Friday, September 26, 2008

A service-minded mentality -not here quite yet

Help yourslef

I am still waiting for the day when 'service-minded' becomes a well-known phrase in China. I understand that it takes time for this sort of expression to establish itself, and especially in a country where there have never been such thing... but still. Like yesterday, we ordered in (via Sherpas Suzhou)

-Yeah so I'd like to order from XXXX.
-What is the number of your order?
-Well I'd like the hamburger... hm.. where is it... ah.. I can't find it on the menu?
-I am sorry, I'd like to order a hamburger but I can't find it from your menu?
-Eh... well, do you have any hamburger?
-What is the number of your order?
-Hm.. Well I can't find it from your menu... Maybe it is just on the online menu?
-Okay. Well tell me the number.
-Well, I am not online right now... Wait a minute... Ah, I'll have to call you back, OK?

It's just like... they are completely oblivious to when to step in and ask if you need their assistance? There are TWO burgers on their menu and still they can't help you out if you don't know the correct 'number.'

Then you get to a place like Starbucks where the staff are completely over the top: cheerful, happy and so eager to take your order that u are barely given time to make up your mind about if you want a blueberry or a chocolate muffin?

I don't know what I prefer, but I guess I am leaning towards Starbucks. A smile is always better than an 'oh' or an 'ok' when you are asking for assistance.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yeah it's pretty weird isnt it?

I remember calling a place staffed by mainlanders to make an appointment and it's painful.

I'd like to make an appoiintment.

""What date you want?

Is (for example- I cant remember the exact date) Tues 10am ok?

Sorry, that time taken.

Oh, ok. How about 11am?

Sorry, that time taken.


Man, just tell me what times are left! It's like scrapping fingernails across a blackboard sometimes!

It's because of attitudes like this that it's good that MNC's like Maccas and Starbucks have come into China. Despite all the anti MNC stuff, they do raise the standard :)

Have a good one!


Anonymous said...

I am from Seattle and never went to Starbucks, but here in Beijing it is my second home! (I am actually sitting in one now.) You are so right about them being super friendly, always smiling, and not to mention are able to communicate with me in English!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, one glance over at the sweets in the glass case at Starbucks and someone is suddenly on the other side of the counter next to you asking what you want. It's like, just gimme a sec!