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Sep 132013

Steve Minnikin, State Member for Chatsworth, gave the following speech in State Parliament on 12th September 2013.

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, one of the world’s great retail success stories, tells us, ‘The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.’ With this in mind, I am proud to bring to the attention of the House the recent success of one of Chatsworth’s local businesses, IGA Tingalpa.

The business, owned and operated by Gary and Kath Turner and managed by their son Zac, was recently awarded IGA Service Department of the Year at the 2013 IGA Retailer of the Year Awards. This is a truly remarkable achievement, which recognised IGA Tingalpa as providing the pinnacle of customer service out of the 1,500 IGA stores across the country. The award is testament to the store’s ongoing commitment to excellence, as demonstrated in their impeccable merchandising, outstanding customer service and professional store culture.

When it comes to customer service, the staff truly go the extra mile to ensure their customers have a rewarding shopping experience. Regular customers are routinely greeted by name when they visit the store, customers are offered assistance to carry their purchases to their vehicle and elderly customers are offered a ride home with their groceries when necessary.

The store’s recent success is made even more remarkable by the fact that the Turners only purchased the business two years ago. In this short time they have completed a full renovation of the store and developed their outstanding customer service culture to create a welcoming environment for customers.

Recently Kath shared with me her belief that offering outstanding customer service reaps rewards through creating customer advocates—customers who are loyal to your business and share their positive experiences with others. This powerful sentiment encapsulates the store’s retail philosophy which sees customers who are enamoured with the service they receive returning time and time again, often with their friends and family.

But customer service is not a concept reserved for the retail industry. It is my belief that the principles of good customer service are of the utmost importance in all lines of work, not the least politics. While the legislative work we conduct in this House is of the utmost importance, the true essence of being a member of parliament is representation—representation of our constituents, on whose behalf we sit in this chamber. It is a welcome reminder for each and every one of us to reflect on the quality of customer service we offer to each other and every constituent who contacts our office. There is an old saying, ‘If you are not serving a customer, you are serving someone who is.’

I would like to sincerely thank the Turner family and the staff at IGA Tingalpa for their ongoing commitment to delivering the legendary customer service which Sam Walton spoke of. I have no doubt that the store will continue to excel and provide local residents with a rewarding shopping experience. It is my pleasure to commend the outstanding efforts of IGA Tingalpa to the House.

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