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Customer service in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: The issue of unsatisfactory customer service in the country has been one that been lamented on social media for quite some time.

Frankly we have been whining about it for decades before people even came up with social media.

Today netizens make it clear that they are far from satisfied with the level of service in this country.

Facebook user Cece Aisha AJ-Nuttall said that she is usually polite but whenever she needs to contact a customer service agent through email, she has to resort to stronger, and sometimes harsher language.

"Only then will a human being reply and try to get back to me. Otherwise, it will be the machine. I do not like to be rude but it seems the only way," she wrote.

Pranee Kong gave the example of cashiers in supermarkets, who she claims do not even greet the customers.

"They do not say hello or thank you when we get our payments done. They just hand us the receipts and continue chit chatting with their co-workers. Its very rude," she said.

Stella Chua also commented on the rudeness of those who serve customers, saying that they treat customers 'like u owe them money and haven't return for years'.

"It's very important for them to have a change of mind. Think about how you want to be served when you are out at shopping or receiving any services. Treat customers the way you want to be treated," she said.

Abdulrahman Abdullah Almamary said that there was still a lot of work to be done in this area and suggested better training for those serving customers.

Another dissatisfied customer was Abu Emran who said that customers should have a venue to voice their dissatisfaction.

"There should be regulations to penalise service providers if services rendered are not up to expectations," he said adding that customers should be allowed to claim rebates or discounts when services are not up to par to ensure that the service providers will improve their services.

While many were negative or non-committal, K. Siyamala made the point that service received depends on how the customer treats those serving them.

She said many customers are also rude and tend to take out their frustrations at customer service personnel.

"Having worked at customer service and being a customer myself, I can see the problem from both sides. From what I have seen, customers tend to be rude and disrespectful which in turn puts those serving them on the defensive.

"Work as a customer service agent is very stressful. You hear complaints most of the time. It's a place where people throw their anger towards you.

"When we receive calls from people who do not cooperate with us, we tend to show our emotions as well," she said.

She added that most customers have the perception that customer service agents are uneducated, often looking down upon them and treating with disrespect.

"If you are nice and friendly, we will be nice and friendly to you too," she said.

Siyamala, however, conceded that the training given to most customer service agents were insufficient.

"They should really take in people with good communication skills. Sometimes they take in people who don't know how to communicate in English, giving a bad impression of customer service agents," she said.

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