A smile goes a long way

Seniuci Nai at her stall. Picture: JOHN KAMEA

CUSTOMER service is a business principle that Seniuci Nai believes in.

As a former employee of the hospitality industry, she knows how a smile goes a long way and that first impression lasts. Last year, the Namuaimada housewife, from the province of Ra, resigned from work so she could be close to her sick mum.

However, she has never lost her hotel work qualities.

To help her family survive rising food prices and the financial strains of village and church obligations, Seniuci sells food at the Rakiraki Town market.

I caught up with her selling 20 containers of fish cooked in lolo and five pre-packed fried food.

She wore a bright smile on her face and was tactful in the way she went about her job.

“I learned a lot working for 22 years in the hotel industry and I continue to apply some of these lessons in my daily life,” Seniuci said. Two of those things her former job taught her are customer service and time management.

“Customer service means how well you keep your clients satisfied before and after you sell them your product or service. That includes little things like serving with a beautiful smile and dressing up neatly,” she said.

“Time management is important because it helps you prioritise what you do and allows you to meet all your commitments. You perfect these two things and you will be successful in whatever you do.”

Although, Seniuci and her husband have grown-up children, they prefer to be independent.

“We both work to support ourselves. I find that with my food business, I now earn more than what I used to get when I was working in hotels.

“I earn one week’s wages in one day and this shows that we don’t really need to leave the village to earn a living and support the education of our children. We can do this if we are smart about certain things and make lifestyle changes.”

Seniuci serves tea and baked food items at the market from Tuesday to Saturday.

She also helps her sister-in-law sell cooked fish when she’s not busy.

The duo’s man clients are villagers and market vendors who travel from the interior of Ra to sell and shop in Vaileka.

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