3 SAFRA Customer Service Officers Who Went The Extra Mile

We catch up with the SAFRA Customer Service Officers who received SAFRA’s Excellent Service Award in 2022.

By Sean Yee        26 September 2023

SAFRA wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of its team, including its Customer Service Officers. The bedrock of the organisation’s everyday operations, this group of representatives has been steadfast in assisting its stream of patrons, all the while exhibiting sincerity and professionalism in their daily interactions.

Three individuals, having stood out for exemplary service, were presented with the Excellent Service Award (EXSA) in 2022. We sat with them to find out more about their passions, hopes and dreams for their coming years at SAFRA.

Pooganaswari D/O Kanan – SAFRA’s ever gregarious and genial host

Known as Poona to her many friends at SAFRA, she has managed to cultivate a natural sense of affability paired with an air of elegant professionalism while serving customers. Even on our first encounter, we were met with an enthusiasm which belies her many years in the service industry. She listens compassionately and speaks plainly from the heart.

Having been working at SAFRA for over six years now, Poona attributes her personable disposition to her daily routine. Also a health enthusiast, she always makes sure to squeeze in a quick workout at SAFRA’s EnergyOne gym before starting her shift. “The job isn’t always a bed of roses,” she says introspectively. “It is in the gym where I can begin my shift with a determined and positive mindset.”

Of course, she understands the importance of remaining steadfast in customer service. “Never take it personally,” she says, “The less colourful moments of our job are also great ways to learn more about ourselves.” In the years to come, she hopes to lead her own team of service officers, inspiring them with the same positivity that has allowed her to remain professional in her years of service.

Poona fondly recalls bringing back souvenirs from her trips overseas for some of SAFRA Punggol’s regular patrons, who had eventually become her friends. The world may be a small place. But to Poona, her world has become much bigger with her friends and family at SAFRA.

What’s your favourite SAFRA event?

Poona: SAFRA’s Halloween event for sure! There’s nothing more adorable than little kids dressed in the most hilarious and endearing costumes imaginable

James Patrick – The trilingual extraordinaire

James found his feet in SAFRA through Poona, who roped him in after his stint as a fellow tele-agent at Singapore Power Group. As a SAFRA member himself, he was especially thrilled to understand the scope of SAFRA’s offerings, as he too is a frequent user of their Shaw Movie Voucher promotions as well as its Treats & Deals via its newly launched mobile application.

Despite his stoic countenance, his affection for his team is evident, as he regularly credits his award to the support of his wonderful colleagues. “I am thankful to have a good support system here at SAFRA,” he remarks humbly.

His colleagues notwithstanding, he should give credit where credit is due – he is uniquely trilingual, as he can converse in English, Chinese and Malay. Being able to communicate with the various communities who visit SAFRA, James can transcend language barriers which are sometimes a hurdle for customer service officers. James also maintains a calm and collected demeanour at work, which relays a sense of reliability.

A graduate who majored in events management, he hopes to partake in the ideation and planning for some of SAFRA’s marketing initiatives in the future while contributing a few creative ideas of his own. When asked to reflect on the secret behind his success story at SAFRA, he responded with just one word – patience.

What’s your favourite SAFRA event?

James: I still have great memories of SAFRA’s Diaper Dash till this day. Adorable toddlers alongside passionate parents cheering them on; there isn’t a joy purer than that.

Jumadie Bin Yacob – The animated optimist everyone loves to have around

“Always make sure to smile,” Jumadie prefaces, “so that everyone knows that everything is okay.” Bubbly and always convivial, his lively personality led to his inclination for art, dance and drama at a young age. If you look beyond his animated countenance, you would find an individual who is confident and self-assured.

Having worked as a member service manager prior to his time at SAFRA, he has witnessed first hand how sincerity in customer service organically translated into positive word-of-mouth publicity for the organisation. His recipe for success is simple – “I treat everyone like a family member,” he says, adding that interactions become more personable when you consider customers as friends or loved ones. Of course, it helps that Jumadie wholeheartedly embraces SAFRA’s mission, embodying it in his work ethic: “I love what it represents! The idea of fostering deeper camaraderie with friends and families is inspiring,” he proclaims enthusiastically.

With this award, he hopes to take on the role of a mentor in the near future, supporting and motivating a team of customer service officers willing to go far and above their job scope. He also wishes to be more involved in SAFRA’s Family Talent shows, contributing with the insignts he has gathered from his artistic background.

What’s your favourite SAFRA event?

Jumadie: I find Let’s Gift For A Reason to be especially heart-warming. When I was assisting at the event, I remember crying when I first saw the wish list of these underprivileged kids. They would include everyday items; one of the kids wrote that he wanted a stationery set. It allowed me to experience true gratitude for life, that what we take for granted every day is not afforded to everyone. I would love for the opportunity to personally deliver the gifts to these kids!

Save more with SAFRA! Enjoy special deals and discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, travel, fitness and more from over 1,500 merchant outlets islandwide. Sign up or renew your SAFRA membership for three years at the price of 1 year ($43.20 inclusive of GST)! Plus, get your spouse and children on board to enjoy the same privileges too – 1st dependent pays $5.40/year, and it’s free for the 2nd dependent onwards. Visit safra.sg/savemore for more details. 

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