Appalling Customer Service in Singapore

Singapore’s customer service rating slid to its lowest point in a world ranking in 2006. The World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness survey placed Singapore at No. 26. We were behind six others in Asia: Japan (1), Hong Kong (4), South Korea (6), Taiwan (10), Indonesia (18) and Malaysia (23).

In 2007 we were No. 15.

In 2008 we were No. 10.

Recently, the controversial Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore, jointly developed by the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency rated Singapore’s Customer Satisfaction Index at 67.8.

Controversial because among other reasons, some companies whose own internal measures show that they have surpassed their own benchmarks were rated poorly.

Different measures, different measurers, different results.

That’s to be expected.

Whatever it is, it is good that some focus is being paid to customer service and the whole shebang (customer satisfaction, customer delight, customer intimacy, ad nauseam) related to it.

This is because I think it is about time someone takes a cold hard look at the state of customer service in Singapore.

It is appalling to say the least.

True, there are some exceptional service providers but most of the time service is dished out by robot-like retards who have zero initiative, and a complete lack of customer-mindedness.

I’m sick and tired of quoting examples but you know what I mean…

Let me just say this to those people out there who work in retail stores, restaurants, etc.

  1. Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.
  2. Exceed the expectations of your customers – go the extra mile, for example make an effort to check stocks with the warehouse, phone other branches, etc.
  3. Know enough about your products to be of genuine help.
  4. Don’t just sell, be a “buyers’ advisor.”
  5. Keep your distance; there is no need to stand so close to me that I can smell your overwhelming BO.
  6. And talking about BO, there’s something that can take that away – it is called deodorant, use it!
  7. Be well groomed. No one can stand the greasy types. Clip your nails, get rid of that dandruff and polish your shoes.
  8. Make sure you are cognizant of basic courtesies – make eye contact, say “Hi” and “Goodbye” and “Ma’am” and “Sir” and learn to smile. Smiling has never killed anyone. Also “Yes?” is NOT a greeting and it is rude to address a customer as “Mister” or “Miss.”
  9. Beg, borrow or steal, but spend some money and take a trip to Australia, Japan, or Korea, the Philippines or even to Hong Kong or Bali and observe your counterparts in the service industry there and learn from them.
  10. If you work in an eatery, try not to rip diners off by pushing expensive bottled water. Learn to ask “Sparkling, still or tap?” Yes, tap. If they can ask that in New York, so can you. Our tap water IS drinkable.
  11. Don’t bring your personal problems to work, I don’t care if you didn’t get laid over the weekend, don’t show me a fuck face. I just don’t want to know about your problems ok so don’t throw your moods at me please.
  12. You don’t have to recommend the most expensive dishes and you don’t have to give a stupid answer like “Every dish is good here” when asked about your restaurant’s pièce de résistance.
  13. Forever erase from your mind the notion that it is demeaning to be in the service industry. Take pride in your job
  14. Don’t chat among your colleagues. No customer wants to listen in on your gynecological problems.
  15. If you deal with customers on the phone, remember this: callers can sense your smile through your voice – they can also sense that you are a retard if you behave like one.

And this one is for those of you from China – hey twat, just looking cute is not good enough, learn to speak English, your customers’ ancestors might have come from the same country as yours a long time ago but our lingua franca now is English – most of the time, anyway – so please make an effort to learn to communicate in the language of your customers.

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