I remember reading a story in Ilene Cooper’s “Up Close: oprah Winfrey”. WLS TV Studios’ Station Manager Dennis Swanson offered Oprah a job with a six-figure salary as the host of A.M. Chicago in 1983. Oprah accepted the job but voiced out her main concern of her skin colour because of the heightened racism in Chicago at that time. She also voiced out her weight issues.
Swanson told Oprah, he had only one concern. He said, “Your head fits very nicely on your shoulders. Just want to make sure that when this great success befalls you, it won’t get too big.”
Taking the moral from Oprah’s story, I observed many successful businesses, celebrities and icons falling into the black pit hole because of their big headedness that resulted from their thriving success.
Tonight, I experienced Big Headedness Syndrome from a famous “mamak” food court, Suzie’s Corner, just opposite Ampang Point. The food court, being a short walking distance from my house, had been my favourite hangout place. Until last night, that is.
I concur with Jeff Bezos who said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
So, world, here is one very unhappy curse-tomer, after experiencing that horrible service I received from the waiters at Suzi’s Corner. This was not my first time experiencing this treatment, but this is my first time voicing it out.
Lately, the standard of service delivery at Suzie’s Corner is seeing a slide in spite of the expansion of the number of stalls and menu variety at the food court. As a regular customer for many years, I feel that I should be valued as much, if not more than the new customers. But I was wrong tonight because the new customers they were wooing were favoured over the regular customers like me. Unless of course, if you are a kweilo (I forget, some of us are still colonised, mentally).
As a result, it took an hour for Suzie’s Corner to serve me my hot lime juice.
Even for that hot lime juice to come, I had to go and find the “powers that be” at Suzie’s Corner. The owner was busy getting fat behind the cash register, and looking indifferent and oblivious to the world around her except for the money being keyed into the cash register.
So I complained to owner’s sister, and strongly told her, “If you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will. Your customers won’t care for you if you give bad service, your competitors will. My friends and I will be happy to go elsewhere.”
Following this, a waiter did come to our table. Finally! Not with a smile, though, and he was very rude. He also left immediately after taking order for my drink, and did not care to ask if we want to order any food. Waving for the waiter to come back to our table is such a chore.
For our food, my friends and I literally had to go to the individual stalls to order where the waiters would usually come and take my order. Or else, I would probably just have to drool in my dream last night over that macaroni cheese, grilled chicken wings and “otak-otak” because none of the waiters cared enough to take food order from our table (and some of the “local” tables). Is this not a tragedy?
It is time thriving food places like Suzie’s Corner realize that their greatest asset is the customer. They must treat each customer as if they are the only one. No matter how thriving business is, they must not let their heads grow too big, as they might just fall off their shoulders one day. After this experience, if another food court like Suzie’s Corner appears near my house, I would gladly make it my new hang out place if they serve me better. It is not my loss.