Service Excellence… or a mis-service?

It was after lunch, and I saw the push-cart services just at the ground level of Tampines Mall (a shopping mall located in the east of Singapore where I work); just what I wanted to look for – some dark grey and black slacks.  Well, it’s not that I needed to buy one immediately, but I always start by looking around.  What prompted me to get into writing here was an experience that led me to ask myself, “Was it an attitude of service excellence, or was it a mis-service?”  Trust me, I found this sales guy to be pleasant and helpful.  I would give him an eight out of ten rating.

As I was rummaging through the slacks, trying to get the size I wanted, this sales guy came around.  “Are these slacks stacked according to sizes?”

“No, it’s according to the colour.”, he responded.  “Would you like me to help you; perhaps, if you let me know the size you’re looking for?”.  That was good response from him, wasn’t it?

“Hmmm, I noticed the slacks are without pleats.”  I passed the remark.

“Yes, un-pleated pants are in.  They are nicer actually.  Unlike pleated pants which open up; hence look baggier, these pants are more fitting on you.”  Now, this was where I felt amissed…

What one likes may not be another’s preference.  Just like the saying that goes, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.  Now, when servicing a customer, this becomes crucial.  I happen to like pleated pants (erhem… I’m a more conservative guy).  His comment was his preference.  I just thought he should probably not make a hasty comment, but leave the customer to decide what he liked best, although he could subtlely influence him when he had gained his trust.  He had not gained mine, yet.

I am not saying he’s not good. His helpfulness, and his willingness to explain thihgs to me scored him points and good ratings as a helpful service provider.  It was unfortunately a mis-service when, out of being genuinely helpful, put forth an opnion which did not sit comfortably witrh me.

So, when serving your customers, always remember, “Let your customer decide”.  If you are asked for your opinion, always reiterate with, “personally, I would…”, or “In my opinion, I…”; after which you probably want to explicitly ask the customer to decide for himself.  This would serve both ends, ya… stating your personal preference and allowing the customer to have his.

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