Thursday, August 14, 2008

Serve Better, Sell More!

Speaker : Dr Sander Allegro, Director of INNovation

Companies spend billions of dollars developing their products and on marketing campaigns. Too much energy is used to make sure their product is ok, and they neglect the service part.

Customers have a set of expectations and they are critical. If we are unhappy, we rarely tell the service providers. But we will share our negative experiences.

There is only one chance to create a satisfied and loyal customer. If one dissatisfied customer tells 15 friends about her negative experience with a service provider, and each friend tells another 10 friends, 165 people are influenced and would not be positive about the brand. This will push 165 customers to the company's competitors!

I was invited to an interesting half day conference at The Arts House, hosted by AQ Services International. The key note speaker Mr Sander Allegro, director of leading hotel schools of the world, shared great insights on how the hospitality approach can win more loyal customers regardless of the industry they are in.

The conference was attended by several top brand names in the service, retail and entertainment sectors of Singapore. I hope they heard loud and clear the message told by Dr Sander Allegro - Behaviour makes or breaks a business.

Managing Director of AQ Services, Mr. Jan Willem Smulders, spoke on several management tools, used by leading corporations around the world, that assist in creating the perfect customer experience. Their Mystery Shopper program is what interests me. :)

Jan Smulders (MD), Dr Sander Allegro and Jeroen de Koning (Director)

This is not a sponsored post.


  1. not me. I'll not hesitate to suan the retailer for bad service when the situation arises. Spore standard still poor c/f those overseas.

  2. sho,
    In Singapore, the customer service is poor in most restaurants, hotels, retail shops and even government departments.

    Sometimes if you suan the sales staff, they still snort through their noses and glare at you! Leopard cannot change its spots.

  3. Looks like there's a lot of learning points to gain.

  4. oceanskies,
    Yes, plenty. :)
    Passing them to Jaymes.

  5. I agree! But sometimes I have to acknowledge the fact that Singapore service only recognize MONEY! So sad....

    Aye, the popiah where got 扁扁? Taken in Singapore leh...homemade somemore!

  6. tigerfish,
    The frontline staff judge customers by their clothes! If the customer wears branded clothes, they will greet him or her with huge smiles.

    I usually wear very casually when I go shopping in town and always receive white eyes and see black faces. When I take out my wads of cash to pretend to pay, then their expressions change. Then I keep my cash and walk out. hahaha..... they don't deserve earning my commission.

    Oops... but the popia 扁扁leh. Don't bring the Taiwan culture back. haha....

  7. I must say Singapore is still very lacking in customer service. The sales force here should visit places like Hong Kong often.

  8. Wilfrid,
    OMG! What are you suggesting!? Hong Kong sales staff is just as bad if not blardy rude! I'm not allowed to touch the merchandise if I don't plan to buy, I will get cursed and swear at as I exit the premise! Geez!!

    Shopping in Japan is enjoyable.

  9. ECL, I am copying here to your blog a comment I made on Elaine Ling's blog:
    Elaine, let me clear up a few things for you... Here in the US only a few of us have what they call live-in nannies who take care of the kids only. Only a VERY few have live in housekeepers who do the wash, clean the windows (you have to be a millionaire to have someone live in AND do the windows), mop the floors. A lot of us have a cleaning service like Merry Maids to come in at varying intervals to clean house. They don't take care of everything (no windows again). Most of us get our own meals for kids and husband, shop for groceries and pick up after sloppy husbands and kids. Unless of course you are very, very rich you are one lucky girl (eastcoastlife too!). I think I'll post this comment over at ECL's blog too! :)

  10. Mary the teach,
    Yes, I realise I'm very fortunate to be able to afford a helper to help with my household chores and do the dirty jobs. :P

    I swear that I treat my helpers well, they are treated like family members.

    In Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines.... many families have several helpers...., one to cook, one to do the laundry, one to do gardening, one to look after kids (sometimes one nanny for each kid!).... those families are the really fortunate ones!

    Unlike Ealine, I'm not helpless when I don't have a helper. muahahaahah.....

  11. Good hospitality will surely bring back loyal customers. I just hate to buy something from a shop with a stone face staff with a bad attitude. Its the same with most customer service here in M'sia.

  12. i be the shopper for u, can ah? but u pay ah.. hhehe...

  13. ECL, thank you so much for answering my comment about helpers. But I do understand...we can afford to have gardeners here for example- immigrants who work hard to make a living - and I see it's the same with you. Gardeners, housecleaners leave their homes usually in Latin and South America to make a living in the U.S. It's just that I was laughing at Elaine who was moaning and groaning because her helper was on vacation or went back home for a while. Thank you for explaining to me here and at my blog! We are very lucky to be able to afford help and to provide a way immigrants can make a living. ;)

  14. ECL, reply to your question:

    Gossip only when we stumble across each other leh

  15. *faint*
    boh wei kong ......... *back to laundry*

  16. so did you gained any new knowledge from the seminar?

  17. ECL- since many of us may not have the opportunity to attend the conference, do you mind sharing some of the tips that you have gained from the talks. Thank you.

  18. Hola ECL! Just dropping off my EC here and wishing u a great weekend, which is finally here! :)

  19. sweet jasmine,
    There are so many complaints of poor or bad customer service these days.

    It can be frustrating when the company doesn't even care about the feedback they received. These companies deserve to fail or go bankrupt. If only they are willing to listen to their customers.....

  20. my rainbow angel,
    ok lah... What should I shop for? ducks.

  21. Mary the teach,
    We are the lucky ones, so we have to count our blessings and help those less fortunate to raise their living standards. Help their kids to get an education and get out of the poverty cycle.

  22. yenjai,
    ok... I get it. I'll try to stumble across your path. :P

  23. napaboaniya,
    kong some more and get bombarded!
    Take it like a woman, man! er... woman!

  24. Leonard,
    Most of it I know and of course learnt something new. :)

  25. stanley,
    Of course I can share with all of you. I'm writing it down for my son because it's relevent to his career and I can send you a copy of the notes I took at this conference.

    give me your email.

  26. Mariuca sayang!
    TGIF!! Whoopee! Getting closer to your bird day!! hehe...