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Customer Service in Singapore

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Postby local lad » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 10:31 am

:???: ........Just curious, how do you differentiate the seller? I am asking this as I know it would definitely attract a lot of PRC expats defending it. If I were the buyer, I would say, 'can I buy or not !' That's how some locals would react to such negative response. ( at least I am the guilty one :P ) . :lol: .... it's called tit for tat.

Furthermore, I do not expect a good service from such sellers but I would be peeved if they behaved that way. :evil:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:37 am

And that, my friends, is how the whole thing degenerates into the mess we have here today. Maybe the customer's attitude was mis-interpreted so the waitperson/counterstaff got a bit uptight. Possibly was being talked down to, by the customer, if they were recognized as being non-local (seems to be a know trait here). Therefore the foreign waitperson counteracts based on the way (s)he was treated by the "superior" local. Then it descends into the "Two can play that game" tit-for-tat" syndrome. The counterstaff misinterpreted the customer, the customer gets ticked off and the business owner suffers. A little more humility on both sides helps. Additional the local recognizing that service personal are human as well would help considerably.
:?

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Postby local lad » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:57 am

:lol: :lol: .......do not get me wrong. I am responding to trio2's frustrations. I have my fair share of disservice and I will be upset if expats associate them with the locals ONLY. It's not that I defend all locals provide substantial service ( I was ticked off by the noodle-stall auntie the other day for giving her a $50-note for a $3 packet :???: ) . I agree the customer service here is questionable which explained the low rankings in the what-ever service-ranking agency. Like I've mentioned before ,waitress in the restaurant cannot speak English happens to be from other nation and it would be unfair to group such deficiency with local waitresses. I hate to see this worsened into LOCAL vs EXPAT thread.

We had too much of this going round , in and about Spore.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 12:30 pm

Local_lad, I wasn't directing that at you alone. Between trio02's rant and your reply, came the obvious problem that causes most of the customer service problems here in this country. Then, when the westerner follows directly behind, the waitperson is still upset and takes it out on them and of course they done just whinge in the kopishop about service. They go ballistic in the face of the person instead.

Respect is a two way street. All people doing a job should be respected for that, and not looked down upon 'because' of the job they are doing. If it weren't for the menial efforts of HDB cleaning crews, you all would be up to your eyeballs in garbage within 2 weeks from what I see at 5:30 in the mornings around HDB void decks. Why is that?

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Postby trio02 » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 1:40 pm

ermm i can say i'm not expecting good services from this kinda of seller but at least they should know what are the basic courteously (dumping money on the table really makes me mad), well aunties from old chang kee and other stalls are so friendly, they smile and have small chats with you when you buy somethings from them most importanlty they don't dump money..! :P

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 4:05 pm

trio02, have you though about how you talk to the old aunty versus how you talk to a foreign worker? I live in an HDB estate (I also own my flat there) I've been here many, many years and I know how Singaporeans tend to talk down to foreign workers here. It's almost like they are afraid they might get dirty by just talking to them. Tone of voice means a lot. Most do it unconsciously, but a fairly good number do it deliberately to show who's the boss. Sad to say but true.

Yes, often the salesperson has as chip on their shoulder as well and could be having a bad hair day. But that doesn't usually happen several days in a row. If they were like that all the time the owner would sack them as it's costing the owner money. We have an old saying which I'm sure has a local equivalent as well ......."You reap what you sow".

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Agree

Postby pravnash » Wed, 18 Jun 2008 10:17 pm

You know, sundaymorningstaple, i've got to agree with you there. I noticed that certain sections of society are looked down upon here, that is something which might take ages to oversome !!
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Postby Global Citizen » Thu, 19 Jun 2008 2:46 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Respect is a two way street. All people doing a job should be respected for that, and not looked down upon 'because' of the job they are doing. If it weren't for the menial efforts of HDB cleaning crews, you all would be up to your eyeballs in garbage within 2 weeks from what I see at 5:30 in the mornings around HDB void decks. Why is that?


That is true SMS.

I've seen it myself and I cringe everytime. Every human being has dignity and it would do us a whole lot of good to remember that people come from all sorts of unfortunate circumstances, many beyond their control and to treat others as we would like to be treated.
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Postby Turtle » Thu, 19 Jun 2008 8:57 am

Global Citizen wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote: Respect is a two way street. All people doing a job should be respected for that, and not looked down upon 'because' of the job they are doing. If it weren't for the menial efforts of HDB cleaning crews, you all would be up to your eyeballs in garbage within 2 weeks from what I see at 5:30 in the mornings around HDB void decks. Why is that?


That is true SMS.

I've seen it myself and I cringe everytime. Every human being has dignity and it would do us a whole lot of good to remember that people come from all sorts of unfortunate circumstances, many beyond their control and to treat others as we would like to be treated.


It goes back to the whole "pragmatic" (i.e. selfish) view of life, doesn't it? People who are less powerful than you are there for you to take advantage of. People who are more powerful than you are there for you to fear and ingratiate yourself to. At the end of the day, I get the feeling that a lot of Singaporeans don't see people as people, but as tools to help them get what they want in life. Even that good moral statement, "treat others as we would like to be treated" - which is really a positive way of living life - here it seems to get twisted to have a more sinister meaning, i.e. "the only reason to treat others well is so that they will treat you well later on when you need it". Sort of like "don't litter because a policeman might see you".

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Postby trio02 » Thu, 19 Jun 2008 10:26 am

Honestly speaking its exactly the same tone as what i've talk to the aunties . i think i get so mad because i was so polite to her but unfortunately in return i get such a nasty attuitude. :mad: i never talk down to foreign workers, frankly speaking i'm not the racist kind and i don't discriminate foreigners since we are all humans (i hope you understand what i mean).

i agree with most of you, i've seen many cases at my workplace, ppl just thinks too highly of themselve and kinda of look down on the others i'm not referring to the non locals i'm referring to the local as well, and i can say i'm of the victims.
some true facts that i've encounter, if you are not rich and not of certain status, you'll be treated differently. education is another major factor too, the brands you wear, the languages you speak, your looks, your size.. i

can say some locals just thinks very shallow. well i agree with what turtle said, pragmatic" (i.e. selfish) view of life. Some singaporean really don't see ppl as ppl.! :cry:

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Re: Customer Service in Singapore

Postby hk203 » Thu, 19 Jun 2008 12:11 pm

andy21 wrote:
hk203 wrote:Are you a foreigner? Westerner I mean? If you westerner got this kind of treatment, can you imagine how their service towards us Asian?


Equally bad?

I have never been one to subscribe to the whole idea that service staff in Singapore overtly fabour westerners over locals.

Don't be overly sensitive, for most cases I've seen or heard of such incidents are in fact little more than locals being over sensitive and seeing things that are not there. That they feel this way quite often is more a reflection of what they feel rather than fact.

And the people I know who feel like this, are very apt to feeling oppressed in one way or another. Oppressed at work, by peers and lots of other things. Simply toss another in the ring. And the thing is, they are not the helpless almbs they believe themselves to be, they just don't want to do a thing about it.

If you see an example of a service staff explicitly pandering to a westerner (or anyone for that matter, but it's always westerners?!), how about not standing for it in the first place? Get an explanation from someone of authority.


If it's a case of the service staff being friendlier to westerners (which is very easily perceived as favouritism), you would have to wonder why you don't get the same kind of smile wouldn't you?

If it upsets you and it won't kill you to do something about, just do it. This is an easy problem to eradicate if and when it arises. Some guilty service staff just need to understand that all customers are equal in the eyes of their profession (!!), and you won't even need to shout at them to make your point.

It's not hard to effect change. It just has to start with you.

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I worked in retail before in Malaysia, Singapore and the UK (during my study time). I can understand that there are many nasty customers out there but the problem is they have got a mindset that all Asians customers are nasty. Everytime I enter a shop, I always smile at the staff but what do I get? They do not even greet me or smile back at me!! Take one very simple example...I used to greet the bus driver whenever I board a bus... but what do I get in return? They give me a weird stare and most probably they wondering which planet did i came from. :(

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Postby banana » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 12:22 am

Eh. Since when is a smile or a greeting something you expect returns? Sure it's nice to be acknowledged but remember that retail staff face many more sullen expressions than you face grouchy salespeople.

When I pay my bills or make a purchase at peak hours, it's efficiency that counts. Quick in, quick out. When buying late night beers, I make small talk with the 7-11 staff. More often than not, they are quite happy to comply. After all, it's a change from their usual dull graveyard shift of stocking shelves.

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Postby Global Citizen » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 1:39 am

Turtle wrote:
It goes back to the whole "pragmatic" (i.e. selfish) view of life, doesn't it? People who are less powerful than you are there for you to take advantage of. People who are more powerful than you are there for you to fear and ingratiate yourself to. At the end of the day, I get the feeling that a lot of Singaporeans don't see people as people, but as tools to help them get what they want in life. Even that good moral statement, "treat others as we would like to be treated" - which is really a positive way of living life - here it seems to get twisted to have a more sinister meaning, i.e. "the only reason to treat others well is so that they will treat you well later on when you need it". Sort of like "don't litter because a policeman might see you".


I can't help but agree with you BUT if there's one thing I've learnt and that helps keep me sane at the end of the day is the realization that there are also some good people out there. Maybe the solution lies in taking the first step in empowering one's self in order to effect change for the better.

Kind of the thinking, I can't be responsible for everyone's attitude but I am responsible for mine and the kind of individual I'd like to be ideally. Maybe if we all held the moral yardstick to ourselves first and took the responsibility of being accountable for our behaviour, we as a society could really effect positive change, one step or person at a time.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 9:14 am

GC, the only problem with that is....... you would never ever get into the MRT or on the train or in the buffet line or even on the expressway because of being taken advantage of by everybody else. Hate to say it, but while I agree with you wholeheartedly, practicality dictates otherwise. :(

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Postby local lad » Fri, 20 Jun 2008 9:28 am

Turtle wrote:
It goes back to the whole "pragmatic" (i.e. selfish) view of life, doesn't it? People who are less powerful than you are there for you to take advantage of. People who are more powerful than you are there for you to fear and ingratiate yourself to. At the end of the day, I get the feeling that a lot of Singaporeans don't see people as people, but as tools to help them get what they want in life. Even that good moral statement, "treat others as we would like to be treated" - which is really a positive way of living life - here it seems to get twisted to have a more sinister meaning, i.e. "the only reason to treat others well is so that they will treat you well later on when you need it". Sort of like "don't litter because a policeman might see you".


Whoa......are you claiming 99% of Singaporeans as such? Don't you know we are living in a rat-race society? I honestly hate this phenomenon and I always try to steer clear from it. FYI, everyone uses everybody in Singapore. It is the level of abuse that gets people's attention and Singapore is not the only country experiencing it. I suppose the same goes for MOST modernised countries. Geez, get out often to see the world.


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