Sunday, July 15, 2012

Too Much Customer Service

Yes, usually people want customer service. Unfortunately, sometimes, too much customer service is provided.

I got a big dose at the gym on Saturday morning. They scan my card on entry so its understandable that they greet me by name. Thats alright. But, the manager there must have made it her mission to remember everybody's names and observe how frequently they visit the gym. It shouldn't matter to her since we pay by the fortnight anyway and I am sure she is trying to be friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, each time I see her, she tries to find ways to help me make it to the gym more regularly. She is too helpful! I feel guilty enough that I have fallen out of my gym routine (I only make it there about twice a week) and she was just making it worse.

The second dose came as I was looking for a wedding gift for a friend. She has a gift registry and I had the list printed out to look through. I asked for help locating one of the items but the sales assistant was extremely helpful and took the initiative to show me everything on the list and tell me all about them. All I wanted was to be left alone so that I could decide which gift I could afford.

On a slightly different note, I also got some unwanted customer service from attendants who obviously felt they shouldn't waste their time on me. I wondered around some boutiques because I might need a dress for that wedding. They had big 'SALE' signs which lured me in. The prices were still more than I was willing to pay but I thought the sales assistants were a little too obvious in the way they were looking disapprovingly at me as they came around to see if I wanted to try anything. Was it that faint snotty stain (fresh from my goodbye hug with Adrian) on my hoodie that prompted the brief looks of disdain in their eyes?  Or was it purely that I was not properly colour coordinated today?

Writing this post has reminded me of some of the sales assistants I've come across in Malaysia and Indonesia. Very often, they are so attentive that they will follow you around the whole store. They will literally be 30cm behind you. They don't say anything or offer any assistance until you speak. I have tried weaving between the racks and zig zagging my way around and they will faithfully follow. Uncomfortable, but I think they're just trying to do their job. I've also come across a couple of tactless ones that have spoken in Cantonese to their colleagues to get a larger size because they didn't think I would fit into something. In Malaysia, I am almost always mistakenly identified as a Malay so they never realise that I understand what they say until I answer them in Cantonese.

So there you go, these poor people in the customer service industry get complaints if they are not helpful enough and now also get whinged about for provided too much! Like everything else in life, its all about the balance.


Mike said...

If I had someone following me around in a store they would be following me out the door.

Minghan said...

Haven't heard you speak Cantonese before