AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Experience in Bodyshop in Megamall, Kuala Lumpur

My wife, I, and my son visited Bodyshop in Megamall on February 24, 2004.

I like Bodyshop because of the values they do display and project, such as the “no testing of animals for their products”, and the proclaimed “support of small communities around the world”. According to their webpage, they also value their customers. They write: “We know that you're unique, and we'll always treat you like an individual. We like you just the way you are.”

What might be forgotten is that employees in their shops should be empowered to create a great customer experience, increase customer satisfaction and delight their visitors – on the spot and when required!

The case is as follows: Since my wife has bought quite a number of products in Bodyshop, she received a voucher worth RM35 (Ringgit Malaysia – 1 US$ is RM3.80).

The problem was that she wanted to buy soap for my child worth RM3.50. My kid was thrilled by its shape, form and smell, but my wife was told that this purchase would forfeit the rest of her voucher. She wouldn’t be able to receive a new voucher with the reduced sum. In other words, get products that cost at least RM38, or loose the difference. It is not possible to buy something for a small value and get the rest back in a reduced voucher!

I inquired with the salesgirl, if it wouldn’t be possible to be a bit more flexible around the rule, since we wouldn’t like to buy that many products, but just a soap – and that this wouldn’t increase customer satisfaction. She responded that those were the regulations, and she wouldn’t be able to change it.

Okay, admittedly – she was the wrong person to talk to in the first place – I should have asked for the manager. But she could have asked the manager to come and talk.

Okay, I could have bought the soap as well – it wasn’t much, but it also was the principle! Worse of all was her behaviour. She complained to her colleague about the incidence, when we left the shop – at least that is how it looked like!

I believe that this is not the right way to treat a customer. Remember that it takes a long time to create a new and happy customer. It is expensive – surely more expensive than some cheaper products. What is needed? A bit more flexibility, and a stronger empowerment of employees to react on the spot to requests, or inquiries of customers would go a VERY long way!

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Saturday, February 14, 2004

Malaysian Drivers - A car can be a weapon

Malaysia experiences never before experienced road rage – but now the newspapers are full of stories of fatal accidents. Last year, there was an ongoing discussion about an increase of speed limits, which luckily didn’t go through. Cars are getting better, but the mindset of the drivers is still the same or even got worse over time – the roads feel like a war zone, where everybody fights each other – centimeter by centimeter. Using emergency lanes, cutting in at the last second into the lane that one intends is the picture of the day – what right do those have to behave like that? Do they feel better? Do they feel any remorse at all? Or don’t they feel anything? How do those feel that stand in the right lane from the very first beginning, far behind and they see, how others in front of them cut in? What would happen if they also got angry and behave like road bullies?

I wrote this letter to an imaginative driver – I imagined one who just overtook me very dangerously, and will send it to some Malaysian newspapers.

Dear Driver.

Did you finally manage to overtake me? I am happy that you are gone. You drove so close behind me that you wouldn't have any time to stop on time in case of emergency. Just imagine something would have happened in front of me and I would have needed to break suddenly – you dramatically shortened my space to break. You wouldn't have made it and I wouldn’t. Worse of all you highlighted with all the lights that you installed - I was blended quite a bit. It is quite threatening, how that felt.

Do you know that a family died in Germany because a guy just like you drove so close behind them and tried to bully them just like you did - with headlights and driving so close? The driver has been charged with murder. The driver in front panicked and had a fatal accident. The bully now has a long time to think through his actions, as he serves time in jail for murder - and so will you if you have an accident.

Why do drivers do this I asked, why do they drive like that? Malaysians are a friendly lot - until they sit and drive a car. It can't be that you drive like this to gain time, be faster wherever you intend to go? You don't win much, you know. May be 5, may be 10 minutes. Is this worth the risk? Especially since you have children - I could see them when you raced passed me and cut back into my lane immediately.

The newspapers are full of stories nowadays about children, who are rude, out of control, rape, bully, extort, play truant, or are picked up for gangsterism by the police. Everybody blames violence on TV, pornography on the Internet for it. Have you looked into the mirror? What values do your children learn from you, their father, who bullies, threatens, speeds, beats traffic lights, parks anywhere, tries to bribe the police guy, who wants to give you a ticket. Do you think your aggressiveness is far away from the one, who was sent to jail this morning for murder?

Cars are weapons, and can kill. Many drivers just upgraded their car, - their weapon - to the next available “nuclear deterrent" - after installing plenty of new lights to the car and huge spoilers, we now see exhausts that are bigger, and noisier. Are they suppose to show power and strength, so that no one dares to come close or stands in your way.

I know you are not the only one who drives like that and nearly everybody does it currently. But we need to change and get used to a different style to make Malaysia a better place again.

This change is possible, one second at a time. I am doing it now, as I don't want to play this "game" anymore - I drive slower and much more relaxed. Try it - it is relaxing, actually, and I am not as exhausted as you are probably when I arrive in my office or at home may be 5 minutes after you arrived at your location.

I am exhilarated and energetic, while you are probably pumped up, full of anger, and soon so very tired, when the adrenaline wears down. If you cannot change, just imagine, you would bully your boss, or the client, whose project you chased - and he or she recognizes you. Gone is the promotion, gone the contract. Just imagine it. It helps!

Thank you and have a nice day, and a long and enjoyable life!

Send a mail to if you wish to comment!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Great Experience at Victoria Station in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

If you go to Victoria Station in Damansara (, you might experience a great and positive adventure. I went there recently, for some celebration with the company I am working in - we were about 12 people.

Waiters are flexible. My colleagues received their appetizer, and I asked for one, as my food was similar but not the same (and probably didn’t include an appetizer to begin with but didn’t remember it from my order). The waiter first replied that my food wouldn’t come with appetizer – followed up with a big smile, and said – okay, you get one. I call this empowerment, and delightful for guests.

They are courteous. I couldn’t find the way to the restroom, and instead of just pointing out the direction to it – as it is frequently done in other restaurants – they actually BROUGHT me there, and opened the door.

It is also a good webpage to inquire about possible employment – it would be interesting to know, the amount of inquiries they receive.

This all, besides excellent food. Which actually is the entry ticket to the restaurant business anyway.

Even when you look at their webpage, you will see that they reach out to their visitors. With maps showing the restaurant location (well, not all are there), menu and offering (now for Valentine’s Day with some hearts floating. Additionally, they have a mailing list, to send the latest promotions to those interested and a good way to comment on their service. Well, I reach out to the web, and comment to the rest of the world.

And this is the great workings of the web – you can tell good and bad stories about your experiences.

And the sad part is, that mostly, you will get bad experiences – bad attitude, waiters who don’t know their menu, or are not flexible, those, who only give one menu to a table of 5 (I am exaggerating), those, who make you feel that you are actually not welcome.

Send a mail to in case you want to comment.

I sent this comment to them - and I am sure I get a response back! -

Actually, they never responded - so much for great customer service even in a great place!


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