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Friday, October 16, 2009

Respect thy customer

I am a firm believer of giving credit when credit is due. If a service rendered goes beyond expectation, I think that it is only fair that the service be praised as exemplary. An example is the experience at the Immigrations Department that I blogged a few months ago.

I am also a person who does not tolerate rudeness and non-professionalism. Again I have blogged about this before in this entry. To me, a service that is given in a manner not professional and worse still, rude is a service that does not deserve my patronage and hard-earned money. If I had a bad experience at a place, I will no longer go to that place.

This past couple of weeks, I have been extremely busy with work at the office. As such, I don't really have that much time to spend on meals. Most times, I would choose one of the three cafes in my office compound as they are the most convenient.

On Thursday, at around 11:45 a.m., I decided to have an early lunch since I had an appointment at 12:30 p.m. at the office that will most likely eat up my normal lunch time (no pun intended). The cafe that I went to is literally just a few steps away from my office. Anyone who is familiar with my office would know which cafe I am referring to. I chose this "red" cafe (which supposedly promotes Penang, the "island" where I was born) to have my lunch simply because it was the nearest and most convenient. Should my guest arrive early, I could easily hurry myself back to the office.

When I arrived at the cafe, there were only three other people sitting at one table. I noticed they were waiting for their take-away order. A waiter almost immediately attended to me. I put in my order, and about five minutes later my drink arrived. While waiting for my food, I sipped the drink I ordered.

Around this time, I noticed that the three people at the next table who were waiting for their take-away order actually ordered something for 15 people! I knew at this point in time that my order would take a while to be ready. I also noticed that there was only one cook in the kitchen, which to my mind was odd, because lunch time is a busy time for an eatery. To only have one cook during a busy period was plain ridiculous.

I glanced at my watch. The time was already 12:10 in the afternoon. I had already waited for almost 25 minutes. Even the three people who ordered take-away meals for 15 people were still waiting for their order to be ready. My glass was almost half empty.

Knowing that there was no way I could have my lunch in time before my 12:30 appointment, I called the waiter to inquire how long it would take for my food to be ready. Innocently (and I must say quite rightly), the waiter went into the kitchen to ask the cook. At this juncture, I could distinctly hear the cook scolding the waiter (and indirectly scolding me) with a very loud voice. He said something to the effect that, "Be patient! Can't you see there's only one of me? Can't he wait?"

The cook's voice was indeed audible. I heaved a heavy sigh. The cafe's captain then came to me apologising for the lateness (but not for the cook's outburst). I told him just to cancel my order, and I would pay for the drink I just had. After paying, I walked back to the office without even having lunch. By then, I had also lost my appetite.

This is just another example of people who are not professional and sincere in doing their jobs. In the first place, there seems to be no respect for the paying customer. The principle of "the customer is always right" does not seem to apply. Scolding a customer whether directly or indirectly is something that should never be done. Chances are, as in my case, you will lose your customer.

Secondly, the management of the cafe should have been more professional in managing the running of the cafe. Anyone with a logical mind would be able to say that there should be more people during peak hours. Frankly, you would never face this kind of a problem at a mamak stall.

Sometimes I truly wonder if there is ever a place "where everyone knows your name". As I said earlier, places like this cafe do not deserve my hard-earned money. I have decided not to step into the cafe again. After all, there is no point going to a place if you don't get the respect a customer deserves.

And when you choose to do that to a blogging and Facebooking customer, then word would certainly spread almost instantaneously!

3 comments:

enigma said...

the said cafe has been closed for renovation. don't think it's the real reason. the service was indeed bad. slow macam seeput.

Szakif said...

I bet enigma got a strong point there. No obvious renovation made in the restaurant as far as I've seen.

Awi Cakri said...

salam, dear sir, it've been a while since my last journey to your blog. The word whiich most is suitable to this post is professionalism. There'll be reasons for the cook for his wrong act, but if he put his pro at the first place, IMPOV, this wouldn't happen.

Rumors said that the cafe actually was establish on some kind of scam, a con job. They attract funders, then they'll disappear with the fund, leaving the fully equiped cafen just like that. Wallahua'lam....