Monday, 20 August 2007

Machines offer zombie service?

Every single day you would have read in the papers about complaints of poor service by counter staff, sales clerks or while waiting in a queue. Snobbish, rude or completely useless are the usual types of comments you might receive. Well to me, in the past, I haven't been one to really complain about service, usually shaking each bad experience with the phrase, "Ah, its just Malaysian service la".

Up till the end of last year, when I started work and was working in the area of a service provider (being completely on the other side of the fence), I realised the importance of why providing quality service really matters. It became critical in my job that the quality of service is to always ensure that the customer should always be happy and no matter how bad of a day you might be having, the customer should never get the brunt end of your emotions.

So now, whenever I do walk into shops, I really notice the really nitty gritty details of how poor each store's service is especially when it comes to sales people and dealing with customers. One of these shops I would love to highlight is the Apple Premium Service Provider, Machines located in KLCC.

Launched at the beginning of this month, I opted to drop in to check out the store. Boasting two huge 30" Apple Cinema Displays, the store looked incredible and it was packed with sales staff. Notice, that I bolded "sales staff" because the store was filled with a couple of other customers. To be frank, I was extremely tempted to buy a spanking new MacBook and I checking them out which were on display.

I did my homework on the internet, checking on the pitfalls and downfalls of the MacBook but it just looks incredibly sexy and too irresistible to resist. So I stood next to the MacBook and looked around for a sales staff. One saw me, and instead of coming over to me and being cheerful, he seemed to be frowning as though his Pokemon died on him!

So, he might have had a day. I didn't mind that and smiled at him. Gesturing towards him, he came over with the face of a living zombie and the stance of a slouching chimpanzee. I asked him how much would it cost to bump the MacBook from 1Gb to 2Gb and his only answer was to not say anything but to grab a calculator. He started punching out some numbers and then after much consideration, he showed me the price, RM6,299.

The original price of the MacBook (White & 2.16GHz) is RM4,999 and the extra 1Gb would cost more than a thousand ringgit extra. Hoping to strike a conversation with him or maybe find out why did it cost so much, all he could do was shrug his shoulders and say, "yeahlor, that is the price". After that, he just left and went on to ignore me while giving me the 'you cannot afford that' look since I asked him why was it so expensive (that really took the cake!).

Wow, I thought that the Apple store which boasts superb design (it did look great) and friendly staff would have been a great experience. I guess this is only exclusive for Apple Stores as Machines is just an Apple Premium Reseller. I wonder how they managed to get their Premium status.

Ok, maybe I was having a bad day that day. No, I went to the Machines store at Mid Valley over the weekend and was faced with the same problem. Well, same in terms of getting poor quality of service. Not a single staff attended to me, I guess they were busy entertaining some rich looking dude.

I guess I would probably take my service to MacAsia.

Other experiences on the Apple Store: