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.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

MPH - What happened to your service

I always liked to purchase books in MPH. They had great customer service, and were very responsive to customer complaints - I remember the situation last November, when I (and probably others) complained about the availability of Hitler's Mein Kampf in their stores and they withdrew the book afterwards.

Today, I wanted to buy "Double-Digit Growth: How Great Companies Achieve It-No Matter What" by Michael Treacy and went to MPH in Bangsar. The store was relative empty. I went in, browsed for a while and than, after not being able to find it, went to the cashier. There were two saleswomen. One attended to her accounting books, and the other turned around to help me. I fulfilled the normal procedure - writing down the title as I couldn't remember the author's name.

She started to type in the title into the workstation, when the phone rang. I don't know, if it was an internal call or from a customer, but she also tried to reach her colleague in the first floor. Failing this by calling, she called one on the internal houseline and started a discussion.

In te meantime, another customer checked with me, if someone would attend to me, and after I confirmed, he approached the other lady. She helped him. I still waited. After about a minute (it felt like this), I went to the side, got her attention, and made a sign that I would look myself. I was pretty agitated in the meantime.

After I couldn't find the book in any of the bookshelves, I went back to her and said in a loud voice "Thank You Very Much For Being so Helpful", and went out.

After that, I drove to the larger outlet in Midvalley Megamall. I remembered that I saw the book there, but again, failed to find it. I went to the saleswoman at the customer service station near the business section, and checked with her.

She typed in "Double Digit" in the computer, in various varieties, but nothing came up. Okay, here came my mistake: I thought to remember that Fred Wiersema wrote the book, and mentioned his name She came up with a variety of books, but MPH's compute system doesn't allow to check for publication dates. So here I was - she showed me a list of five books. I asked her, where I would find the books and she said that they would be in different sections. I asked her for the one book which was on the top of the list, thinking to myself that this could be the newest one and she send me off to the marketing section. Okay - here I stood - four or five bookshelves in front of me, packed with books. I gave up!! Went back to the section where I thought I saw the book earlier - it wasn't there.

I went home, deeply disappointed. What are the learning experiences? Sales staff needs more experience in dealing with customers. Bring them to the section, or call someone to bring the customer to the section - there was nobody lining up behind in MPH Megamall, so she could have helped me - earlier, sales staff did this. In Bangsar? Well, apologist to the waiting customer, ask another one to help, inform the person on the other side of the line that you would call back straight away - basically, communicate. The one saleswoman with the accounting book should have jumped in. Anything would actually done it, but all went wrong. I would be more than happy to develop a customer satisfaction program for MPH, to assist them in getting to the higher level of customer experience. It is not far from where they were earlier, but currently, they went a step backwards. Hopefully, it was an individual case, but I am worried that this is not the case. And it is the individual that counts, anyway!


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