Customer Service. Singapore Style.

I lost my personal organizer last Saturday. I still have not come to terms with it. Firstly, I cannot believe I left it in a cab! It's just so unlike me. I always nag Jamie about his forgetfulness, and here I am – misplacing such an important item. I was quite confident that I was going to get it back since it's not an electrical device i.e. PDA, hand phone etc., but an old-school personal organizer. I called up the cab companies to lodge a lost item report. I waited for the Good Samaritan's call, but somehow, the call never came.

So today, I finally gave up, and decided to purchase a new organizer. So – I set out for a search. First stop – Bookstore @ Wheelock. I knew that they have a display of Filofax. Went to the counter and attempted to get assistance. 1st staff I approached – he was like "ya ok, wait" and went on to talk on the phone". I waited. Saw 2nd person. Went up to him to get some help. He said, "oh ok, wait" and proceeded to speak on the phone too. I am a willing customer here, who would most probably buy something, yet nobody would help me. I left the shop in a huff, not before I lodged a complaint.

I headed over to Bookstore @ Takashimaya. Was delighted to see that they have a much larger collection of Filofax. On top of that, I received almost instant service. The lady that I approached came over immediately to unlock the display shelf for me to browse through the organizers. And when I commented that I like a particular design in turquoise, she called up the supplier to ask if they have one in stock. Then she came back to inform me that it would be arriving in 3-4 days time. On top of that, she even offered to call me when it arrives! I was like WOW! The customer service here was on par with most of the fortune 500 companies I’ve come across. My best guess is that they probably implemented a Field Service Management software, of which I was reading the other day on For an organizer which only cost $40, she was willing to go through such efforts – that's what I call outstanding customer service.

I cannot help but compare the level of service to of course Bookstore @ Wheelock, and the travel agency that I went to earlier this morning. Was there to find out more about the free & easy packages that they have. Was particularly interested in one package, but after the lady checked out the details, turned out that the dates that I have in mind for departure, the air ticket pricing is not out. I asked, "When would the pricing be out?" She's not sure. "Do you think you can call me when you receive the pricing?" Guess what she said?

"No, I can't. But you can always call us back to check. Because we like you do not know when the pricing would be out too." I was thinking to myself… "Hello? Obviously you would know when the pricing would be out, because you will be the one receiving it from the airlines." I just find the situation funny. Here we are – 2 sales people. One who can make approximately $1,000 in sales, and the other $40 in sales. Yet – it's the person who can make $40 in sales who works harder to close the sale and provides outstanding customer service.

Amazing isn't it? Which helps me reaffirm my belief – some people are cut out for customer service, and some people just aren't.

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3 thoughts on “Customer Service. Singapore Style.

  1. I can say, that some companies don’t train their staff enough, or their employees plain old just doesn’t care. At my father’s work, we always get phone calls from people who got our number from an other company that told the customer that we do warrenty repairs. The thing is we don’t do warrenty repair for that company! So I always suspect they have the wrong number, because there is another company near us that has a similar name. I can’t believe such a big company like that would be giving misinformation like that. It’s as if they don’t even have the right info on hand and just looked us up in the phone book ! They even give out our address and people come in and they have the wrong place! One day if I get annoyed enough I will call this company and complain


  2. Thanks Andrea for your comments! 🙂 I think sometimes employees are not empowered to provide good service as well…

    Kenneth, thanks for dropping by! 🙂 Hope to see more of your comments!


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