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06 Aug 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 450
Improve customer service

We need to improve customer service in Singapore. 

Many organizations provide bad customer service, as follows:

a) They take a long time to respond to customers
b) They make it difficult for customers to contact them by e-mail. The customers have to use their call centers, which is very difficult to get through to talk to a person.
c) They refuse to call customers by telephone 

Let us share my experience of my contact with a manufacturer in Shenzhen. I send an enquiry through their website. They respond to it promptly. I placed an order. It arrived within two days. 

I needed to get support. My developer is able to communicate with them by email. All the emails are replied promptly. They are helpful.

This is not an isolated case. It is the practice for a few manufacturers that I contacted in China.

Now, what is the problem with organizations in Singapore? I suspect that the underlying causes are:

a) The SOP require all conversations to be recorded. Their staff has to use the fixed lines with recording facilities. They cannot use personal mobile phones.
b) Similarly, all communication should be done by the official e-mail accounts.

Due to the SOP, which appear to be standard for all organization in Singapore, it is difficult for the staff to understand the problem and to help the customer to resolve it. This lead to very bad customer service. 

What is the solution?

Make a distinction between the following:

a) Filing an actual report or making a transaction
b) Communication to understand the problem.

For (a), it is necessary to use the official email or telephone system which has recording facilities

For (b), which is the bulk of the communication, allow the staff to use personal email or mobile phone to talk to the customer. 

This simple common sense change will improve customer service considerably. It will also make life better for the customer service staff. 

Don't believe me? Just following what the manufacturers in China do.

Tan Kin Lian

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