Good Customer Service: It takes two hands to clap

MS KOH Wee Leng's letter ("It's all about raising service levels"; last Saturday) triggers a question. What exactly is good service?

We all have different definitions or opinions. And we can go on about this, yet it remains abstract.

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Good service is surely not a given, as it takes two hands to clap.

Studies have shown that a service provider will work harder and be happier if he is appreciated with kind, reciprocal response, not when faced with demanding, unreasonable behaviour.

Hence, labour chief Lim Swee Say has rightly pointed out that overly demanding customers would cause even more of a strain on the labour crunch ("Labour chief calls for nation of better customers"; April 28).

No one is disputing the fact that service workers serve, but they can serve well only if they are equally served with returned courtesy and within the ambit of each encounter, interaction or transaction.

Service workers generally do not ask for the moon nor the stars. All they wish for is the opportunity to serve customers within reason, within expectation, and with kindness.

Melvin Nicholas Tang Chong Jin

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