in the industry. The award recognizes outstanding staff,   raises customer service quality and establishes a customer-first culture.
 
George Hongchoy, Chief Executive Officer of The Link Management Limited, says the Mystery Shopper Programme has been successful in encouraging staff in increasing work effectiveness  and improving service quality over the past year. “In 2012, the programme will be extended to cover more areas, including barrier-free access facilities and customer services for the disabled in shopping centres,” Mr Hongchoy said. “The Link is the first in the industry to include this in the assessment. In a bid to make service even more comprehensive, the programme will be extended at a later date to include car parking facilities.”
 
The Link will continue to appoint the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency to assign mystery shoppers for conducting evaluations. According to the assessment report, The Link’s frontline staff have made significant improvements during the three rounds of assessment. In particular, they did well at greeting customers, handling inquiries, and showing enthusiasm.
 
The results of The Link Award Ceremony will also be announced on the company’s intranet, which will help staff keep up the high standard of service already achieved.
                                                          
 
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