RETRIBUTION

Strangely the thing that got me to sit down and write my blog is the word #RETRIBUTION. Am I thinking of something nasty or act of vengeance? Hmmm…….not exactly. It’s more like tic-for-tac.

In a world such as this and in some particular industry, a good deed may not necessarily be acknowledge or be reciprocated. As the saying goes, sometimes one need to be cruel to be kind.

So this particular business peer is into “I win – You lose” condition all the time. Not once, twice but all the time and in every situation. What do we do? Silence is not golden else this lady would have changed her ways long ago. Instead silence has been perceived as endorsement and acceptance.

There ain’t a patience that will stretch indefinitely.

So, do I get my boxing gloves out now? Most of the time it pays to be the good guy but for now, I may have to play a different role.

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Deal-Killer Morons

Coming from a sales & marketing background myself, I am most surprised at “rubbish” that comes out of some salespeople.

What is the objective of sales? To sell and generate revenue yes? And to do that, we need to be good at building relationships a.k.a making your customers like you and feel good about their purchases. I do not think there will be any objections thus far yes?

Here’s my story of what a salesperson OUGHT NOT TO DO….

Was in a local mall having dinner with family and then proceeded to do some shopping. We came across an area of the mall selling Chinese New Year (CNY) ornaments, including hampers and gifts. We stopped by one of the “brand” and was captivated by the packaging and was in fact considering if we should place our orders…

When we say place our orders, it’s because every year, we buy lots of hampers & gifts for our loyal clients. The amount is always above RM10,000 and this is for CNY alone. This figure some may claim to be BIG while some scorn on this number. Anyway, as we were contemplating, this chap came along and offered his assistance.

He asked if we are interested to buy and we were sharing with him our thoughts that we have a regular supplier of whom we have been purchasing from for years. In addition to that we are offered points of which we are entitled to redeem interesting gifts.

Now, if you are a good sales person, what would you say to me?

Would you say

A) Wow…that’s great. Yes, we have no points but we have many happy customers who have since happily forego the other benefits and are our regulars now. (OR)

B) Above RM10000? That’s small. Our customers buy RM20000 and RM30000. In addition to that, add a “scorning ” look to it.

Which is your pick? Which option do you suppose will make you want to buy or offended?

To begin with, we never claimed that RM10000 (min) is BIG number. We were merely sharing our thoughts and this guy had to entertain his super-ego and put down his potential customer. He was quite pleasant looking until he spoke.

Well, we told him we are only small company unlike his BIG customers and that he does not need our business. With that, we left.

Well, it is his loss and not ours. We will happily return to our regular supplier who has provided us good service and shown appreciation for our business.

To all the salespeople out here, here’s a word of advice…

Think before you speak else risk looking like a moron to your prospects while losing business opportunity (permanently) at the same time

Watsons with “Attitude”

Myself and wife had about the most unpleasant shopping experience in Watsons Pavilion.

Being regulars there, we again went there to purchase some items. This time round, the experience was shocking. Before the shocks begin, my compliments to the cashiers who were excellent in their attitude/service but that is where the feel good factor ends…

As in any shopping trips, sometimes we need to pick and select. As my wife was doing this, I observed the following (from a corner):

  1. First staff was pre-occupied with giving my wife a “look” instead of offering help
  2. Second staff was unwilling to answer when asked questions on some products
  3. Third staff was also staring at my wife with a “look”

All incidents happened in sequence and the 1st/3rd staff stopped only upon noticing me observing their actions. I also believed how this sequence of events came to be is because they were bad-mouthing us behind our backs which resulted in their actions above.

My questions:

  1. Is it not the right of customers to look around and select which items to purchase?
  2. Is it better for a staff to offer help instead of giving customers a “look” and attitude?
  3. Is it acceptable for staffs to bad-mouth customers?

This had never happened anywhere. I was absolutely horrified with these 3 staffs and their attitude.

Will we ever shop there again? It remains to be seen!

BOSCH…the Saga Continues

Bosch is now a very well remembered and known name in my family, relatives and close friends – all for the wrong reasons.  For the past week or so, there had been no communications between Bosch Malaysia and ourselves. It is very obvious that they are not interested in solving the problem. As a matter a fact, from the day one of communication, they had displayed a distinct lack of interest to listen, understand or respond.

Bosch Malaysia is definitely more interested in us buying their products but not returning to them should faults appear. It’s kinda I want your money but not any problems.

Not surprisingly the regional office in Singapore and the headquarters are also of the same attitude. Nobody bothers to reply nor offers any help.

The top guy in Bosch Malaysia himself ain’t of much help either. He would not even speak to us over the phone. The only media he uses to communicate with us is via email or through the staff. I guess he, being the top guy, will not lead by example and is too high & mighty to speak to normal consumers like us. I wonder if he would have responded differently if I had some fancy title in front of my name or am the CEO of a listed company….

As one of our readers rightly pointed out, the issue is not with the product as we believe the products are still of good quality (with exception to my dryer machine) but the HR. The people in Bosch Malaysia’s attitude towards customer service and problem solving does not commensurate with the brand and cost of their products.  Their attitude is “my way or the highway”.

At a time like this when the people are more aware of their consumer rights, a corporate with this attitude is being suicidal and may be experiencing a slow death.

Service Undesirable

Hey guys and gals, have you ever noticed the standard of our service industry? Am referring to people in various industries from toll collectors – car park cashiers, bank employees, restaurants, etc.?

Whilst I admit that the standard of service has improved, there is still lots (in fact tons) of room for improvement. Many of these people tend to look really miserable, sometimes angry too! What’s wrong with them? Are they being ill-treated by their employer or they just hate their jobs?

When I was in England, I cannot help but notice the “Excellent” service standard. Customers are special and important to them, unlike here in Malaysia. Unless we go to a 5-star establishment, we are likely to encounter a “sour” face.

A toll collector or car park cashier is likely to snatch the ticket/money from you and not even a word of thanks. We, the customers tend to be the one to say please and thank you. Bank employees tend to throw their frustrations at us, waiters/waiteresses ignoring us, etc, etc, etc.

Do the people in the service industry not realize that “excellent” service is a selling-point too? Who does not like to be treated like a VIP or Royalty? It does not matter if your products/ambience is not 5-star. A VIP service accorded to customers will see them coming back for more! Think about it!