The SM Store honors employee champions of customer service | Inquirer Business

The SM Store honors employee champions of customer service

06:09 PM March 05, 2020

For the seventh straight year, The SM Store honored employees who have exemplified the value of excellent customer service in a glitzy ceremony at the Conrad Hotel in the Mall of Asia complex last February 18. The Customer Service Rewards Program Champions Night celebrates the tradition and trademark of The SM Store of offering not just the best products, but also a delightful shopping experience.  

For the seventh straight year, The SM Store honors employees who exemplify excellent customer service. Amid the changing landscape in retail, The SM Store employees continue to live up to the importance of giving shoppers a delightful in-store experience.

Chelo Monasterio, President of The SM Store, highlighted the importance of providing exceptional customer service amid the changing landscape in the retail industry. 

“While we continuously reinvent ourselves year after year, one thing remains the same—our pursuit of excellent customer service. We know that providing our customers with remarkable in-store experiences is the foundation of our operational success. It is our biggest asset in our journey to attain our goals especially in these uncertain times,” Monasterio said. 

From 175 branch champions, three national champions were chosen and handsomely rewarded with brand new Toyota cars and additional health insurance for three family members. 


The national champions were Jennylou Castillo of The SM Store Batangas for the associate level; Junrey Tinoy of The SM Store Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier for the supervisor level; and Rina Pelicano of The SM Store Pampanga for the manager level.

Exceptional customer service personified. Junrey Tinoy (second from left), Rina Pelicano and Jennylou Castillo emerge as the national champions in The SM Store’s Customer Service Reward Program. They are flanked by The SM Store President Chelo Monasterio and SM Retail Chairperson Tessie Sy-Coson.

These customer service champions have gone the extra mile to serve as a personal expert, friend and cheerleader to their clients. 

Being flexible and willing to learn

Rina Pelicano

Kids’ Wear Department Manager – The SM Store Pampanga

Customer Service National Champion – Manager Level

17 years with The SM Store

Rina Pelicano was serving as an HR officer for a hospital, when she learned that it was about to be transferred to another location. Wanting to stay in Pampanga to be able to raise her son, Rina decided to explore other career options. 

This took her on a journey to The SM Store Pampanga. There, she took the challenge of taking on a new assignment in a different industry. 

Rina Pelicano (center) of the Kids Wear Department of The SM Store Pampanga wins the top customer service rewards plum among managers.

“I really wanted to work for SM because I knew that it was a stable company and that it would provide me professional and personal growth. I had to think about the long run because I already had a baby,” she said. 

While learning the ropes in operations, Rina also made sure she kept a personal touch with her customers. 

“I want to make sure that all our customers are assisted well. We have to establish a personal connection with them, so that they feel that we really care for them and their needs,” Rina said. 

Rising above challenges

Junrey Tinoy

Luggage Department Supervisor – The SM Store Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier

Customer Service National Champion – Supervisor Level

13 years with The SM Store

Junrey “Gung” Tinoy had a simple upbringing in a close-knit family. Wanting to be able to help his family 

Gung applied for a sales utility clerk position in The SM Store when he turned 18, convinced that he was getting in a good company. 

“I knew that when it comes to retail, SM is number 1. My cousin also told me that it offers good salary, benefits and that it rewards star employees,” Gung recalled. 

When his father passed away in November 2018 due to liver cancer, Gung promised that he would continue to do well at work and that he would finally take home the biggest award he had been hoping to get all these years, the Customer Service Rewards citation. 

Junrey Tinoy of the Luggage Department of The SM Store Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier celebrates after being named the customer service national champion among supervisors.

More than a year after his father died, Gung was able to fulfill his promise, bagging the top award among supervisors. He could not help but look back at how his struggles helped him to succeed. 

“Despite all the challenges, I still feel blessed because of the opportunities that have come my way. SM has really made a big impact in my life. It provided me a job and allowed me to help my family. It also helped me develop myself personally and professionally,” Gung said.

Loving one’s work

Jennylou Castillo 

Cashier – The SM Store Batangas

Customer Service National Champion – Associate level

10 years with The SM Store

Ever since she was younger, Jennylou “Jhen” Castillo would go to SM on field trips with eager anticipation. She viewed it as the perfect place for families to dine, shop and bond. She always knew that this was where she wanted to work. 

In 2010, Jhen got the opportunity to work in her dream company. Because of her job, she has been able to help her family. 

“I was able to help to send my younger brother to school. I would help out in the expenses, and I treat them whenever I get bonuses and incentives,” Jhen said. 

Jennylou Castillo, a cashier at The SM Store Batangas is awarded by The SM Store President Chelo Monasterio and SM Retail Chairperson Tessie Sy-Coson as the customer service champion among associates. She and the other national champions are rewarded a brand new car and health insurance for their families.

Aside from being able to help her family, Jhen is also proud of her development while working at SM. 

“My job at SM has helped me to improve my communication skills and confidence. Dealing with different kinds of people on a daily basis gives me that challenge. Luckily, I also have mentors here that have helped me over the years,” Jhen said. 

Her love for her own family is also manifested in her work. She said this has helped her give better service to her customers. 

“You have to love what you are doing and do it with all your heart. Dealing with different kinds of people can be challenging, but if you love your job, you will embrace that challenge. The desire to give exceptional customer service will come out naturally,” Jhen said. 

Throughout its 60-year existence, The SM Store has offered its patrons the best products. And amid the constantly evolving demand for the most delightful shopping experience, The SM Store and its employees–from the rank and file to the managers like Rona, Gung and Jhen–remain committed to providing the most exceptional customer service. 


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