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  • The Storyteller

Hermes Singapore

The welcome when we entered felt...awkward, as in the employee looked not at ease to be assigned the role. Maybe she was shy, or distracted, or and was perhaps shy. She looked away timidly when greeted her back.

I headed to the counter where they display all the beautiful leather agendas and book covers, and asked a more senior looking lady whether the refill paper was acid-free. She responded with, "'s this brand of paper....paper something...." I took it to mean she did not know, but neither did she take the initiative to find out more. The lady stood there in silence while I continued browsing other items.

Moments later, I asked if she would not mind checking with her colleagues regarding the paper type, and if there were choices of paper grammage. She readily obliged and subsequently, three employees hovered over the same glass display case to engage in a 3-minute discussion/debate while I stood silently further away. One of them finally came back with, "I am sorry, we can only check on Monday." That was it.

Finally, I decided to proceed ahead with the small note pad refill. At the cashier, I was handed a cut out piece of recycled print-out paper but blank on one side, and was asked to write my name and telephone number on it. There was no explanation as to why these details were required during payment, but this step was proceeded with in an automated manner. For a brief moment, I thought it was so that they could revert to me subsequently on my earlier enquiry, but it was not.

Like the greeter when we first entered, the cashier did not look up much and there was certainly no smile. I wondered if this was her usual demeanour at work (and I certainly hope not.)

We left with no farewell extended...

Service Bank: Minus/Withdrawal of 14

  • Minus 1 for lack of warm greeting

  • Minus 3 for poor product knowledge and for not taking initiative to find out more until customer prompted

  • Minus 5 for the grouping, inefficiency, unprofessional behaviour and lack of follow-up

  • Minus 1 for the cashier's disengaging behaviour

  • Minus 3 for the disconnect with the brand's sophisticated image (e.g. speech, behaviour, product knowledge, recycled paper at cashier point)

  • Minus 1 for lack of farewell

Reflective thoughts: Which parts of your team's behaviour are compromising on your brand image or reputation? What about the hardware, the processes, the environment and other non-human factors? Identify two factors each and work on them.

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