Customer Service Conundrum

Labour chief Lim Swee Say calls for nation of better customers. Over demanding customers add strains to workers. This year’s May Day message targets at getting people to be better customers.

While I support the call to be better customers, one must not forget that workers in one establishment are themselves customers of other establishments. They have the same roles to play as customers just like all non-workers such as retirees, students, tourists, and those who are out-of-work, etc. The workers form the biggest pool of customers in this context.

Is the attitude by service provider to blame for unpleasant encounter at service point or the unappreciative customer to blame for it? I would think both service provider and the customer are crucial for a good experience at this contact point. If standards of customer service are not raised then there is a failure straight away. Customers get turned off. Without adequate head-counts, how can an over-stretched employee be smiling at serving customers? That it the real problem.

Training and manpower crunch must be addressed. Job re-design, job-fit, working smart after training, and empathy for workers by management make a whole lot of difference for these workers.

I feel that the nation has become accustomed to being served than one that serves others. Look at how we pamper our precious children with domestic helps at beck and call. We demand good service quick and we want it cheap.

We need to look into a mirror and take a good look at ourselves. Are we being reasonable and can we be more tolerant?

There are deep-seated problems to address and a multi-prong approach need be taken to raise customer service all round. I think it starts with ourselves and our children. We must believe in building a gracious society so that appreciation for all comes second nature. Everyone, including workers, must do their parts to raise customer service.

(Society stress created by an overcrowded nation is an important area to look into too.)

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