Dato Timothy Ong (right) at the recent ASEAN 100 Forum
Dato Timothy Ong pointed out, at the recent Asia Inc Forum, an important note about Customer Service: that the real test to a Great Customer Service culture is how the company handles the customer when a problem arises.
The limited time allocated for the presentation prohibited me from addressing his remark on stage. (Truth was, it was such a deep and thoughtful statement that it took me a few days to process. Hence, this blog.)
Dear Dato Timothy Ong,
My short response to you on this issue will be: If a company has a steadfast commitment to Customer Service excellence, it is unlikely it would face too many ‘crisis situations’ of customer complaints.
That said, it seems that the only things constant today are the unpredictable. Hence, my long response below:
I was quoted by Borneo Bulletin today (4th November,2011) here:
“Customer Service has nothing to do with how good your English is, or any language for that matter. If you are not professional, that’s fine. You just have to have the heart, passion and action to deliver it.” Shaun said.
I wish to clarify that the reporter has taken my words out of context.
My response to this is below:
I was making a point that moving from Good to Great customer service, one needs to look beyond just being Professional. Companies need to transform from doing the Check-List-Robotic (‘Professional’) approach to a more holistic and humanistic of being thoughtful and proactive about solving customer’s problem.
My standing on the topic of Professionalism is that: Being professional is of paramount importance in any service sector. I do not condone to any unprofessional practice with servicing customer.
I gave two illustrations to support my point. They are direct excerpt from the opening of my book, The Heart of Service.
For full context of my examples: see below
Please scroll to the very bottom to observe disclaimers before proceed…
We are a spoiled society…
Many Bruneians are raised with one or more maids in their households. We are ‘trained’ to be very good managers since young. Starting at 4 years old, we have no problem in giving orders and direction to our helpers. But when it comes to service, this may be why we are lacking so much as a society. The service attitude begins at home, sadly we’ve taken it out of the equation for our children, in exchange for more money, more work and more convenience.