Contrasting customer service experiences…

by Rahim Said

Photo credit: fongfong2@Pixabay

The contrasting customer service experiences at two food establishments — one in Penang and the other in Puchong — offer insights into the nuances of business practices in Malaysia.

In Penang, a hawker stall’s straightforward approach to charging RM 2.00 per table without a drink order exemplifies transparency and a no-nonsense attitude. While this pricing strategy may seem rigid to some, it is clearly communicated, eliminating confusion or disputes over costs. This approach reflects a business model that values clarity and fairness, empowering customers to make informed decisions.

Conversely, the incident in Puchong presents a starkly different picture. The aggressive enforcement of a no-outside-drinks policy, coupled with hostile behaviour towards customers, reflects poorly on the establishment’s customer service standards. While businesses are entitled to set rules, the manner in which these rules are enforced can significantly impact customer experience and the business’s reputation.

These incidents underscore the importance of striking a balance between enforcing policies and maintaining a welcoming environment. While businesses have the right to establish rules, it is equally important to communicate them clearly and enforce them respectfully. Customers, too, have a responsibility to respect these rules while expecting fair and courteous treatment.

These stories serve as reminders for both businesses and customers to prioritise transparency, communication, and mutual respect in their interactions. These practices are crucial for the hospitality industry to thrive, ensuring positive experiences for all.

It is worth noting the remarkable customer service offered by Balinese operators. In my trips to Bali, I have consistently experienced excellent service even from the most modest establishments.

They are always attentive, polite, and genuine, making you want to return without hesitation. This exemplary service helps explain why Bali is a preferred holiday destination for many.

Dr. Rahim Said is a human behaviourist and regular contributor on digital media platforms. He is a professional management consultant, a corporate trainer and an executive coach specialising in coaching of senior executives and individual entrepreneurs with the purpose of modifying their behaviour in the pursuit of their cherished missions. (The views expressed by our columnist are entirely his own)